Dr Karen Bacon

My research spans palaeobotany to present day plant ecology and incorporates elements of plant biology, geology and geochemistry. I am interested in how plants respond to changes in atmospheric composition and how these responses can be tracked in the fossil record.  I work on developing plant-based proxies for interpreting changes in atmospheric composition and on tracking plant responses to changing environmental conditions. I also investigate plant responses to mass extinction events, in particular the Triassic–Jurassic boundary (201 million years ago).  I am currently investigating the effects of atmospheric composition, temperature and light quality on leaf physiognomy, functioning and development.