photoI am a paleobotanist working on the systematic and functional diversity of Paleozoic and early Mesozoic plants (-400 to -200 millions years). Since 2011, I am a permanent C.N.R.S. Research Scientist in the department “Botanique et Bio-Informatique de l’Architecture des Plantes“, in Montpellier, France.

Je suis une paléobotaniste qui travaille sur la diversité systématique et fonctionelle des plantes du Paléozoïque et du début du Mésozoïque (il y a environ 400 à 200 millions d’années). Depuis 2011, je suis Chargée de Recherche au CNRS dans l’UMR “Botanique et Bio-Informatique de l’Architecture des Plantes” de Montpellier.


Current position & responsabilities

Research Scientist/Chargée de Recherche | 2011-…
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
UMR AMAP (Botany and Modelling of Plant Architecture and Vegetation), Montpellier.

    • Research Associate (adjunct) The University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute   | 2015-
    • Elected member comité de section 67-68 Université de Montpellier | 2014-
    • Co-coordinator, Master CEPAGE-Chrono-environments & Paleoecology | 2015
    • Associate editor American Journal of Botany | 2019-| IAWA Journal | 2020- | Editorial board member Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology | 2017-
    • Secretary Agora Paleobotanica | 2015- | Vice-president Groupe Français du Paléozoïque | 2020-



Taxonomic and functionnal diversity of plants during the Paleozoic and early Mesozoic.

The general aim of my research is to document plant diversity in the fossil record and to investigate the factors underlying this diversity. To do this I study the anatomy and morphology of fossil plants to:

    • document past plant systematic diversity and understand the origin and diversification of key groups of plants.
    • document the biology of fossil plants by reconstructing different functionnal traits (growth habit, architecture, sprouting ability, hydraulic and mechanical properties, etc.)
    •  investigate the impact of evolutionnary and paleoenvironmental factors (climate, geography, biological crises, …) on plant systematic & functionnal diversity through time.

I work on pre-angiosperm floras  from the Paleozoic and early Mesozoic (-400 to -200 millions years ago), with a special interest for fossil trees. My research can be divided in three interelated themes:


This research is part of the theme Paléo and the team Architecture, functioning and evolution of plants at UMR AMAP.

Continue reading “Research”


*corresponding author (usually the 1st author); (co)-advised students; i invited commentaries.

Edited special issue

coverDecombeix A-L, Boucher L, Wheeler E A & Baas P. 2019. Plant Hydraulic Architecture through Geological Time. IAWA Journal 40 (3): 381-640. [Editor link]

Peer reviewed articles and book chapters

[50] *Decombeix A-L, Boura A & Tomescu AMF. 2019. Plant hydraulic architecture through time: lessons and questions on the evolution of vascular systems. IAWA Journal 40: 387-420 [Editor link] [.pdf (low resolution plates)]

[49]*Tanrattana M, Barczi J-F, Decombeix A-L, Meyer-Berthaud B & Wilson JP. 2019. A new approach for modelling water transport in fossil plants. IAWA Journal 40: 466– 487 [Editor link]

[48] Terreaux de Félice H, *Decombeix A-L & Galtier J. 2019. Anatomy, affinities, and evolutionary implications of new silicified stems of Sphenophyllum from the early Carboniferous (Mississippian) of France and Germany. Geodiversitas 41 (14): 587-599 [Editor link (open access)]

[47] *Decombeix A-L, Galtier J, McLoughlin S, Meyer-Berthaud B, Webb GE & Blake PR. 2019. Early Carboniferous lignophyte tree diversity in Australia: woods from the Drummond and Yarrol Basins, Queensland. Review of Paleobotany and Palynology 263: 47-64 [editor link]

[46] *Tanrattana M, Meyer-Berthaud B & Decombeix A-L. 2019. Callixylon wendtii nov., a new species of archaeopteridalean progymnosperm from the Late Devonian of Anti-Atlas, Morocco. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 108: 373-385  [Editor link]

Continue reading “Publications”


Recent talks

(co)-advised students

Decombeix A-L, Galtier J & Broutin J. 2019. Evolution des flores européennes de la fin du Carbonifère à la fin du Permien. Journées spécialisées de la Société Géologique de France-Histoire Carbonifère Permien du domaine intertropical : couplage cycles externes et internes,  Rennes, France, 28-29/11/2019.

Decombeix A-L, Meyer-Berthaud B, Barczi J-F, Dambreville A & Tanrattana M. 2019. Using modeling to investigate the biology of fossil trees. Séminaires Models in Ecology and Evolution, Montpellier, France. 24-25/10/2019.

Decombeix A-L, Meyer-Berthaud B & Galtier J. 2019. Secondary vascular growth in Paleozoic plants: some advances and future directions. Jahrestagung der Paläontologischen Gesellschaft, Munich, Germany, 15-19/09/2019.

Decombeix A-L, Galtier J, Meyer-Berthaud B., Prestianni C, Harper CJ & Terreaux de Félice H. 2019. Anatomically preserved plants from the Tournaisian of the Montagne Noire (France): an exceptional window into Early Mississippian floras. 19th International Congress on the Carboniferous and Permian, Cologne, Germany, 28/07-2/08/2019.

Decombeix A-L, Ryberg PE, Serbet R & Taylor EL. 2019. Permian silicified trunks from Mt Sirius, Central Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica. Agora Paleobotanica meeting Lille, France. 11-13/7/2019. Continue reading “Communications”