circle2018I 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.

Wordcloud from abstracts of recent papers and talks (https://www.wordclouds.com)


Current position

  • C.N.R.S. Research Scientist| UMR AMAP, Montpellier (2011-present)
  • Research Associate (adjunct) | University of Kansas -Biodiversity Institute (2015-present)

Education & previous positions

2018 HDR (habilitation) | Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
2008-2011 Postdoc in Paleobotany | University of Kansas.
2007 PhD, Paleontology, Paleobiology, Phylogeny | Université de Montpellier.
2004 DEA (≈ MSc.), Paleontology, Paleobiology, Phylogeny | Université de Montpellier
2003 Maitrise, Population and Ecosystem Biology | Université Toulouse 3.
2002 Licence (BSc), Organismal and Population Biology | Université Toulouse 3.

Other selected info

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

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 and for plants from the supercontinent Gondwana –the southern continents of today.  My research objectives revolve around three complementary lines of investigation:

(1) Systematics: we use morphological and anatomical characters of fossil plants to document past systematic diversity and understand the origin and diversification of key groups of plants.

(2) Fossil plant biology: we combine morpho-anatomical evidence from fossils with data on extant plants to reconstruct different functionnal traits (growth habit, architecture, sprouting ability, hydraulic and mechanical properties, etc.)

(3) Processes underlying plant diversity: we investigate how evolutionnary and paleoenvironmental factors (climate, geography, biological crises, …) impact the systematic and functionnal diversity of plants through time.

synthese activités recherche

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.



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

[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]

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Ludwig LUTHARDT– Postdoctoral researcherDFG Research Fellowship (2019-2021).
Diversity, functionality and evolution of early Permian medullosan seed ferns: vegetation-climate interactions in a seasonally dry in-situ habitat of early Permian age [see abstract]

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