Dr Charlotte Seal

Research Leader

Charlotte Seal

Trait Diversity and Function


Seed and Stress Biology


Germination ecology, resilience to climate change, salinity, seed functional traits, stress tolerance mechanisms.

I am a Research Leader in the Seed and Stress Biology group, and my research is focussed on seed functional traits that underpin natural plant regeneration.

My primary interest is in germination niche requirements to temperature, drought and salinity, and how these may change under climate change scenarios.

Underlying stress tolerance mechanisms in seeds (e.g., oxidative stress) and the impact that the maternal environment has on important biochemical traits, such as seed oil content, are also of interest.

With a focus on biodiversity, I study a global spectrum of wild and crop species at the inter- and intra-species level, and collaborate with scientists from all over the world, from academic researchers to seed companies.

  • DPhil, Univ. Sussex, 2003
  • BSc (Hons), University of Sussex, 1999
  • Associate Editor of Biological Flora of the British Isles (Journal of Ecology)
  • Associate Editor, Plant Biology

Szymansky, C.M., Muscolo, A., Yeo, M., Colville, L., Clatworthy, I., Salge, T. & Seal, C.E. (2021).

Elemental localisation and a reduced glutathione redox state protect seeds of the halophyte Suaeda maritima from salinity during over-wintering and germination.

Environmental and Experimental Botany 190: 104569.

Dantas, B.F., Moura, M.S., Pelacani, C.R., Angelotti, F., Taura, T.A., Oliveira, G.M., Bispo, J.S., Matias, J.R., Silva, F.F., Pritchard, H.W. & Seal, C.E. (2020)

Rainfall, not soil temperature, will limit the seed germination of dry forest species with climate change.

Oecologia 192: 529-541.

Seal, C.E., Barwell, L.J., Flowers, T.J., Wade, E.M. & Pritchard, H.W. (2018)

Seed germination niche of the halophyte Suaeda maritima to combined salinity and temperature is characterised by a halothermal time model.

Environmental and Experimental Botany 155: 177-184.

Seal, C.E., Daws, M.I., Flores, J., Ortega‐Baes, P., Galíndez, G., León‐Lobos, P., Sandoval, A., Ceroni Stuva, A., Ramírez Bullón, N., Dávila‐Aranda, P., Ordoñez‐Salanueva, C.A.. (2017).

Thermal buffering capacity of the germination phenotype across the environmental envelope of the Cactaceae.

Global Change Biology 23: 5309-5317.

Kranner, I., Minibayeva, F.V., Beckett, R.P., Seal, C.E. (2010).

What is stress? Concepts, definitions and applications in seed science.

New Phytologist, 188: 655-673.

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