Dr Nicola Kühn
Future Leader Fellow
Spatial Analysis and Data Science
Climate change ecology, biogeography, functional traits, belowground traits, trait-environment relations, remote-sensing, drylands, southern Africa.
I am interested in how vegetation responds to climate change. My research focuses on understanding the climatic and environmental drivers of plant form, function and spatial distribution and asks: which are the key plant traits that influence ecological resilience and/or sensitivity to climate change? I have a keen interest in the often neglected belowground root dimension of plants, especially in the context of water resources in drylands such as southern Africa. Further interests include relating this theory to food system applications with a current focus on underutilised edible foods which hold potential to be local, climate-smart food security solutions. For my research I collect data from fieldwork, online databases, existing studies and remote-sensing to analyse multi-scalar ecological relationships with statistical and spatial modelling techniques.
- DPhil (PhD): “Vegetation response to climate change: a functional trait-based approach”, University of Oxford, 2021
- MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, University of Oxford, 2015
- BSc postgraduate Honours in Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, 2013
- BSc, Applied Biology and Ecology & Evolution, University of Cape Town, 2012
Science-based conservation of tree species in Mexico
Supporting reforestation through seed conservation - a collaborative research programme between the Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, UNAM, México and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for the conservation of useful tree species in Mexico.
Belowground Futures: Aridity tolerance of wild edible yams in Western Madagascar
This project researches the tolerance of wild edible yams to drier climates and helps to enhance food security in rural communities of Western Madagascar.
Kühn, N., Spiegel, MP., Tovar, C., Willis, KJ., Macia-Fauria M. (2022)
Seeing roots from space: aboveground fingerprints of root depth in vegetation sensitivity to climate in dry biomes
Environmental Research Letters 17(11)
Kühn, N. (2022)
Vegetation response to climate change: a functional traits-based approach
PhD Thesis, University of Oxford
Kühn, N., Tovar, C., Carretero, J., Vandvik, V., Enquist, B.J. and Willis, K.J., (2021)
Globally important plant functional traits for coping with climate change.
Frontiers of Biogeography, 13(4).
Pironon, S., Etherington, T.R., Borrell, J.S., Kühn, N., Macias-Fauria, M., Ondo, I., Tovar, C., Wilkin, P. and Willis, K.J., (2019)
Potential adaptive strategies for 29 sub-Saharan crops under future climate.
Nature Climate Change. 9(10), 758-763.
Satori, D., Tovar, C., Faruk, A., Hammond Hunt, E., Muller, G., Cockel, C., Kühn, N., Leitch, I.J., Lulekal, E., Pereira, L. and Ryan, P., (2021)
Prioritising crop wild relatives to enhance agricultural resilience in sub‐Saharan Africa under climate change.
Plants, People, Planet. Nature Climate Change, 9(10), pp.758-763.
Tellez, O., Mattana, E., Diazgranados, M., Kühn, N., Castillo-Lorenzo, E., Lira, R., Montes-Leyva, L., Rodriguez, I., Ortiz, C.M.F., Way, M. and Dávila, P., (2020).
Native trees of Mexico: Diversity, distribution, uses and conservation.
PeerJ, 8, p.e9898.
Adolf, C., Tovar, C., Kühn, N., Behling, H., Berrío, J.C., Dominguez-Vázquez, G., Figueroa-Rangel, B., Gonzalez-Carranza, Z., Islebe, G.A., Hooghiemstra, H. and Neff, H., (2020)
Identifying drivers of forest resilience in long-term records from the Neotropics.
Biology letters, 16(4), p.20200005.
Kühn, N., Midgley, J. and Steenhuisen, S.L., (2017)
Reproductive biology of three co-occurring, primarily small-mammal pollinated Protea species (Proteaceae).
South African Journal of Botany, 113, pp.337-345.
Get in touch
020 8332 5068