Doctor Renée Marchin Prokopavicius

Renee Marchin ProkopaviciusDr. Renée Marchin Prokopavicius joined Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) in August 2017. She currently works with Professor David Ellsworth on the Which Plant Where? project, researching how to create urban green spaces that are resilient to future heat waves and drought. She is determining the thermal and drought tolerances of current and potential horticultural plant species/varieties.

Dr Prokopavicius' research aims to improve predictions of the effects of climate change on terrestrial and urban ecosystems. Two global changes that affect plant productivity are increasing temperature and drought. She primarily uses ecophysiological approaches to understand how plant traits determine which species or genotypes succeed in changing environments. Her research has focused on plant traits related to water relations and growth, such as photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration, and water use efficiency. She has worked in a diverse range of terrestrial ecosystems, from temperate forests to subalpine grasslands to agricultural cropping systems.

Dr Prokopavicius has recently completed a postdoc at the University of Sydney, where she studied how climate change is affecting carbon fluxes of mountain grasslands in the Snowy Mountains, Australia. She obtained her PhD in 2013 from North Carolina State University, where she studied how phenology and transpiration of temperate forests will be affected by warming. She has also worked as a Rangeland Technician for the Bureau of Land Management in California, USA to monitor the effectiveness of efforts to restore degraded aspen stands to the landscape.

Areas of research/teaching expertise

Plant ecology, plant physiology, climate change biology, phenology, warming, drought, photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration, chlorophyll fluorescence, eddy covariance

Awards and Recognition

  • Kenneth R. Keller Award (2014) for Doctoral Research, North Carolina State University
  • Graduate student invitation to the 1st INTERFACE Meeting (2011), Captiva Island, FL, USA


  • Africana Studies Project Scholarship (2011), $750 USD
  • EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship (2010), $111,000 USD
  • Benjamin Hall and Margaret Hall Foundation Scholarship (2005), $2500 USD
  • KSR Small Grants Program, University of Kansas Field Station (2005), $340 USD

Selected publications

Esperon-Rodriguez M, Rymer PD, Power SA, Challis A, Marchin RM, Tjoelker MG, (2020) 'Functional adaptations and trait plasticity of urban trees along a climatic gradient', Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, vol.54, Article no.126771

Marchin RM, Ossola A, Leishman MR, Ellsworth DS, (2020) 'A Simple Method for Simulating Drought Effects on Plants', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.10, Article no.1715

Marchin RM, McHugh I, Simpson RR, Ingram LJ, Balas DS, Evans BJ, Adams MA, (2018) 'Productivity of an Australian mountain grassland is limited by temperature and dryness despite long growing seasons', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.256, pp 116-124

Marchin RM, Turnbull TL, Deheinzelin AI, Adams MA, (2017) 'Does triacylglycerol (TAG) serve a photoprotective function in plant leaves? An examination of leaf lipids under shading and drought', Physiologia Plantarum, vol.161, no.3, pp 400-413

Marchin RM, Broadhead AA, Bostic LE, Dunn RR, Hoffmann WA, (2016) 'Stomatal acclimation to vapor pressure deficit doubles transpiration of small tree seedlings with warming', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.39, pp 2221-2234

Marchin RM, Salk CF, Hoffmann WA, Dunn RR, (2015) 'Temperature alone does not explain phenological variation of diverse temperate plants under experimental warming', Global Change Biology, vol.21, pp 3138-3151

Marchin RM, Dunn RR, Hoffmann WA, (2014) 'Are winter-active species vulnerable to climate warming? A case study with the wintergreen terrestrial orchid, Tipularia discolor', Oecologia, vol.176, pp 1161-1172

Hoffmann WA, Marchin RM, Abit PP, Lau OL, (2011) 'Hydraulic failure and tree dieback are associated with high wood density in a temperate forest under extreme drought', Global Change Biology, vol.17, pp 2731-2742

Marchin RM, Zeng H, Hoffmann WA, (2010) 'Drought-deciduous behavior reduces nutrient losses from temperate deciduous trees under severe drought', Oecologia, vol.163, pp 845-854