Dr Jennifer Rowntree

Dr Jennifer Rowntree

Associate Professor in Ecological Genetics

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



I am an ecological geneticist with a background in plant ecology. I am interested in the genetics of species interactions and use molecular tools to answer ecological questions. I work across a wide variety of systems (plants, pollinators, herbivores, microbes) and biomes (temperate and tropical) and use molecular, experimental and field approaches to answer questions. Particular foci are the population and conservation genetics of plants (e.g. mangroves), the ex situ conservation of endangered plants (e.g. bryophytes and pitcher plants) and the improvement of biodiversity in human influenced environments (e.g. pollinators and rare plants in urban and agricultural settings).


2022-present, Associate Professor, University of Plymouth

2016-2021, Senior Lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University

2015-2016, Lecturer, University of Manchester

2011-2014, NERC Independent Research Fellow, University of York; University of Manchester

2007-2010, PDRA, University of Manchester

2004-2006, Conservation Officer, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

2000-2004, PhD Plant Ecology, University of Manchester

1999-2000, MSc Ecology, University of Aberdeen

1993-1997, BSc Chemistry with German (1st Class), University of Sussex

Roles on external bodies

Member of IUCN SSC for Bryophytes (ex situ expert)

NERC Peer Review College member

Royal Society International Exchanges Panel Member



Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Primary supervisor

2021 - John Paul Kennedy (PhD) - Genetic Insights into Climate-Driven Range Expansion of a Coastal Foundation Species - Manchester Metropolitan University

2021 - Marciana Galambao (PhD) - Population Genetics, Endosymbionts and Bunchy Top Virus - Studies of Banana Aphid (Pentalonia sp.) in the Philippines - Manchester Metropolitan University - Newton fund

2020 - Emily Schofield (PhD) - Temporal Dynamism, Soil Processes and Niche Complementary: Novel Approaches to Understanding Diversity-Function relationships - Manchester Metropolitan University - joint funding with the James Hutton Institute

2020 - Calum Bridson (PhD) - Interactions between Insect Gut Microbiota and the Environment - University of Manchester - BBSRC DTP

2019 - Graeme Fox (PhD) - Developments in Next-Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics for Ecological Genetics - Manchester Metropolitan University

2019 - Hayley Craig (PhD) - Factors Affecting the Composition, Diversity and Function of Bacterial Communities in Mangrove Soils - University of Manchester - NERC DTP

2017 - Katie Hunter (MPhil) - The Development of Molecular Techniques for the Conservation of Captive Elasmobranchs - University of Manchester

2013 - Richard Sands (MPhil) - Keeping the Bees Buzzing: Improving the Effectiveness of Nectar and Pollen Mixes - University of Manchester


Current - Xaali O'Reilly-Berkeley (PhD) Community Genetics in Complex Ecological Systems - Manchester Metropolitan University

Current - Jodies Bates (PhD) - Assessing the Bacterial Zoonotic Risks Associated with the Pet Trade - Manchester Metropolitan University - joint funding with World Animal Protection

2021 - Agnessa Lundy (MRes) - Rhizophora mangle (Red Mangrove) Population Genetic Structure in The Bahamas - Manchester Metropolitan University

2021 - Steven Canty (PhD) - Management of Marine Resources in the Mesoamerican Reef Ecosystem - Manchester Metropolitan University

2018 - Oliver Hughes (PhD) - Orchid-Mycorrhiza Relationships, Propagation of Terrestrial and Epiphytic Orchids from Seed - Manchester Metropolitan University - joint funding with Chester Zoo

2016 - Daniel Lopez (MPhil) - Terrestrial Mammal Communities in Tropical Rainforests of Ecuador - University of Manchester

Grants & contracts

2021-2025 - WATERZOO (Project partner, PI Andy Green), Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain - €164K

2021-2024 - UK Future Treescapes - Voices of the Future (CoI), NERC - FEC~£1.99M

2021 - KTP with I Want Plants (Co-I), Innovate UK - £178K

2020-2021 - Healthy Guts, Healthy Bees (PI with G Fox), Eva Crane - £11K

2019-2021 - Manchester Met Strategic Opportunities Fund PDRA (Dr Graeme Fox) (PI) - £90K

2019 - KTP with Buildchem (Co-I), Innovate/NERC funding - £217K

2017-2021 - Co-funded PhD studentship with World Animal Protection (Co-I; Jodie Bates) - £60K

2017-2020 - DOST-Newton Philippines PhD scholarship (PI; Marciana Galambao) - £54K

2016-2020 - Co-funded PhD studentship with the James Hutton Institute (PI; Emily Schofield) - £38K

2014 - NERC impact accelerator grant - FEC £15K

2013 - NERC impact accelerator grant - FEC £10K

2011-2014 - NERC Independent Research Fellowship FEC £359K



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Yando ES, Sloey TM, Dahdouh-Guebas F, Rogers K, Abuchahla GMO, Cannicci S, Canty SWJ, Jennerjahn TC, Ogurcak DE & Adams JB (2021) 'Conceptualizing ecosystem degradation using mangrove forests as a model system' Biological Conservation 263, 109355-109355 , DOI
Harrison XA, McDevitt AD, Dunn JC, Griffiths SM, Benvenuto C, Birtles R, Boubli JP, Bown K, Bridson C & Brooks DR (2021) 'Fungal microbiomes are determined by host phylogeny and exhibit widespread associations with the bacterial microbiome' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 288, (1957) 20210552-20210552 , DOI
Kennedy JP, Antwis RE, Preziosi RF & Rowntree JK (2021) 'Evidence for the genetic similarity rule at an expanding mangrove range limit' American Journal of Botany 108, (8) 1331-1342 , DOI
Erazo-Garcia MP, Guadalupe JJ, Rowntree JK, Borja-Serrano P, Espinosa de los Monteros-Silva N & Torres MDL (2021) 'Assessing the Genetic Diversity of Ilex guayusa Loes., a Medicinal Plant from the Ecuadorian Amazon' Diversity 13, (5) 182-182 , DOI
Rowntree JK, Dean C, Morrison F, Brooker RW & Price EAC (2021) 'Arable wildflowers have potential as living mulches for sustainable agriculture' Plant Ecology & Diversity 14, (1-2) 93-104 , DOI
Canty SWJ, Fox G, Rowntree JK & Preziosi RF (2021) 'Genetic structure of a remnant Acropora cervicornis population' Scientific Reports 11, (1) , DOI
Craig H, Antwis RE, Cordero I, Ashworth D, Robinson CH, Osborne TZ, Bardgett RD, Rowntree JK & Simpson LT (2021) 'Nitrogen addition alters composition, diversity, and functioning of microbial communities in mangrove soils: An incubation experiment' Soil Biology and Biochemistry 153, 108076-108076 , DOI
Kennedy JP, Sammy JM, Rowntree JK & Preziosi RF (2021) 'Mating system variation in neotropical black mangrove, Avicennia germinans, at three spatial scales towards an expanding northern distributional limit' Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 248, 106754-106754 , DOI
Vega-Polo P, Cobo MM, Argudo A, Gutierrez B, Rowntree J & Torres MDL (2020) 'Characterizing the genetic diversity of the Andean blueberry (Vaccinium floribundum Kunth.) across the Ecuadorian Highlands' PLOS ONE 15, (12) e0243420-e0243420 , DOI
Urquía D, Pozo G, Gutierrez B, Rowntree JK & Torres MDL (2020) 'Understanding the genetic diversity of the guayabillo (Psidium galapageium), an endemic plant of the Galapagos Islands' Global Ecology and Conservation 24, e01350-e01350 , DOI
Craig H, Kennedy JP, Devlin DJ, Bardgett RD & Rowntree JK (2020) 'Effects of maternal genotypic identity and genetic diversity of the red mangrove Rhizophora mangle on associated soil bacterial communities: A field‐based experiment' Ecology and Evolution 10, (24) 13957-13967 , DOI
Kennedy JP, Dangremond EM, Hayes MA, Preziosi RF, Rowntree JK & Feller IC (2020) 'Hurricanes overcome migration lag and shape intraspecific genetic variation beyond a poleward mangrove range limit' Molecular Ecology 29, (14) 2583-2597 , DOI
(2020) 'Publisher's note: “ Mating system variation in neotropical black mangrove, Avicennia germinans, at three spatial scales towards an expanding northern distributional limit”' Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 238, 106712-106712 , DOI
D'Cruze N, Bates J, Assou D, Ronfot D, Coulthard E, Segniagbeto GH, Auliya M, Megson D & Rowntree J (2020) 'A preliminary assessment of bacteria in “ranched” ball pythons (Python regius), Togo, West Africa' Nature Conservation 39, 73-86 , DOI
Kennedy JP, Craig H, Jara-Cavieres A, Lundy A, Preziosi RF & Rowntree JK (2020) 'Multiplex microsatellite PCR panels for the neotropical red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle: combining efforts towards a cost-effective and modifiable tool to better inform conservation and management' Conservation Genetics Resources 12, (3) 503-513 , DOI
Kennedy JP, Preziosi RF, Rowntree JK & Feller IC (2020) 'Is the central‐marginal hypothesis a general rule? Evidence from three distributions of an expanding mangrove species,Avicennia germinans(L.) L' Molecular Ecology 29, (4) 704-719 , DOI
Friess DA, Yando ES, Abuchahla GMO, Adams JB, Cannicci S, Canty SWJ, Cavanaugh KC, Connolly RM, Cormier N & Dahdouh-Guebas F (2020) 'Mangroves give cause for conservation optimism, for now' Current Biology 30, (4) R153-R154 , DOI
Green J, Coulthard E, Megson D, Norrey J, Norrey L, Rowntree JK, Bates J, Dharmpaul B, Auliya M & D’Cruze N (2020) 'Blind Trading: A Literature Review of Research Addressing the Welfare of Ball Pythons in the Exotic Pet Trade' Animals 10, (2) 193-193 , DOI
Schofield EJ, Brooker RW, Rowntree JK, Price EAC, Brearley FQ & Paterson E (2019) 'Plant-plant competition influences temporal dynamism of soil microbial enzyme activity' Soil Biology and Biochemistry 139, 107615-107615 , DOI
Griffiths SM, Galambao M, Rowntree J, Goodhead I, Hall J, O’Brien D, Atkinson N & Antwis RE (2019) 'Complex associations between cross‐kingdom microbial endophytes and host genotype in ash dieback disease dynamics' Journal of Ecology 108, (1) 291-309 , DOI
Fox G, Preziosi RF, Antwis RE, Benavides-Serrato M, Combe FJ, Harris WE, Hartley IR, Kitchener AC, de Kort SR & Nekaris A (2019) 'Multi‐individual microsatellite identification: A multiple genome approach to microsatellite design (MiMi)' Molecular Ecology Resources 19, (6) 1672-1680 , DOI
Schofield EJ, Rowntree JK, Paterson E, Brewer MJ, Price EAC, Brearley FQ & Brooker RW (2019) 'Cultivar Differences and Impact of Plant-Plant Competition on Temporal Patterns of Nitrogen and Biomass Accumulation' Frontiers in Plant Science 10, , DOI
Rowntree JK & Craig H (2018) 'The contrasting roles of host species diversity and parasite population genetic diversity in the infection dynamics of a keystone parasitic plant' Journal of Ecology 107, (1) 23-33 , DOI
Canty SWJ, Preziosi RF & Rowntree JK (2018) 'Dichotomy of mangrove management: A review of research and policy in the Mesoamerican reef region' Ocean & Coastal Management 157, 40-49 , DOI
Schofield EJ, Rowntree JK, Paterson E & Brooker RW (2018) 'Temporal Dynamism of Resource Capture: A Missing Factor in Ecology?' Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33, (4) 277-286 , DOI
Delgado E, Pacheco LF, Salazar-Bravo J & Rocha O (2018) 'Rediscovery of the chinchilla in Bolivia' Oryx 52, (1) 13-14 , DOI
D'Cruze N, Singh B, Mookerjee A, Macdonald DW, Hunter K, Brassey CA, Rowntree J, Megson S, Megson D & Fox G (2018) 'What's in a name? Wildlife traders evade authorities using code words' Oryx 52, (1) 13-13 , DOI
Ramirez KS, Knight CG, de Hollander M, Brearley FQ, Constantinides B, Cotton A, Creer S, Crowther TW, Davison J & Delgado-Baquerizo M (2017) 'Detecting macroecological patterns in bacterial communities across independent studies of global soils' Nature Microbiology 3, (2) 189-196 , DOI
Stevenson CR, Davies C & Rowntree JK (2017) 'Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes: The effect of apple cultivar on epiphyte diversity' Ecology and Evolution 7, (4) 1250-1258 , DOI
Sands RJ & Rowntree JK (2016) 'Interactions between the Bumblebee Bombus pascuorum and Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) Are Mediated by Plant Genetic Background' PLOS ONE 11, (8) e0161327-e0161327 , DOI
Rowntree JK, Fisher Barham D, Stewart AJA & Hartley SE (2014) 'The effect of multiple host species on a keystone parasitic plant and its aphid herbivores' Functional Ecology 28, (4) 829-836 , DOI
Rowntree JK, Zytynska SE, Frantz L, Hurst B, Johnson A & Preziosi RF (2014) 'The genetics of indirect ecological effects—plant parasites and aphid herbivores' Frontiers in Genetics 5, , DOI
Zytynska SE, Frantz L, Hurst B, Johnson A, Preziosi RF & Rowntree JK (2013) 'Host-plant genotypic diversity and community genetic interactions mediate aphid spatial distribution' Ecology and Evolution 4, (2) 121-131 , DOI
Bailey JK, Genung MA, O’Reilly-Wapstra J, Potts B, Rowntree J, Schweitzer JA & Whitham TG (2011) 'New frontiers in community and ecosystem genetics for theory, conservation, and management' New Phytologist 193, (1) 24-26 , DOI
SPRINGATE DA, SCARCELLI N, ROWNTREE J & KOVER PX (2011) 'Correlated response in plasticity to selection for early flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana' Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24, (10) 2280-2288 , DOI
Rowntree JK, Shuker DM & Preziosi RF (2011) 'Forward from the crossroads of ecology and evolution' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366, (1569) 1322-1328 , DOI
Rowntree JK, Cameron DD & Preziosi RF (2011) 'Genetic variation changes the interactions between the parasitic plant-ecosystem engineer Rhinanthus and its hosts' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366, (1569) 1380-1388 , DOI
Rowntree JK, Pressel S, Ramsay MM, Sabovljevic A & Sabovljevic M (2010) 'In vitro conservation of European bryophytes' In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Plant 47, (1) 55-64 , DOI
Rowntree JK, McVennon A & Preziosi RF (2010) 'Plant genotype mediates the effects of nutrients on aphids' Oecologia 163, (3) 675-679 , DOI
Kover PX, Rowntree JK, Scarcelli N, Savriama Y, Eldridge T & Schaal BA (2009) 'Pleiotropic effects of environment‐specific adaptation inArabidopsis thaliana' New Phytologist 183, (3) 816-825 , DOI
Rowntree JK, Cowan RS, Leggett M, Ramsay MM & Fay MF (2009) 'Which moss is which? Identification of the threatened moss Orthodontium gracile using molecular and morphological techniques' Conservation Genetics 11, (3) 1033-1042 , DOI
Rowntree JK & Ramsay MM (2008) 'How bryophytes came out of the cold: successful cryopreservation of threatened species' Biodiversity and Conservation 18, (5) 1413-1420 , DOI
Rowntree JK, Duckett JG, Mortimer CL, Ramsay MM & Pressel S (2007) 'Formation of Specialized Propagules Resistant to Desiccation and Cryopreservation in the Threatened Moss Ditrichum plumbicola (Ditrichales, Bryopsida)' Annals of Botany 100, (3) 483-496 , DOI
Rowntree JK (2006) 'Development of novel methods for the initiation of in vitro bryophyte cultures for conservation' Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture 87, (2) 191-201 , DOI
Sarasan V, Cripps R, Ramsay MM, Atherton C, McMichen M, Prendergast G & Rowntree JK (2006) 'Conservation In vitro of threatened plants—Progress in the past decade' In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Plant 42, (3) 206-214 , DOI
Rowntree JK & Sheffield E (2005) 'Effects of asulam spraying on non-target ferns' Canadian Journal of Botany 83, (12) 1622-1629 , DOI
Rowntree JK, Sheffield E & Burch J (2005) 'Growth and Development of Mosses are Inhibited by the Common Herbicide Asulam' The Bryologist 108, (2) 287-294 , DOI
Cameron DD, Hwangbo J-K, Keith AM, Geniez J-M, Kraushaar D, Rowntree J & Seel WE (2005) 'Interactions between the hemiparasitic angiospermRhinanthus minor and its hosts: From the cell to the ecosystem' Folia Geobotanica 40, (2-3) 217-229 , DOI
ROWNTREE JK (2003) 'Exposure to Asulox Inhibits the Growth of Mosses' Annals of Botany 92, (4) 547-556 , DOI
Schoener TW, Moya-Laraño J, Rowntree J & Woodward G (2014) Preface. 50, DOI
Khudr MS, Potter T, Rowntree J & Preziosi RF (2014) 'Community Genetic and Competition Effects in a Model Pea Aphid System' Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics Elsevier 243-265 , DOI
Schoener TW, Moya-Laraño J, Rowntree J & Woodward G (2014) 'Preface' Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics Elsevier xiii-xxii , DOI
Moya-Laraño J, Verdeny-Vilalta O, Rowntree J, Melguizo-Ruiz N, Montserrat M & Laiolo P (2012) 'Climate Change and Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics in Food Webs' Advances in Ecological Research Elsevier 1-80 , DOI