My current research activities are focused on plant morphology. I am interested in quantifying the morphology of plants, investigating the physiological and environmental consequences of morphological variation between individuals and between taxa, and classifying plants on the basis of their morphological characteristics. I work with both living plants and material from the plant fossil record, which represents a vast archive of morphological novelties and natural design solutions that have been produced over the course of evolutionary time. In this context, I am particularly interested in the evolution of tropical rainforests, which are among the most complex ecosytems on Earth. I have worked mostly with pollen grains, which are morphologically fascinating objects with an outstanding fossil record, but I am now also working with the leaves of vascular plants. Recent papers have presented a combinatorial morphospace for angiosperm pollen and algorithmic methods to quantify self-organised vegetation patterns in dryland ecosystems.
24. Mander, L., Punyasena, S.W. Fossil pollen and spores in paleoecology. In D.A. Croft, S.W. Simpson, & D.F. Su (eds.), Methods in Paleoecology: Reconstructing Cenozoic Terrestrial Environments and Ecological Communities. Springer (Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series), Dordrecht. In Press.
23. Mander L., Dekker S.C., Li M., Mio W., Punyasena S.W. & Lenton T.M. A morphometric analysis of vegetation patterns in dryland ecosystems. Royal Society Open Science, 4, 160443.
22. Mander L. A combinatorial approach to angiosperm pollen morphology. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 283, 20162033.
21. Sivaguru M., Urban M.A., Fried G., Wesseln C.J., Mander L. & Punyasena S.W. Comparative performance of Airyscan and Structured Illumination Super-resolution Microscopy in the study of the surface texture and 3D shape of pollen. Microscopy Research and Technique.
20. Porada P., Lenton T.M., Pohl A., Weber B., Mander L., Donnadieu Y., Beer C., Pöschl U. & Kleidon A. High potential for weathering and climate effects of non-vascular vegetation in the Late Ordovician. Nature Communications, 7, 12113.
19. Mander L. & Punyasena, S.W. Grass pollen surface ornamentation: a review of morphotypes and taxonomic utility. Journal of Micropalaeontology, 35, 121–124.
18. Looy C.V., Stevenson R.A., Van Hoof T.B. & Mander L. Evidence for coal forest refugia in the seasonally dry Pennsylvanian tropical lowlands of the Illinois Basin, USA. PeerJ, 2, e630.
17. Mander L., Rodriguez J., Mueller P.G., Jackson S.T. & Punyasena S.W. Identifying the pollen of an extinct spruce species in the Late Quaternary sediments of the Tunica Hills region, south-eastern United States. Journal of Quaternary Science, 29, 711–721.
16. Mander L. & Punyasena S.W. On the taxonomic resolution of pollen and spore records of Earth’s vegetation. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 175, 931–945.
15. Mander L., Baker S., Belcher C.M., Haselhorst D.S., Rodriguez J., Thorn J.L., Tiwari S., Urrego D.H., Wesseln C.J. & Punyasena S.W. The accuracy and consistency of grass pollen identification by human analysts using electron micrographs of surface ornamentation. Applications in Plant Sciences, 2, 1400031.
14. Kürschner W.M., Mander L. & McElwain J.C. A gymnosperm affinity for Ricciisporites tuberculatus Lundblad: implications for vegetation and environmental reconstructions in the Late Triassic. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 94, 295–305.
13. Mander L., Li M., Mio W., Fowlkes C.C. & Punyasena, S.W. Classification of grass pollen through the quantitative analysis of surface ornamentation and texture. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 280, 20131905.
12. Kürschner W.M., Batenburg S.J. & Mander L. Aberrant Classopollis pollen reveals evidence for unreduced (2n) pollen in the conifer family Cheirolepidiaceae during the Triassic–Jurassic transition. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 280, 20131708.
11. Mander L., Kürschner W.M. & McElwain J.C. Palynostratigraphy and vegetation history of the Triassic–Jurassic transition in East Greenland. Journal of the Geological Society, London, 170, 37–46.
10. Mander L., Wesseln C.J., McElwain J.C. & Punyasena S.W. Tracking taphonomic regimes using chemical and mechanical damage of pollen and spores: an example from the Triassic–Jurassic mass extinction. PLoS ONE, 7, e49153.
9. Sivaguru M., Mander L., Fried G. & Punyasena S.W. Capturing the shape and surface texture of pollen: a comparison of microscopy techniques. PLoS ONE, 7, e39129.
8. Mander L., Collinson M.E., Chaloner W.G., Brain A.P.R. & Long D.G. The ultrastructure and botanical affinity of the problematic mid-Mesozoic palynomorph Ricciisporites tuberculatus Lundblad. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 173, 429–440.
7. Belcher C.M. & Mander L. Catastrophe: Extraterrestrial impacts, massive volcanism and the biosphere. In: A. Henderson-Sellers & K. McGuffie (Eds). The Future of the World’s Climate, pp. 463–485, Elsevier, Amsterdam, (ISBN 9780123869173).
6. Mander L. Taxonomic resolution of the Triassic–Jurassic sporomorph record in East Greenland. Journal of Micropalaeontology, 30, 107–118.
5. Mander L., Kürschner W.M. & McElwain J.C. An explanation for conflicting records of Triassic–Jurassic plant diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 107, 15351–15356.
4. Belcher C.M., Mander L., Rein G., Jervis F.X., Haworth M., Hesselbo S.P., Glasspool I.J. & McElwain J.C. Increased fire activity at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary in Greenland due to climate-driven floral change. Nature Geoscience, 3, 426–429.
3. Mander L. & Twitchett R.J. Quality of the Triassic–Jurassic bivalve fossil record in northwest Europe. Palaeontology, 51, 1213–1223.
2. Radley J.D., Twitchett R.J., Mander L. & Cope J.C.W. Discussion on palaeoecology of the Late Triassic extinction event in the SW UK. Journal of the Geological Society, London, 165, 988–992.
1. Mander L., Twitchett R.J. & Benton M.J. Palaeoecology of the Late Triassic extinction event in the SW UK. Journal of the Geological Society, London, 165, 319–332.