Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Sarah Newberry
Totengässlein 3
4051 Basel

Phone: +41 (0) 61 207 29 88





Research interests

My principle research interests lie in the field of plant physiology, specifically investigating the effects of microclimate on photosynthetic assimilation and the compound-specific isotopic composition of epicuticular leaf wax lipids and their potential use as biomarkers. I believe that although controlled growth experiments are vital in the understanding of the processes that contribute to the D-enrichment signals of modern vegetation, fully investigating the hypotheses proposed from these, within natural ecosystems, is key in understanding the true mechanistic processes involved.

Professional experience

11/2013 - ongoing: Postdoctoral research assistant University of Basel. Working on the ALPWAX project with the key goal of developing a an ISOSCAPE from compound-specific hydrogen isotope data from plant molecular biomarkers to mechanistically asses the spatial variability of leaf wax lipid hydrogen isotopic composition in plants, soils and sediments within an alpine watershed.
10/2009 – 08/2013:
NERC funded PhD student at The University of East Anglia, Department of Environmental Science, Norwich, England. Thesis addressed the potential spatial and temporal variation in the compound-specific hydrogen isotopic composition of leaf wax lipids in natural field-grown trees.
Expedition leader and head arboralist; Ecophsysiological studies above and below the alpine treeline of Subarctic Finnish Lapland.
09/2005 – 07/2009:
BSc (Hons) Ecological Science (Ecology), University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Newberry SL, Kahmen A, Dennis P, Grant A (in press) n-Alkane biosynthetic hydrogen isotope fractionation is not constant throughout the growing season in the riparian tree Salix viminalis. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

Tuomas Askala, Pertti Hari, Sigrid Dengel, Sarah L. Newberry, Toshie Mizunuma and John Grace (2014) A prominent stepwise advance of the tree line in north-east Finland. Journal of Ecology, Volume 102, Issue 6, pages 1582-1591

Dengel, S., Grace, J., Aakala, T., Hari, P., Newberry, S.L., Mizunuma, T. 2013. Spectral characteristics of pine needles at the limit of tree growth in subarctic Finland. Plant Ecology and Diversity.