Research interests

Plant Biogeography, Ecology, and Evolution, linking species niche and distribution to evolutionary processes on the landscape and functional traits, addressing intriguing questions that can deepen our understanding in mechanisms and patterns promoting biodiversity in various scales, using interdisciplinary approaches.

Professional experience

Sept 2022- Current University of Basel: Scientific collaborator. Various projects focusing on niche limits versus range limits in the Brassicaceae family
Jan 2020 - Current University of Bern: Scientific collaborator. Project: Mountains as cradles or museums of genetic and metabolic diversity. Project: Spatial patterns of genomic variation in Biscutella laevigata.
Aug 2021-Dec 2021 University of Fribourg, Switzerland: Postdoctoral Researcher & guest lecturer (Bachelors and Masters level) group of Ecology and Evolution, Prof Dr Christian Parisod    
Feb 2017 - June 2019 University of Basel, Switzerland: Postdoctoral Researcher, , group of Plant Ecology and Evolution, Prof Dr Yvonne Willi. Project: Climatic drivers of Brassicaceae species distribution along elevation within an evolutionary context
Jan 2017 - May 2020 External collaborator of University of Leida, Spain, Prof Jordi Voltas, Dr Tamir Klein, Dr Tatiana Shestakova, Dr Giovanni Di Matteo. Project FuturPin: Trade-offs among life-history and ecophysiological traits defining adaptive syndromes in a set of forest species (Iberian pines)

Academic education

2011 - 2015 University of Zurich Switzerland, Doctor of Natural Sciences. Thesis title: The role of climatic islands in the sky in the persistence of plant species under past and future climate change. Plant Science and Policy Program, project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Grant Nr: 132471). Supervisors: Prof Dr. Elena Conti, Dr Christophe Randin
2008 - 2009 University of Birmingham, Master of Research (MRes), Conservation and Utilisation of Plant Genetic Resources
2001 - 2007 Agricultural University of Athens, Master of Science (MSc), Agronomy and Crop Science


•    Fondation Afenduli (2020-2022) research grant
•    Georges and Antoine Claraz-Schenkung (2014) congress financial support
•    Georges and Antoine Claraz-Schenkung (2012) field work support
•    Full scholarship from ‘Aristides Daskalopoulos’ Foundation (2008) awarded for Master studies


Augustujnen H, Patsiou TS,Lucek K (2022) Secondary contact rather than coexistence - Erebia butterflies in the Alps. Evolution.

Patsiou TS, Walden N, Willi Y (2021) What drives species distribution along elevation gradients? Macroecoloical and evolutionary insights from Brassicaceae species of the central Alps. Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Lucek K, Butlin R, Patsiou TS (2020) Secondary contact zones of closely‐related Erebia butterflies overlap with narrow phenotypic and parasitic clines. Journal of Evolutionary Biology.

Patsiou TS, Shestakova TA, Klein T, Di Matteo GD, Sbay H, Chambel R, Zas R, Voltas J (2020) Intraspecific responses to climate reveal nonintuitive warming impacts on a widespread thermophilic conifer. New Phytologist. with commentary by Peterson M.

Lucek K, Patsiou TS, Galli A, Gurten S, Hohmann N, Maccagni A, Willi Y (2019) Metabarcoding of honey to assess differences in plant-pollinator interactions and vegetation between urban and non-urban sites, Apidologie, 50, 317–329.

Theodoridis S, Patsiou TS, Randin CF, Conti E (2018) Forecasting range shifts of a cold‐adapted  under climate change: are genomic and ecological diversity within species crucial for future resilience? Ecography, 41, 1357-1369.

Voltas J, Shestakova T, Patsiou TS, Di Matteo D, Klein T (2018) Ecotypic variation and stability in growth performance of the thermophilic conifer Pinus halepensis across the Mediterranean basin. Forest Ecology and Management, 424, 205–215.

Patsiou TS, Conti E, Theodoridis S, et al. (2017) The contribution of cold air pooling to the distribution of a rare and endemic plant of the Alps. Plant Ecology & Diversity 1–14, doi:10.1080/17550874.2017.1302997

Theodoridis S, Randin C, Szövényi P, Boucher FC, Patsiou TS, Conti E (2016) How do cold-adapted plants respond to climatic cycles? Interglacial expansion explains current distribution and genomic diversity in primula farinosa L. Systematic Biology 1–22, doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syw114

Patsiou TS, Conti E, Zimmermann NE, Theodoridis S, Randin CF (2014) Topo-climatic microrefugia explain the persistence of a rare endemic plant in the Alps during the last 21 millennia. Global change biology 20:2286–2300

Wingen LU, Orford S, Goram R, et al. (2014) Establishing the A. E. Watkins landrace cultivar collection as a resource for systematic gene discovery in bread wheat. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 127:1831–1842

Theodoridis S, Randin CF, Broennimann O, Patsiou T; Conti E (2013) Divergent and narrower climatic niches characterize polyploid species of European primroses in Primula sect. Aleuritia. Journal of Biogeography 40:1278-1289.

Teaching experience

•    Semester course in Global change HS 2021, UE-SBL.20036 course on Master in Ecology and Evolution, University of Fribourg. Lecturer of theory and practical 14hrs plus preparation of the course material
•    Semester course in Ecology HS 2021, UE-SBL.00013 Bachelor in Ecology, University of Fribourg. Lecturer of theory and practical 7hrs plus preparation of the course material
•    Block-course: Ecology and Conservation Biology FS 2018 and FS 2017, 12288-01 Block course: Ökologie und Naturschutzbiologie, University of Basel, Bachelor in Biology - Prof Dr Yvonne Willi. Lecturer: preparation of teaching material; teaching of theory, practical, and projects supervision; - 80 hours
•    Block-course: Niche modelling, FS 2017, University of Basel - Zurich Basel Plant Science Center Teaching assistant of Prof Dr Antoine Guisan, Prof Dr Nikklaus Zimmermann in practicals; - 24 hours
•    Block-course: Ecology and Conservation Biology FS 2012 and FS 2014, 12288-01 - Block course: Ökologie und Naturschutzbiologie, University of Basel, Bachelor in Biology - Prof Dr C. Körner. Teaching assistant in practicals; - 15 hours
•    Spatio-temporal biodiversity models, HS 2011, HS 2012, HS 2013, Masters in Biology University of Basel. Teaching assistant of Dr Christophe Randin in practicals; - 30 hours


Dr. Theofania-Sotiria Patsiou

Universität Basel
Departement Umweltwissenschaften
Pflanzenökologie und -evolution
Schönbeinstrasse 6
4056 Basel

Tel: +41 61 207 29 85