Research interests

Why are species restricted to particular elevational ranges in a mountainous region? This is the question that motivates my PhD project. I investigate whether traits related to climate tolerances are involved in genetic trade-offs with each other or with other fitness-relevant traits and may therefore limit species distributions. Study organisms are Brassicaceae species of the Swiss flora, varying in elevational ranges. In my work, I combine phenotypic screening in common garden experiments with phylogenetic comparative methods of analysis.

Education and professional experience

since 01/2017 University of Basel, PhD student
2016 (May – Aug) Scientifc collaborator, University of Basel (Plant Ecology and Evolution); Fieldwork in the Southern Alps (collecting seeds and determination)
2015 (July Aug) Internship, Repubblica e Cantone Ticino – DFE; Botanical survey in pastures and vineyards (SPB II)
2013 2015 MSc in Plant Ecology and Physiology (PEP), with specialization in Génétique écologique et analyse spatiale, Ecologie évolutive avancée, Sol et Végétation
2013 2015 Student assistant, Université de Neuchâtel (Laboratoire de Botanique Evolutive)
2012 2015 Collaborator of InfoFlora (volunteer) for the project “Red-List 2011-2015”
2010 2013 BSc in Biology, Université de Neuchâtel (Neuchâtel, Switzerland)
2010 Maturità, opzione specifica Biologia e Chimica (BIC), Liceo Lugano 1 (Lugano, Switzerland)
1990 Born in Sorengo (Canton Ticino, Switzerland)


Lucek K, Galli A, Gurten S, Hohmann N, Maccagni A, Patsiou T, Willi Y (2019) Metabarcoding of honey to assess differences in plantpollinator interactions between urban and non-urban sites. Apidologie 50:317-329, doi: 10.1007/s13592-019-00646-3

Dauphin B, Farrar DR, Maccagni A, Grant JR (2017) A worldwide molecular phylogeny provides new insight on cryptic diversity within the moonworts (Botrychium s.s., Ophioglossaceae). Systematic Botany 42:1-20

Maccagni A, Parisod C., Grant JR (2017) Phylogeography of the moonwort fern Botrychium lunaria (Ophioglossaceae) based on chloroplast NA in the Central-European Mountain System. Alpine Botany 127:185-196

Poster presentations

Maccagni A, Sandoz FA, Grant JR. DNA barcoding of horsetails (Equisetum: Equisetaceae) in Switzerland. 6th International Barcode of Life Conference. SwissBOL. Neuchâtel, Switzerland. 31 oct. 2014

Awards and certificates

2016  Certificate 600 (“Dryas”) in botany (SBGSBS)
2015  Prix Henri Spinner, Université de Neuchâtel
2012  Certificate of knowledge in field botany, level 1 (SBGSBS)


  • Swiss Systematics Society (SSS), Schweizere Botanische Gesellschaft (SBGSBS), Società Ticinese di Scienze Naturali (STSN), Società Botanica Ticinese (SBT, founder and committee member)

  • Member of the organizing committee of the Botanica Sudalpina Conference (18 november 2017, Lugano)

Interests out of office

Botany (taxonomy), Botrychium lunaria, Bryology, Fern allies, Hiking, Photography

Alessio Maccagni

Universität Basel
Departement Umweltwissenschaften
Pflanzenökologie und -evolution
Schönbeintrasse 6
CH-4056 Basel

+41 61 207 23 14