MGPP-Logo U. Krämer M. Piotrowski O. Soltani B. Pietzenuk Vinod Kumar Natalia Wozniak Usman Anwer Fakultät


About me

   I am a plant biologist fascinated by evolution and currently investigating environmental and genetic contributions to variation in leaf cadmium and zinc accumulation in Arabidopsis halleri populations in the field. I have twelve years of experience in the areas of plant metal physiology and hyperaccumulation, and since September 2019 I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in Prof. Dr. Ute Krämer Department of Molecular Genetics and Physiology of Plants.


Why studying Arabidopsis halleri?

   A priority at the European level is to remediate metal-contaminated (metalliferous) sites which are estimated to cover approximately 28% of the EU land. Development of more efficient eco-sustainable strategies for the plant-based clean-up of metal-contaminated soils are highly desirable. Plants able to accumulate large amounts of metals in their shoots (hyperaccumulation) can serve either as models or can be used directly towards developing highly efficient phytoremediation crops. To reach this long-term goal, the ecology of metal hyperaccumulation is highly relevant, but remains poorly understood to date.

Current project: Dynamics of Cadmium concentrations in Leaves in response to a challenging Environment (DyCLE)

Figure 1 A. halleri
in the field
  The project is funded by the European Union and wishes to uncover the causes of the large variation in leaf Cd concentrations between individuals of one and the same population of Arabidopsis halleri. To do so, we are monitoring plants in the field and cultivating them under controlled conditions with or without herbivory. This project has environmental, ecological and evolutionary implications. For more information, please visit our dedicated web-page.


Figure 2 Alps (SVN), example of a non-contaminated site where Arabidopsis halleri can be found in nature.

Short Curriculum Vitae

    I studied at the University of Trieste (ITA) where I obtained my Master degree in 2007 on nucleotide diversity in coding and regulatory genomic regions of maize. In 2012, I obtained the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Ecology at the Universitiy of Udine (ITA) with a Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Metal tolerance and ecological characterization of populations of the pseudometallophyte Biscutella laevigata L.”. During my Ph.D. project I moved to the Free University Amsterdam (NLD) and, together with my co-tutor Dr. Henk Schat, demonstrated the hyperaccumulation of the highly toxic element thallium (Tl) in B. laevigata, a milestone in my career. From 2012 to 2016, I worked at the University of Udine and was awarded financial support for young scientists in 2013. I performed a series of physiological experiments pointing out the extreme toxicity of cerium (Ce). I also performed surveys on copper (Cu), chromium (Cr) and silver (Ag) toxicity on plants of agronomic interest. From 2016 to 2019, I worked at the Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation in Split (HRV) and at Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb (HRV) on soil-plant interactions and nutrient deficiencies and trace element toxicity in olive trees.


    American Society of Plant Physiologists (ASPP) and Early Career Plant Scientists (ECPS)

Selected Publications

  • Novello N, Ferfuia C, Pasković I, Fabris A, Baldini M, Schat H, Pošćić F (2020) Independent variation in copper tolerance and copper accumulation among crop species and varieties. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 156:538-551.
  • Pošćić F, Žanetić M, Fiket Ž, Furdek Turk M, Mikac N, Bačić N, Lučić M, Romić M, Bakić H, Jukić Špika M, Urlić B, Runjić M, Vuletin Selak G, Vitanović E, Klepo T, Rošin J, Rengel Z, Perica S (2020) Accumulation and partitioning of rare earth elements in olive trees and extra virgin olive oil from Adriatic coastal region. Plant and Soil, 448:133–151.
  • Pošćić F, Runjić M, Jukić Špika M, Mikac N, Rengel Z, Romić M, Urlić B, Bačić N, Lučić M, Bakić H, Fiket Ž, Strikić F, Klepo T, Perica S (2018) Nutrient deficiencies in olives grown on typical Mediterranean soils (Terra rossa, Rendzina, Lithosol). Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, 64:1777–1790.
  • Pošćić F, Schat H, Marchiol L (2017) Cerium negatively impacts the nutritional status in rapeseed. Science of The Total Environment, 593–594:735–744.
  • Pošćić F, Fellet G, Vischi M, Casolo V, Schat H, Marchiol L (2015) Variation in heavy metal accumulation and genetic diversity at a regional scale among metallicolous and non-metallicolous populations of the facultative metallophyte Biscutella laevigata subsp. laevigata. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 17:464–475.
  • Pošćić F, Marchiol L, Schat H (2013) Hyperaccumulation of thallium is population-specific and uncorrelated with caesium accumulation in the thallium hyperaccumulator, Biscutella laevigata. Plant and Soil, 365:81–91.



Veronica Preite


About me
Short Curriculum Vitae
Selected Publications


Dr. Filip Pošćić
Department of Molecular Genetics and Physiology of Plants
Building ND, floor 3, room 73
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstrasse 150
44801 Bochum
Office: +49 234 32-24302
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