Project Leader

Dr. sc. nat., University of Zurich.

mar.coiro at

Mario Coiro

My main research interest lies in the evolution of form and function in plant lineages through macroevolutionary time.
Plants are arguably the most important component of terrestrial ecosystems, and they had a profound impact not
only on the evolution of the earth’s biota, but on the geological and climatic development of the planet itself.
Though the fossil record is often thought of as an incomplete representation of evolutionary history, and has thus been
often marginalized in discussions about the macroevolution of plants, I believe that the integration of fossil data is
fundamental to obtain any accurate answer about the evolutionary dynamics of plants through geological time.


Phylogenetic analysis


Plant anatomy and morphology


Selected Publications

Coiro, M. and Pott, C., 2017. Eobowenia gen. nov. from the Early Cretaceous of Patagonia: indication for an early divergence of Bowenia?. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17(1), pp.1-14.

Coiro, M., Chomicki, G. and Doyle, J.A., 2018. Experimental signal dissection and method sensitivity analyses reaffirm the potential of fossils and morphology in the resolution of the relationship of angiosperms and Gnetales. Paleobiology, 44(3), pp.490-510.

Coiro, M., Doyle, J.A. and Hilton, J., 2019. How deep is the conflict between molecular and fossil evidence on the age of angiosperms?. New Phytologist, 223(1), pp.83-99.

Coiro, M., Martínez, L.C., Upchurch, G.R. and Doyle, J.A., 2020. Evidence for an extinct lineage of angiosperms from the Early Cretaceous of Patagonia and implications for the early radiation of flowering plants. New Phytologist, 228(1), pp.344-360.