Alexander Cheesman completed his B.A. in Plant Sciences from Cambridge University (Pembroke College) in 2004 before taking a job as a field assistant on Barro Colorado Island, a research site of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. It was here that he developed an attachment to tropical systems which continues to today. In 2010 he completed a PhD in Soil and Water Science at the University of Florida, USA. Much of the field work for which was carried out in the remote wetlands of Panama with his supervisor, Dr Benjamin Turner. This led to a 2 year post-doctoral research fellowship at STRI with Dr Klaus Winter, a position funded jointly by the Smithsonian Institute Global Earth Observatory (SIGEO) and Center for Tropical Forest Studies (CTFS), now called CTFS-ForestGEO, with the objective of researching the effects of increasing temperature upon tree physiology in the tropics.  From June 2013 he took up a post-doctoral research fellowship at James Cook University (JCU) working with Dr Lucas Cernusak.


  • BZ2008: Adaptation to Environmental Change (Level 2; TSV)
  • BZ2808: Adapting to Environmental Challenges (Level 2; CNS)
  • BZ5008: Adaptation to Environmental Change (Level 5; TSV)
  • BZ5808: Adapting to Environmental Challenges (Level 5; CNS)
  • Tropical plant ecophysiology
  • The impact of temperature on plant functional traits
  • Phosphorus in the soil plant continuum
  • Stable isotopes as recorders of plant physiological processes
  • 2013 to 2016 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2010 to 2013 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Smithsonian Tropical research Institute (Panama)
  • 2006 to 2010 - PhD Soil and Water Science, University of Florida (USA)
  • 2001 to 2004 - BA Plant Science, Cambridge University (UK)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 18+ research outputs authored by Dr Alex Cheesman from 2010 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Wet Tropics Management Authority - Student Research Grant Scheme

Oxygen isotope (?18O) composition of leaves and wood in rainforest plants grown under varying environmental conditions

Indicative Funding
This project aims to identify environmental factors (such as varying altitudes, humidity, temperature, rainfall and carbon dioxide concentrations) that change the stable oxygen isotopic ratio within the wood and leaves of rainforest plants. This will be done through analysis of samples collected from wet tropics forests, and from grown plants in controlled greenhouses (with varying temperatures and CO2 levels). The results will help to explain how plants have responded to past environmental changes, and to infer how they will respond to future changes. This will assist in the development environmental management practices of the wet tropics bioregion.
Kristal Kinnane, Lucas Cernusak and Alex Cheesman (College of Science & Engineering)
?18O ? Stable oxygen isotope ratio; Environmental variation; Climate change; Wet tropics bioregion; Stem and leaf variation

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
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  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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