Spyros Theodoridis

Spyros Theodoridis


Tel.: +41 44 634 8440


Living organisms and their various forms have fascinated me since my childhood. Therefore, biological diversity and the processes that generate it at different spatial and temporal scales has been the area of my interest throughout my educational and research paths.

My current research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary responses of cold-adapted plant species to past and future climate change, as well as the evolutionary processes (such as demographic shifts and hybridization) underpinning species genomic, ecological and spatial patterns.



PhD in Natural Sciences (Plant Ecology and Evolution). Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, University of Zurich and Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center


MSc in Biodiversity Conservation. School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


BSc – MSc in Plant Ecology and Systematics. Department of Field Crops and Ecology, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Research Experience

2016 – Present 

Postdoctoral Researcher with Elena Conti, University of Zurich

  • Investigated future responses of cold-adapted plants to climate change
  • Developed bioinformatic pipelines (data filtering, genome assembly, gene mapping, variant calling) for high-throughput genomic data analyses in population genetics
  • Developed geospatial frameworks for spatial statistics and biodiversity research / mapping
  • Applied remote sensing in biodiversity research and taxonomy

2011 – 2015

PhD Candidate with Elena Conti and Christophe Randin, University of Zurich

  • Investigated the effects of the Quaternary climatic shifts on distribution, ecological and genomic diversity in alpine and arctic plants (Primulaceae)
  • Developed simulation frameworks for integrating ecological and genomic data in phylogeographic studies
  • Applied statistical methods for comparing species ecological niche
  • Developed lab protocols for high-throuput sequencing

2009 – 2011

Master Student with Konstantinos Vlachonasios, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

  • Applied lab protocols (PCR and Sanger sequencing) and comparative methods for molecular identification (DNA barcoding) of the Greek native flora


Research Assistant with Birgit Gemeinholzer, Free University of Berlin

  • Evaluated molecular markers (PCR and Sanger sequencing) for plant species delimitation


Published / Accepted

Theodoridis S, Patsiou TS, Randin C, Conti E. (Accepted) Forecasting range shifts of a cold-adapted species under climate change: Are genomic and ecological diversity within species crucial for future resilience. Ecography

Patsiou TS, Conti E, Theodoridis S, Randin CF. (2017) The contribution of cold air pooling to the distribution of a rare and endemic plant of the Alps. Plant Ecology & Diversity, 10:29–42

Theodoridis S, Randin CF, Szövényi P, Boucher F, Patsiou TS, Conti E. (2017). How do cold-adapted plants respond to climatic cycles? Interglacial expansion explains current distribution and genomic diversity in Primula farinosa L. Systematic Biology, 66:715-736

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

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

Theodoridis S, Stefanaki A, Tezcan M, Aki C, Kokkini S, Vlachonasios KE. (2012). DNA barcoding in native plants of the Labiatae (Lamiaceae) family from Chios Island (Greece) and the adjacent Çeşme-Karaburun Peninsula (Turkey). Molecular Ecology Resources, 12:620–633

In preparation

Theodoridis S, Conti E. The multiple facets of cryptic diversity: Integrative evidence from climate, remote sensed, and high-throughput genomic data

Quantitative Skills

  • Geographic Information Systems / Spatial Statistics (OSGeo, GDAL, Python, R, ArcGIS)
  • Bioinformatics (Python, R, Bash)
  • Data Visualization and Cartography (JavaScript, D3.js, WebGL, Python, R, HTML, CSS)
  • Database Development (SQL, NoSQL)
  • Cloud Computing (UNIX / LINUX, Python)