Short CV/Education and training

  • Since 2015
    Postdoc researcher. Ramón y Cajal Programe (MEC). IPE-CSIC

  • 2014 – 2015
    Hired researcher. IPE-CSIC

  • 2010 – 2013
    Postdoc researcher. Juan de la Cierva (MCI). IPE-CSIC

  • 2009 – 2010
    Postdoc researcher. JAE-Doc (CSIC). IPE-CSIC

  • 2007 – 2009
    Post –doc fellow founded by the MEC (Spanish Gobernment). Macaulay Research Institute (now James Hutton Institute, UK)

  • 2006
    IP of a research grant from the Institute of High-Aragón Studies

  • 2001 – 2006
    PhD Thesis. Title: Pheno-morphology and seasonal variations of nitrogen and non-structural carbohydrates in six species of Mediterranean sub-shrubs. A functional approach. Department of Plant Biology, University of Barcelona. Supervisor: Dr. Gabriel Montserrat-Martí. Marked with distinctions.

  • 2002 – 2005
    PhD scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education (MEC) in the FPU programme “Training of University Staff”. IPE-CSIC

  • 2001 – 2003
    Master of science (Honors) in Plant Biology (Univ. of Barcelona). Marked with distinctions

  • 2001
    Awarded by a scholarship from the CSIC, in the programme “Introduction to Research”. IPE-CSIC

  • 2000 – 2001
    Awarded by a scholarship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education in the programme “Collaboration of undergraduate students in University Departments”. Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Biology. University of Barcelona, Spain.

  • 1997 – 2001
    B. S. degree in Biology. (Univ. of Barcelona). Awarded by the University of Barcelona for outstanding results

Selected publications

  • Palacio S., Paterson E., Hester A., Nogués S., Anadón-Rosell A., Maestro M, Millard P. 2020. No preferential C-allocation to storage over growth detected in clipped birch and oak saplings subjected to continuous 13C-labeling. Tree Physiology 40(5): 621–636 doi: 10.1093/treephys/tpaa011

  • Palacio S., Montserrat-Martí G., Ferrio J. P. 2017 Water use segregation among plants with contrasting root depth and distribution along gypsum hills. Journal of Vegetation Science 28(6): 1107-1117 DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12570

  • Bolukbasi A., Kurt L., Palacio S*. 2016 Unraveling the mechanisms for plant survival on gypsum soils: an analysis of the chemical composition of gypsum plants from Turkey. Plant Biology 18: 271-279.(* Corresponding author)

  • Palacio S., Lenz A., et al. 2015 Bud freezing resistance in alpine Ericaceae dwarf shrubs across snow depth gradients. Environmental Experimental Botany 118: 95-101

  • Palacio S., Aitkenhead M., et al. 2014. Gypsophile chemistry unveiled: Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy provides new insight into plant adaptation to gypsum soils. PLoS ONE 9: e107285

  • Palacio S., Azorín J., Montserrat-Martí G., Ferrio J.P. 2014. The crystallization water of gypsum rocks is a relevant water source for plants. Nature Communications 5:4660

  • Palacio S., Maestro M., Montserrat-Martí G. 2014 Differential N cycling in semi-arid sub-shrubs with contrasting leaf habit. PLoS ONE 9: e93184.

  • Escudero A., Palacio S., Maestre F.T., Luzuriaga A.L. 2014. Plant life on gypsum: an overview of its multiple facets. Biological Reviews 90: 1-18.

  • Palacio S., Hoch G., Sala A., Körner C., Millard P. 2014. Does carbon storage limit tree growth? New Phytologist 201: 1096-1100.

  • Palacio S., Escudero A., Milla R., Maestro M., Montserrat-Martí G., Albert M.J. 2007. Plants living on gypsum: Beyond the specialist model. Annals of Botany. 99: 333-343.

Complete list of publications

Selected projects

  • PID2019-111159GB-C31; Mechanisms for plant life on gypsum and other atypical substrates: from gene to community responses (GYPGENCOM) – SP1; Spanish Research Agency, Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain; Participation as PI. Budget: 197.000 €, 2020 – 2024

  • A global initiative to understand gypsum ecosystem ecology (777803-GYPWORLD). European Comission (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2017). IPE-CSIC plus 18 institutions. (Participation as coordinator -PI). Budget: 724,500.00 €, 2018 – 2021

  • Promoting research on gypsum ecology in Iran and Turkey (COOPB20231) Networking grant from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (i-COOP+ Program). IPE-CSIC. (Participation as coordinator -PR). Budget: 17.000 €, 2017 – 2018

  • A global initiative to identify the mechanisms of plant adaptation to gypsum soils (I-LINK1110). Networking grant from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (i-LINK+ Program). IPE-CSIC. (Participation as coordinator -PR). Budget: 14.100 €, 2017 – 2018

  • GIPSOFILIA: ¿Cómo viven las plantas en los suelos de yeso? Mecanismos adaptativos de plantas vasculares para la vida en el yeso (CGL2015-71360-P) Research grant by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Spain. IPE-CSIC. (Participation as main researcher). Budget: 158.700 €, 2016 – 2019

  • Drinking rocks? An evaluation of the ability of plants to use structural water from gypsum (4711 / 5749). Research grant of the British Ecological Society. IPE-CSIC. (Participation as main researcher). Budget: 5.000 £, 2013 – 2014

  • Analysis of the main sources of water of plants growing on gypsum soils.

    Research grant for ecological research projects leaded by young researchers 2012 (Spanish Association for Terrestrial Ecology AEET). IPE-CSIC. (Participation as main researcher), 2013

Membership in scientific bodies/juries

  • Reviewer board of Tree Physiology, since 2013

  • Served as external reviewer for the following national and international research funding agencies:

    The Israel Science Foundation

    Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR – France,)

    Spanish National Evaluation and Foresight Agency (ANEP)

    Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

    Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO)

    Spanish Research Agency

    Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MCIU)

    Fondo para la Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva, Argentina)

    Spanish Association for Terrestrial Ecology (AEET).

  • Member of the Recognized Research Group A 50 appointed by the Diputación General de Aragon (BOA 9/5/08 pp. 6986) and the Excellence Research Group RNM 115 appointed by the Junta de Andalucía.

  • Member of the Spanish Association of Terrestrial Ecology (AEET) since 2002, the British Ecological Society (BES) from 2007 to 2011, the RIE, Spanish Network for Stable Isotopes and founding member of GYPNET, a network of ecological researchers working on gypsum ecosystems

Media coverage

  • My research is frequently showcased in the media. I have participated in several radio, press and television interviews and research outreach programs.






























Radio interviews

  • Radio Principado de Asturias, August 2014

  • Onda Vasca – La tarde en Euskadi, August 2014

Television interviews

  • Feature “El poder de las plantas”, “El objetivo” program, Aragón television, broadcasted on the 30th March 2015.

  • Feature “Jaca”, “Un lugar para quedarme” program, Aragón television, broadcasted on the 5th December 2018

  • Feature “Interview to Sara Palacio”, “En Ruta con la Ciencia” program, Aragón television, broadcasted on the 15th February 2019.

Web interviews


Soft Skills/Other activities and achievements

Other activities and achievements/family

  • Mother of two


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