Environmental Change and the Terrestrial Biosphere

My research focuses on interactions between vegetation, carbon, and water cycles in response to global environmental change. Human activity is directly altering the earth system via atmospheric CO2 emissions, primarily from fossil fuels and land use and land cover change. These emissions result in indirect feedbacks to climate and to ecosystem functioning and sustainability. We need to better understand the impact of these environmental change agents on the terrestrial biosphere in order to adapt to or mitigate the harmful impact of climate change and human activity on our environment and society. Addressing this issue is core to my research program.

I use a wide variety of field and satellite data to study biogeochemical and biophysical processes in ecosystems ranging from boreal, temperate and tropical forests to moisture limited shrublands and grasslands. One key objective of my work is to use knowledge gained in these studies to improve spatially-explicit, process-based terrestrial biosphere models in order to address questions related to ecosystem responses to changing climate, rising CO2, and land use/cover change and land management. A long-term goal of my research is to use these model developments to investigate how we can mitigate the impact of future global change.

Please see below for more information on the main themes of my research.

The role of semi-arid ecosystems in the global carbon cycle


Quantifying and constraining terrestrial biosphere model uncertainty and global carbon dynamics via model-data integration

Analyzing patterns and drivers of seasonal leaf phenology and global vegetation trends


Mapping and modeling land cover change: impacts on terrestrial ecosystems


Estimating global gross primary productivity (GPP) from satellite-derived solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) data

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