Max Planck Gesellschaft

--- Former member ---

Johannes Meyerholt

room: C3.002b
phone: +49.3641.57.6262
email: jmeyer(at)

Research interests

The focus of my research has been the assessment of uncertainty in terrestrial coupled carbon-nitrogen-cycle models. Having identified key processes such as plant nitrogen uptake, flexibility in stoichiometry, denitrification etc., I have investigated their varying formulations and parametrizations, and evaluated these alternative approaches regarding their performance in comparison with observational data. I have implemented the different formulations and parametrizations into a common framework and examined the models' sensitivity to pertubations of driving climatic and biogeochemical factors. I have applied these findings to run simulations that assess the overall impact of nitrogen cycle uncertainties on global carbon cycle-climate feedbacks.

My thesis work was supported by

I also contribute to WP4 of the EU-funded CRESCENDO project, where I work on evaluating terrestrial process representations in European Earth system models, in particular in carbon-nitrogen-enabled terrestrial biosphere model components.

Education & Research Experience

Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany (MPI-BGC)

Postdoc in the EU Horizon 2020 Project CRESCENDO, 2018-

Ph.D. in Geosciences, 2012-2018

Thesis title: "Systematic assessment of uncertainty in coupled carbon-nitrogen cycle models and their climate feedbacks"

Thesis advisors:

  • Sönke Zaehle, Department for Biogeochemical Integration, MPI-BGC
  • Matthew J. Smith, Computational Science Laboratory, Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK
  • Thomas Hickler, Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F) & University of Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK

Research Intern, Computational Ecology and Environmental Science Group, Sep-Nov 2014

Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, University of Oldenburg, Germany

M.Sc. in Marine Environmental Science, 2009-2011

B.Sc. in Environmental Science, 2006-2009


Microsoft Research PhD Scholarship, 2012-2015

Peer-reviewed publications:

Meyerholt, J. & Zaehle, S. (2018) Controls of terrestrial ecosystem nitrogen loss on simulated productivity responses to elevated CO2. Biogeosciences 15, 5677-5698, doi: 10.5194/bg-15-5677-2018.


Meyerholt, J. , Zaehle, S. & Smith, M. J. (2016) Variability of projected terrestrial biosphere responses to elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 due to uncertainty in biological nitrogen fixation. Biogeosciences 13, 1491-1518, doi: 10.5194/bg-13-1491-2016.


Meyerholt, J. & Zaehle, S. (2015) The role of stoichiometric flexibility in modelling forest ecosystem responses to nitrogen fertilization. New Phytologist 208(4), 1042-1055, doi: 10.1111/nph.13547.

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