Max Planck Gesellschaft

Sophia Walther

Postdoctoral Researcher, Global diagnostic modelling group

room: C3.013 (tower)
phone: +49 3641 576235

Research interests:

  • Dynamics of the terrestrial carbon cycle and effects of vegetation on it
  • Satellite-based remote sensing of vegetation
  • data-driven modelling of biogenic carbon fluxes, FLUXCOM (

Peer-reviewed publications:


  • Agustì-Panareda, McNorton, Balsamo, Baier, Bousserez, Boussetta, Brunner, Chevallier, Choulga, Diamantakis, Engelen, Flemming, Granier, Guevara, Denier van der Gon, Elguindi, Haussaire, Jung, Janssens-Maenhout, Kivi, Massart, Papale, Parrington, Razinger, Sweeney, Vermeulen, Walther, (2022), “Global nature run data with realistic high-resolution carbon weather for the year of the Paris Agreement”, Nature Scientific Data,
  • Yu, Orth, Reichstein, Bahn, Klosterhalfen, Knohl, Koebsch, Migliavacca, Mund, Nelson, Stocker, Walther, Bastos, (2022), ``Contrasting drought legacy effects on gross primary productivity in a mixed versus pure beech forest'', Biogeosciences Discussions,


  • Walther, Besnard, Nelson, El-Madany, Migliavacca, Weber, Ermida, Brümmer, Schrader, Prokushkin, Panov, and Jung, (2021), ``Technical note: A view from space on global flux towers by MODIS and Landsat: The FluxnetEO dataset'', \textit{Biogeosciences Discuss. ,
  • Walther et al. (2021), `FluxnetEO data set: MODIS'',
  • Walther et al. (2021), `FluxnetEO data set: Landsat'',
  • Bao, Wutzler, Koirala, Cuntz, Ibrom, Besnard, Walther, Sigut, Moreno, Weber, Wohlfahrt, Cleverly, Migliavacca, Woodgate, Merbold, Veenendaal, Carvalhais, (2021), ``Environment-sensitivity functions for gross primary productivity in light use efficiency models'', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology,
  • Camps-Valls, Campos-Taberner, Moreno-Martínez, Walther, Duveiller, Cescatti, Mahecha, Munoz-Marí, García-Haro, Guanter, Jung, Gamon, Reichstein, Running, (2021), "A unified vegetation index for quantifying the terrestrial biosphere", Science Advances,
  • Li, Migliavacca, Forkel, Walther, Reichstein, Orth (2021), " Revisiting global vegetation controls using multi-layer soil moisture", Geophysical Research Letters,
  • Linscheid, Mahecha, Rammig, Carvalhais, Gans, Nelson, Walther, Weber, Reichstein, (2021), ``Time-scale dependent relations between Earth observation based proxies of vegetation productivity'', Geophysical Research Letters,
  • Munassar, Rödenbeck, Koch, Totsche, Galkowski, Walther, Gerbig, (2021), ``NEE estimates 2006--2019 over Europe from a pre-operational ensemble-inversion system'', Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,


  • Duveiller, G., Filipponi, F., Walther, S., Köhler, P., Frankenberg, C., Guanter, L. and Cescatti, A. (2020), “A spatially downscaled sun-induced fluorescence global product for enhanced monitoring of vegetation productivity ”, Earth System Science Data,
  • Jung, Schwalm, Migliavacca, Walther, Camps-Valls, Koirala, Anthoni, Besnard, Bodesheim, Carvalhais, Chevallier, Gans, Groll, Haverd, Ichii, Jain, Liu, Lombardozzi, Nabel, Nelson, Pallandt, Papale, Peters, Pongratz, Rödenbeck, Sitch, Tramontana, Weber, Reichstein, Köhler, O’Sullivan, Walker (2020), “Scaling carbon fluxes from eddy covariance sites to globe: Synthesis and evaluation of the FLUXCOM approach”, Biogeosciences,


  • Walther, S., Duveiller, G., Jung, M., Guanter, L., Cescatti, A., & Camps‐Valls, G. (2019). Satellite observations of the contrasting response of trees and grasses to variations in water availability, Geophysical Research Letters, 46.


  • Walther, S., Guanter, L., Heim, B., Jung, M., Duveiller, G., Wolanin, A., Sachs, T. (2018). Assessing the dynamics of vegetation productivity in circumpolar regions with different satellite indicators of greenness and photosynthesis, Biogeosciences, 15.
  • Köhler, P., Guanter, L., Kobayashi, H., Walther, S., Yang, W. (2018. Assessing the potential of sun-induced fluorescence and the canopy scattering coefficient to track large-scale vegetation dynamics in Amazon forests, Remote Sensing of Environment, 204, pp. 769-785,


  • Walther, S., Voigt, M., Thum, T., Gonsamo, A., Zhang, Y., Koehler, P., Jung, M., Varlagin, A., Guanter, L. (2016). Satellite chlorophyll fluorescence measurements reveal large-scale decoupling of photosynthesis and greenness dynamics in boreal evergreen forests, Global Change Biology, 22, 9, pp. 2979-2996,


  • Neef, L., Walther, S., Matthes, K., Kodera, K. (2014). Observations of stratospheric sudden warmings in Earth rotation variations, Journal of Geophysical Research, 119, 16, pp. 9666-9678.


Vad3e mecum: Vegetation and drought: towards improved data-driven estimates of ecosystem carbon fluxes under moisture stress, ESA Living Planet Fellowship ( , June 2020 - June 2022

Contributing to::


  • December 2019: Ernst-Reuter-Prize of the Free University Berlin for one of the best doctoral theses in 2018

Curriculum vitae:

  • since 03/2018: Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
  • 09-12/2016 and 05-07/2017: research stay at Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra, Italy
  • 2014-2018: PhD student Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, 'Assessment of the dynamics of terrestrial vegetation using satellite observations of greenness and sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence'
  • 2011-2014: MSc Meteorology Free University Berlin, 'Assessment of terrestrial vegetation dynamics through space-borne measurements of greenness and chlorophyll fluorescence'
  • 2008-2011: BSc Meteorology Free University Berlin, 'The influence of the Sudden Stratospheric Warming in January 2009 on the length of day'
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