Max Planck Gesellschaft

Silvia Caldararu

Room: A3.015
Phone: +49 3641 576282
email: scaldra(at)[]
Twitter: @SCaldararu
ORCID: 0000-0001-5839-6480
Personal website: Plant Ecology Modelling

Current projects

I am currently working on the QUINCY project, which aims to advance our understanding of the effects of nitrogen and phosphorus availability on vegetation and carbon uptake. I am responsible for developing the modelling framework which will aim to incorporate optimal responses to nutrient limitations into a vegetation (and eventually an earth system) model.

Research Interests

Broadly, I am interested in building new, more realistic models of vegetation processes and incorporating plant optimality concepts within vegetation models. I have previously built a global leaf phenology model and a generic plant growth model, both of which were based on plant optimal plastic response. I am also interested in data constrained models, specifically using remote sensing data but not exclusively.


  • *NEW* Jiang, M, Caldararu, S, Zhang, H, et al. Low phosphorus supply constrains plant responses to elevated CO2: A meta-analysis. Glob Change Biology. 26: 5856– 5873 2020
  • Caldararu, S., Thum, T., Yu, L. and Zaehle, S. Whole-plant optimality predicts changes in leaf nitrogen under variable CO2 and nutrient availability, New Phytologist. 225(6), 2331–2346,, 2019.
  • Thum, T., Caldararu, S., Engel, J., Kern, M., Pallandt, M., Schnur, R., Yu, L., and Zaehle, S.: A new terrestrial biosphere model with coupled carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles (QUINCY v1.0; revision 1772), GGeosci. Model Dev., 12, 4781–4802,, 2019.
  • Jiang, M. , Caldararu, S. , Zaehle, S. , Ellsworth, D. S. and Medlyn, B. E. (2019),Towards a more physiological representation of vegetation phosphorus processes in land surface models. New Phytol. doi:10.1111/nph.15688
  • Jiang, M., Zaehle, S., De Kauwe, M. G., Walker, A. P., Caldararu, S., Ellsworth, D. S., and Medlyn, B. E.: The quasi-equilibrium framework re-visited: analyzing long-term CO2 enrichment responses in plant-soil models, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2018.
  • Caldararu, S., Purves, D. W., and Smith, M. J.: The impacts of data constraints on the predictive performance of a general process-based crop model (PeakN-crop v1.0), Geosci. Model Dev., 10, 1679-1701, 2017
  • Caldararu, S.; Purves, D. W. & Smith, M. J. The effect of using the plant functional type paradigm on a data-constrained global phenology model Biogeosciences, 2015 13 (4), 925-941
  • Caldararu, S.; Purves, D. W. & Palmer, P. I. Phenology as a strategy for carbon optimality: a global model Biogeosciences, 2014, 11, 763-778
  • Caldararu, S.; Palmer, P. I. & Purves, D. W. Inferring Amazon leaf demography from satellite observations of leaf area index Biogeosciences, 2012, 9, 1389-1404


October 2015- present Postdoctoral researcher, Max PLanck Institue for Biogeochemistry
June 2013 - September 2015 Postdoctoral researcher in the Computational Science lab at Microsoft Research Cambridge
September 2012 - April 2013 PDRA School of Geosciences University of Edinburgh
September 2008 - September 2012 PhD School of Geosciences University of Edinburgh

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