Main Focus

My main research interest lies in the interaction of land biota with the climate system. My research integrates new ecophysiological knowledge, ecological observations (including plant trait information, in situ measurements, atmospheric concentration measurements, and remote sensing data) with modelling at different scales and levels of complexities. I develop, test and apply large-scale process-based terrestrial biosphere models to understand the interactions between land-surface and atmospheric processes.

Curriculum Vitae

since 2/2022

Honorary Professor at the Faculty for Chemistry and Earth Sciences of the Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, DE

since 6/2020

Director of the Biogeochemical Signals Department at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, DE

2009-2020 Leader of the Terrestrial Biosphere Modelling Research Group at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, DE
2005-2008 PostDoc at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, Gif sur Yvette, FR

Doktorand an der Universität Potsdam / Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung, Potsdam, DE

2000-2001 MSc-Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
1997-2000 Study of Geoecology at the Institute of Geoecology, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, DE.

My work at MPI Biogeochemistry


I hold an honorary professorship at the Faculty for Chemistry and Earth Sciences of the Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, and am faculty member of the IMPRS for Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

Community service

Selected peer-reviewed publications

Knauer, J.; Zaehle, S.; Reichstein, M.; Medlyn, B. E.; Forkel, M.; Hagemann, S.; Werner, C.: The response of ecosystem water-use efficiency to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations: sensitivity and large-scale biogeochemical implications. New Phytologist 213 (4), pp. 1654 - 1666 (2017)
Medlyn, B. E.; Zaehle, S.; Kauwe, M. G. D.; Walker, A. P.; Dietze, M. C.; Hanson, P. J.; Hickler, T.; Jain, A. K.; Luo, Y.; Parton, W. et al.; Prentice, I. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Wang, S.; Wang, Y.-P.; Weng, E.; Iversen, C. M.; McCarthy, H. R.; Warren, J. M.; Oren, R.; Norby, R. J.: Using ecosystem experiments to improve vegetation models. Nature Climate Change 5 (6), pp. 528 - 534 (2015)
Meyerholt, J.; Sickel, K.; Zaehle, S.: Ensemble projections elucidate effects of uncertainty in terrestrial nitrogen limitation on future carbon uptake. Global Change Biology 26 (7), pp. 3978 - 3996 (2020)
Thum , T.; Caldararu, S.; Engel, J.; Kern, M.; Pallandt, M.; Schnur, R.; Yu, L.; Zaehle, S.: A new terrestrial biosphere model with coupled carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles (QUINCY v1.0; revision 1772). Geoscientific Model Development 12, pp. 4781 - 4802 (2019)
Zaehle, S.; Ciais, P.; Friend, A. D.; Prieur, V.: Carbon benefits of anthropogenic reactive nitrogen offset by nitrous oxide emissions. Nature Geoscience 4 (9), pp. 601 - 605 (2011)
Zaehle, S.; Dalmonech, D.: Carbon-nitrogen interactions on land at global scales: current understanding in modelling climate biosphere feedbacks. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 3 (5), pp. 311 - 320 (2011)
Zaehle, S.; Friedlingstein, P.; Friend, A. D.: Terrestrial nitrogen feedbacks may accelerate future climate change. Geophysical Research Letters 37, p. L01401 (2010)
Zaehle, S.; Medlyn, B. E.; De Kauwe, M. G.; Walker, A. P.; Dietze, M. C.; Hickler, T.; Luo, Y.; Wang, Y.-P.; El-Masri, B.; Thornton, P. et al.; Jain, A.; Wang, S.; Warlind, D.; Weng, E.; Parton, W.; Iversen, C. M.; Gallet-Budynek, A.; McCarthy, H.; Finzi, A.; Hanson, P. J.; Prentice, I. C.; Oren, R.; Norby, R. J.: Evaluation of 11 terrestrial carbon-nitrogen cycle models
 against observations from two temperate free-air CO2 enrichment studies. New Phytologist 202 (3), pp. 803 - 822 (2014)
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