Research

My research focuses on carbon, water and energy cycling in Australia’s temperate broadleaf forests. I’ve investigated how water and heat stress affect ecosystem productivity and the coupling of carbon and water fluxes, and demonstrated that they can modify energy distribution and matter cycling.

I also examined the physiological interactions between mistletoes and their hosts, and demonstrated that severe mistletoe loads compromise tree growth, shift the distribution of canopy volume and lead to premature tree mortality. I was surprised though that not only hosts, but also mistletoe populations themselves were quite vulnerable to heat and drought stress.

Moreover, I quantified the effect of surface heterogeneity and climate variability on ecosystem carbon budgets and suggested an approach to compensate for these, which enables scientists to more accurately relate ecosystem responses to local climate. I am collaborating with scientists in the USA to implement my analytical methods into the Eddy4R-docker from the National Ecological Observation Network (NEON) and for LI-COR Biosciences.

I further developed new approaches to decipher the impact of climate variability and climate extremes on the carbon allocation dynamics in forests, for which I incorporated novel terrestrial remote sensing techniques in my field setups and established robust quality control approaches that are on the forefront of automated monitoring systems.

I am depositing my research data in publicly available data repositories, and you can find my eddy covariance data at the TERN-OzFlux and FLUXNET data bases, my tree water use data is available at SAPFLUXNET and my dendrometer data at DendroGlobal. Further, all data from the TERN-Ecosystem Processes sites is available at the TERN data portal.