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Dr. Silvia Caldararu
Assistant Professor, Botany


Silvia studies how plants are affected by climate change and how this in turn impacts the world's carbon cycle and feeds back to the climate. She uses land surface models to understand current plant and ecosystem observations and make predictions about the future.

Silvia completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2013, where she built a global model of leaf phenology. After that, she spent 2 years at Microsoft Research Cambridge in the Computational Ecology lab, looking at general models of crop growth. From 2015 to 2022 she was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, where she contributed to the QUINCY model and started looking at ecosystem nutrient limitation and effects of elevated CO2 on plant physiology. She joined the college in summer 2022.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Abramowitz Gab, Ukkola Anna, Hobeichi Sanaa, Cranko Page Jon, Lipson Mathew, De Kauwe Martin, Green Sam, Brenner Claire, Frame Jonathan, Nearing Grey, On the predictability of turbulent fluxes from land: PLUMBER2 MIP experimental description and preliminary results , EGUsphere , 2024 , 2024, p1 - 47 Journal Article, 2024

Nair Richard, Luo Yunpeng, El-Madany Tarek S, Rolo Victor, Pacheco-Labrador Javier, Caldararu Silvia, Morris Kendalynn A, Schrumpf Marion, Carrara Arnaud, Moreno Gerardo, Nitrogen availability and summer drought, but not N: P imbalance drive carbon use efficiency of a mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem , 2023 Journal Article, 2023

Thurner Melanie Alexandra, Caldararu Silvia, Engel Jan, Rammig Anja, Zaehle Sönke, Modelled forest ecosystem carbon-nitrogen dynamics with integrated mycorrhizal processes under elevated CO 2 , Biogeosciences Discussions , 2023 , 2023, p1 - 30 Journal Article, 2023

Caldararu, S. and Rolo, V. and Stocker, B. D. and Gimeno, T. E. and Nair, R., Ideas and perspectives: Beyond model evaluation -- combining experiments and models to advance terrestrial ecosystem science, Biogeosciences, 20, 2023, p3637"364 Journal Article, 2023 DOI

Knauer Juergen, Cuntz Matthias, Smith Benjamin, Canadell Josep G, Medlyn Belinda E, Bennett Alison C, Caldararu Silvia, Haverd Vanessa, Higher global gross primary productivity under future climate with more advanced representations of photosynthesis, Science Advances, 9, (46), 2023, peadh9444- Journal Article, 2023

Ecosystem experiments as a window to future carbon, water, and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, (2023), Karin Rebel, Teresa Gimeno, Sönke Zaehle, Silvia Caldararu, Richard Nair, Victor Rolo, Benjamin Stocker, [Guest editor] Journal, 2023

Lorna E. Street, S. Caldararu, Why are Arctic shrubs becoming more nitrogen limited?, New Phytologist, 233, (2), 2022, p585--587 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Journal of Advances in Modelling Earth Systems, American Geophysical Union, [Associate editor], 2022 Editorial Board, 2022

Fabrice Lacroix, Sönke Zaehle, Silvia Caldararu, Jörg Schaller, Peter Stimmler, Mathias Goeckede, Temporal Disconnect of Seasonal Plant Nutrient Demand and Thaw Depth implies an Increasing Source of N2O in High-Latitude Permafrost Ecosystems , 2022 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Manon Sabot, Martin De Kauwe, Andy Pitman, Belinda Medlyn, David Ellsworth, Silvia Caldararu, Sönke Zaehle, Mengyuan Mu, Teresa Gimeno, Predicting resilience through the lens of competing adjustments to vegetation function, 2022 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Migliavacca Mirco, Musavi Talie, Mahecha Miguel D, Nelson Jacob A, Knauer JÃŒrgen, Baldocchi Dennis D, Perez-Priego Oscar, Christiansen Rune, Peters Jonas, Anderson Karen, The three major axes of terrestrial ecosystem function , Nature , 598 , (7881 ), 2021, p468 - 472 Journal Article, 2021

Silvia Caldararu, Tea Thum, Richard Nair, Sönke Zaehle, Disentangling the long-term foliar 15N signal using a land surface model, 2020 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Silvia Caldararu, Tea Thum, Lin Yu, Sönke Zaehle, Whole"plant optimality predicts changes in leaf nitrogen under variable CO 2 and nutrient availability, New Phytologist, 225, (6), 2020, p2331--2346 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Jiang Mingkai, Caldararu Silvia, Zhang Haiyang, Fleischer Katrin, Crous Kristine Y, Yang Jinyan, De Kauwe Martin G, Ellsworth David S, Reich Peter B, Tissue David T, Low phosphorus supply constrains plant responses to elevated CO2: a meta†analysis , Global Change Biology , 2020 Journal Article, 2020

Mingkai Jiang, Sönke Zaehle, Martin G. De Kauwe, Anthony P. Walker, Silvia Caldararu, David S. Ellsworth, Belinda E. Medlyn, The quasi-equilibrium framework revisited: analyzing long-term CO<sub>2</sub> enrichment responses in plant"soil models, Geoscientific Model Development, 12, (5), 2019, p2069--2089 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Jiang Mingkai, Caldararu Silvia, Zaehle Sönke, Ellsworth David S, Medlyn Belinda E, Towards a more physiological representation of vegetation phosphorus processes in land surface models , New Phytologist , 222 , (3 ), 2019, p1223 - 1229 Journal Article, 2019

Tea Thum, Silvia Caldararu, Jan Engel, Melanie Kern, Marleen Pallandt, Reiner Schnur, Lin Yu, Sönke Zaehle, A new model of the coupled carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus cycles in the terrestrial biosphere (QUINCY v1.0; revision 1996), Geoscientific Model Development, 12, (11), 2019, p4781--4802 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Silvia Caldararu, Drew W. Purves, Matthew J. Smith, The impacts of data constraints on the predictive performance of a general process-based crop model (PeakN-crop v1.0), Geoscientific Model Development, 10, (4), 2017, p1679--1701 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

Silvia Caldararu, Drew W. Purves, Matthew J. Smith, The effect of using the plant functional type paradigm on a data-constrained global phenology model, Biogeosciences, 13, (4), 2016, p925--941 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

S. Caldararu, D. W. Purves, P. I. Palmer, Phenology as a strategy for carbon optimality: a global model, Biogeosciences, 11, (3), 2014, p763--778 Journal Article, 2014 DOI

S. Caldararu, P. I. Palmer, D. W. Purves, Inferring Amazon leaf demography from satellite observations of leaf area index, Biogeosciences, 9, (4), 2012, p1389--1404 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Research Expertise


QUINCY (Quantifying the effects of interacting nutrient cycles on terrestrial biosphere dynamics and their climate feedbacks) is a newly developed land surface model with fully coupled carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and water cycles. QUINCYis built in a modular fashion, and is the ideal tool to test out new hypotheses and model processes. We of course have some new scientific features as well, such as the ability to track carbon and nitrogen isotopes, a short and long-term plant storage pool and decoupling photosynthesis from growth.


  • Title
    • Climate+
  • Funding Agency
    • SFI
  • Date From
    • January 2024