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GREENCYCLES Biogeochemistry and Climate Change Research and Training Network


Ben Poulter

Phone: +49 331 288 2589
Fax: +49 331 288 2695
Email: ben.poulter
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Postal Address:
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Earth System Analysis - Research Domain I
P.O. Box 60 12 03
14412 Potsdam


current research | curriculum vitae | publications | carrer development plan (internal)

Current Research: Terrestrial carbon/climate coupling hot spots

The Amazon River Basin represents a global hotspot where high rates of deforestation and vulnerability to climate change may initiate feedback mechanisms whereby large biome shifts or alterations to biogeochemical cycling may occur. The Lund-Potsdam-Jena Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (LPJ-DGVM) has projected large estimates for carbon emissions from deforestation and climate change in tropical regions (Cramer et al. 2004). Thus, the need to accurately forecast the environmental impacts of global change on Amazonian rainforests extends to the global carbon cycle, climatic teleconnections, and biodiversity habitat.

We will investigate potential feedbacks between land-cover and climate change on fire regimes and hydrologic cycling using the framework set by LPJ. In particular, we will investigate changes in fire regime due to land conversion from deforestation and changes in projected precipitation patterns. The resulting impacts on regional hydrology (evapotranspiration and run-off) will then be considered in terms of their feedbacks to fire and future changes in the pattern and distribution of plant functional types.

This project (ER 3) contributes to the science objective 1 (Quantify feedbacks in the global carbon cycle) of GREENCYCLES and has links to the projects of Marlies (ESR III).

Curriculum Vitae

since 2006 Greencyclist (ER) at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany
2005-2006 Post-Doctoral Researcher at Duke University
2000-2005 PhD student at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University, USA
1999-2000 Research Assistant at the Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford University, USA
1998-1999 Research Assistant at The New York Botanical Gardens, New York, USA
1995-1998 Undergraduate Diploma (BSc), Natural Resources Ecology and Conservation, University of Idaho, Moscow, USA


Poulter B and PN Halpin. 2008. Raster modeling of coastal flooding from sea level rise, International Journal of Geographical Information Science. XXX,XXX, doi:10.1080/13658810701371858.

Poulter B, NL Christensen, SS Qian. 2008. Tolerance of two estuarine southeastern pine species to low-salinity and flooding: Implications for equilibrium vegetation dynamics. Journal of Vegetation Science. 19(1):15-22, doi: 10.3170/2007-8-18410.

Henman J and B Poulter. 2008. Inundation of freshwater peatlands by sea level rise: Uncertainty and potential carbon cycle feedbacks. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. XXX,XXX, doi:10.1029/2006JG000395

Verbeeten, E, B Poulter, A Braimoh, S Herrmann, P Cabral, and A Balogun. 2007. Modeling Global Land-Use Decision Making. EOS Transactions 88(49), 543.

Stephens, N, S Zaehle, and B Poulter. 2007. Improving Our Understanding of Earth System Processes Within the GREENCYCLES EUROPEAN Training Network. EOS Transactions-AGU, 88(38), 372.

Poulter B, NL Christensen and PN Halpin. 2006. Carbon emissions from a temperate peat fire and its relevance to interannual variability of trace atmospheric greenhouse gases, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 111,D06301, doi:10.1029/2005JD006455.

Pearsall S and B Poulter. 2005. Adapting coastal lowlands to rising seas. A Case Study in M.J. Groom, Meffe, G.K. and Carroll, C.R. (Editors). Principles of Conservation Biology (3rd Edition), Sinauer Press, Sunderland, Massachusetts.

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