Doctor Mingkai Jiang

Mingkai Jiang I am an ecosystem ecologist and ecosystem modeller, with broad interests and expertise in plant physiology, ecosystem ecology, global change biology and biogeochemical land surface modelling. I work at the interface between experiments and models: my goal is to understand the physiological mechanisms and feedbacks underpinning ecosystem responses to global change drivers, and to improve predictions of ecosystem dynamics in a changing world. In my research, I use ecological theory, models, observations and big data to advance our understanding of the impact of global change in terrestrial ecosystems. I am also expanding my body of research to link ecosystem functionality with ecosystem services, to better inform land management and climate change mitigation actions.

I joined the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE) in June 2016 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the supervision of Prof. Belinda Medlyn. My research at HIE focuses on data-model inter-comparison with the goal to improve representations of ecosystem responses to climate change in land surface models. I have been also involved in the globally-renowned Eucalyptus Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (EucFACE) facility, and the Whole-Tree Chamber (WTC) experiment. Prior to joining HIE, I received my PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Lehigh University (USA), under the supervision of Prof. Benjamin Felzer. My PhD research quantified the general spatial patterns of climate extremes and climate predictability, and assessed the carbon and water implications of climate extremes at the regional to national levels for the conterminous US.

Teaching experience

  • 2019. Guest lecturer. Ecosystem Ecology. Master student course. College of Health and Science, Western Sydney University.
  • 2018. Guest lecturer. Ecosystem Carbon Accounting. Undergraduate course. College of Health and Science, Western Sydney University.
  • 2018. Guest lecturer. Ecosystem Ecology. Master student course. College of Health and Science, Western Sydney University.
  • 2017. Guest lecturer. Ecosystem Ecology. Master student course. College of Health and Science, Western Sydney University.
  • 2015. Teaching assistant and lab tutor. Terrestrial Ecosystems. Upper-level undergraduate course. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University
  • 2014. Teaching assistant. The Science of Environmental Issues. Undergraduate course. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University.
  • 2014. Teaching assistant and lab tutor. Ecophysiology. Upper-level undergraduate and master student course, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University.

Awards and recognition

  • 2019. Conference Travel and Training Fund (AUD $3,142; Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University).
  • 2017. New Phytologist Next Generation Scientist Symposium travel support (GBP £250; New Phytologist Trust).
  • 2016 - 2019. Universities Australia – Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme grant (AUD $16,050, co-awarded with Prof. David Ellsworth).
  • 2016. The Elizabeth V. Stout PhD Dissertation Award (USD $2,000; Lehigh University, USA, for significant PhD achievement at Lehigh University).
  • 2014. Departmental Research Grant (USD $2,000; Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, on project “development of multi-layer soil model to assess forest response under climatic extremes along a precipitation gradient”).
  • 2014. Class of 68 Research Fellowship Grant (USD $2,500; Lehigh University, on project “assessing stakeholder-defined land use trajectories and the associated ecosystem service changes in the Columbia River Basin of the Pacific Northwest under climate change”).
  • 2012 – 2016. Departmental Travel Grants (USD $9,000; Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University)

Selected publications

Felzer BS, Ember CR, Cheng R, Jiang M, (2020) 'The Relationships of Extreme Precipitation and Temperature Events with Ethnographic Reports of Droughts and Floods in Nonindustrial Societies', Weather Climate and Society, vol.12, no.1, pp 135-148

Jiang M, Medlyn BE, Drake JE, Duursma RA, Anderson IC, Barton CVM, Boer MM, Carrillo Y, Castaneda-Gomez L, Collins L, Crous KY, De Kauwe MG, dos Santos BM, Emmerson KM, Facey SL, Gherlenda AN, Gimeno TE, Hasegawa S, Johnson SN, Kannaste A, Macdonald CA, Mahmud K, Moore BD, Nazaries L, Neilson EHJ, Nielsen UN, Niinemets U, Noh NJ, Ochoa-Hueso R, Pathare VS, Pendall E, Pihlblad J, Pineiro J, Powell JR, Power SA, Reich PB, Renchon AA, Riegler M, Rinnan R, Rymer PD, Salomon RL, Singh BK, Smith B, Tjoelker MG, Walker JKM, Wujeska-Klause A, Yang JY, Zaehle S, Ellsworth DS, (2020) 'The fate of carbon in a mature forest under carbon dioxide enrichment', Nature, vol.580, no.7802, pp 227-231

Yang J, Medlyn BE, De Kauwe MG, Duursma RA, Jiang M,  Kumarathunge D, Crous KY, Gimeno TE, Wujeska-Klause A, Ellsworth DS, (2020) 'Low sensitivity of gross primary production to elevated CO2 in a mature eucalypt woodland', Biogeosciences, vol.17, no.2, pp 265-279

Crous KY, Wujeska-Klause A, Jiang MK, Medlyn BE, Ellsworth DS, (2019) 'Nitrogen and Phosphorus Retranslocation of Leaves and Stemwood in a Mature Eucalyptus Forest Exposed to 5 Years of Elevated CO2', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.10, Article no.664

Fleischer K, Rammigl A, De Kauwe MG, Walker AP, Domingues TF, Fuchslueger L, Garcia S, Goll DS, Grandis A, Jiang MK, Haverd V, Hofhansl F, Holm JA, Kruijt B, Leung F, Medlyn BE, Mercado LM, Norby RJ, Pak B, von Randow C, Quesada CA, Schaap KJ, Valverde-Barrantes OJ, Wang YP, Yang XJ, Zaehle S, Zhu Q, Lapola DM, (2019) 'Amazon forest response to CO2 fertilization dependent on plant phosphorus acquisition', Nature Geoscience, vol.12, no.9, pp 736-741

Fry EL, De Long JR, Alvarez Garrido L, Alvarez N, Carrillo Y, Castaneda-Gomez L, Chomel M, Dondini M, Drake JE, Hasegawa S, Hortal S, Jackson BG, Jiang MK, Lavallee JM, Medlyn BE, Rhymes J, Singh BK, Smith P, Anderson IC, Bardgett RD, Baggs EM, Johnson D, (2019) 'Using plant, microbe, and soil fauna traits to improve the predictive power of biogeochemical models', Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol.10, no.1, pp 146-157

Jiang MK, Caldararu S, Zaehle S, Ellsworth DS, Medlyn BE, (2019) 'Towards a more physiological representation of vegetation phosphorus processes in land surface models', New Phytologist, vol.222, no.3, pp 1223-1229

Jiang MK, Zaehle S, De Kauwe MG, Walker AP, Caldararu S, Ellsworth DS, Medlyn BE, (2019) 'The quasi-equilibrium framework revisited: analyzing long-term CO2 enrichment responses in plant-soil models', Geoscientific Model Development, vol.12, no.5, pp 2069-2089

Yang J, Duursma RA, De Kauwe MG, Kumarathunge D, Jiang M, Mahmud K, Gimeno TE, Crous KY, Ellsworth DS, Peters J, Choat B, Eamus D, Medlyn BE, (2019) 'Incorporating non-stomatal limitation improves the performance of leaf and canopy models at high vapour pressure deficit', Tree physiology, vol.39, no.12, pp 1961-1974

Drake JE, Tjoelker MG, Varhammar A, Medlyn BE, Reich PB, Leigh A, Pfautsch S, Blackman CJ, Lopez R, Aspinwall MJ, Crous KY, Duursma RA, Kumarathunge D, De Kauwe MG, Jiang M, Nicotra AB, Tissue DT, Choat B, Atkin OK, Barton CVM, (2018) 'Trees tolerate an extreme heatwave via sustained transpirational cooling and increased leaf thermal tolerance', Global Change Biology, vol.24, no.6, pp 2390-2402

Felzer BS, Jiang M, (2018) 'Effect of Land Use and Land Cover Change in Context of Growth Enhancements in the United States Since 1700: Net Source or Sink?', Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, vol.123, no.11, pp 3439-3457

Jiang MK, Felzer BS, Nielsen UN, Medlyn BE, (2017) 'Biome-specific climatic space defined by temperature and precipitation predictability', Global Ecology and Biogeography', vol.26, no.11, pp 1270-1282

Jiang M, Felzer BS, Sahagian D, (2016) 'Characterizing predictability and variability of precipitation means and extremes in the conterminous U.S., 1940-2010', Journal of Climate, vol.29, pp 2621-2633

Jiang MK, Felzer BS, Sahagian D, (2016) 'Predictability of Precipitation Over the Conterminous US Based on the CMIP5 Multi-Model Ensemble', Scientific Reports, vol.6, Article no.29962

Jiang M, Felzer BS, Hargreaves B, Zhang J, (2015) 'Improved understanding of climate change impact to Pennsylvania dairy pasture', Crop Science, vol.55, pp 934-949

Jiang M, Bullock JM, Hooftman DAP, (2013) 'Mapping ecosystem service and biodiversity changes over 70 years in a rural English county', Journal of Applied Ecology, vol.50, pp 841-850