I have an Honours degree in Applied Mathematics from University of Adelaide. After graduating I went to work for a merchant bank and didn't take to it at all.
Then I heard a seminar by Hugh Possingham on mathematical ecology. As a keen outdoors type, I was fascinated by the idea that one could apply mathematics to the outdoors.
I went back to university and obtained a PhD in theoretical biology from University of NSW. I then spent four years as a post-doc in Europe, where I was privileged to work closely with a number of experimentalists who taught me how to interpret data.
On my return to Australia I married, had two children, and worked part-time for several years. I'm now full-time again and am enjoying leading a productive research group.
With collaborators around the world, beautiful forests to work in, and a number of challenging research problems to work on, I have never regretted leaving finance!
Please visit CAFE M - Climate and Forest Ecosystem Modelling Group (opens in a new window)
Areas of research/teaching expertise
My research focuses on how plants, especially forests, respond to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate change. I work at the interface between experiments and models: my aim is to develop evidence-based models of how ecosystem productivity, water use and species composition will be affected by global change, and to do so I work closely with a number of experimental teams world-wide to test and improve ecosystem models.
Identifying regions of high drought mortality risk for tree species in NSW. Australian Research Council – Linkage. 2014-2017. (Medlyn, Beaumont, Tissue, Auld, Evans, Duursma, Rymer, Tjoelker).
Accurate and early yield predictions through advanced statistical modelling; Grapes & Wine Research & Development Corporation. 2014-2017 (van Sluyter, Medlyn)
Modeling to accompany stakeholders towards adaptation of forestry and agroforestry systems to climate changes Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France). 2014 – 2017. (Roupsard, Laclau, Nouvellon, Le Maire, Rapidel, Subervia, Loustau, Bosc, Trichet, Domec, Avelino, Duursma, Medlyn, Imbach, Maris, Garcia, Barrichelo
Building better climate change vegetation models: How do leaves allocate nitrogen among photosynthesis and stress proteins in future climate scenarios? Australian Government – Science and Industry Endowment Fund: John Stocker Postdoctoral Fellowship. 2013-2015. (Westoby, Medlyn, Haynes, Tissue, Wang).
Model-Data Synthesis of Terrestrial Responses to Elevated CO2. US Department of Energy. 2013-2014.
Trading water for carbon: a synthesis of plant water-use efficiency from leaf to globe. Australian Research Council - Discovery. 2012 – 2014: (Medlyn, Prentice, Duursma, Arneth)
The Hawkesbury Forest Experiment: providing the missing information for decision support systems to manage forests under rising CO2 and global warming Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Forest Industries Climate Change Research Fund. 2010-2012. (Ellsworth, Tissue, Adams, Anderson, Atkin, Barton, Cairney, Eamus, Linder, Medlyn, Riegler, Singh).
Elevated CO2 effects on vegetation: repairing the disconnect between experiments and models. Australian Research Council - Discovery. 2010 – 2012: (Medlyn, Leishman, Linder, Norby, Oren)
Forest ecosystem water use: does species diversity matter? Australian Research Council - Linkages. 2009 – 2012. (Ellsworth, Medlyn, Drewry, Morris)
Campany CE, Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, (2017) 'Reduced growth due to belowground sink limitation is not fully explained by reduced photosynthesis', Tree Physiology, vol.37, no.8, pp 1042-1054
Charbonnier F, Roupsard O, le Maire G, Guillemot J, Casanoves F, Lacointe A, Vaast P, Allinne C, Audebert L, Cambou A, Clement-Vidal A, Defrenet E, Duursma RA, Jarri L, Jourdan C, Khac E, Leandro P, Medlyn BE, Saint-Andre L, Thaler P, Van den Meersche K, Aguilar AB, Lehner P, Dreyer E, (2017) 'Increased light-use efficiency sustains net primary productivity of shaded coffee plants in agroforestry system', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.40, no.8, pp 1592-1608
De Kauwe MG, Medlyn BE, Walker AP, Zaehle S, Asao S, Guenet B, Harper AB, Hickler T, Jain AK, Luo YQ, Lu XJ, Luus K, Parton WJ, Shu SJ, Wang YP, Werner C, Xia JY, Pendall E, Morgan JA, Ryan EM, Carrillo Y, Dijkstra FA, Zelikova TJ, Norby RJ, (2017) 'Challenging terrestrial biosphere models with data from the long-term multifactor Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment experiment', Global Change Biology, vol.23, no.9, pp 3623-3645
Drake JE, Power SA, Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, Aspinwall MJ, Choat B, Creek D, Eamus D, Maier C, Pfautsch S, Smith RA, Tjoelker MG, Tissue DT, (2017) 'Stomatal and non-stomatal limitations of photosynthesis for four tree species under drought: A comparison of model formulations', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.247, pp 454-466
Ellsworth DS, Anderson IC, Crous KY, Cooke J, Drake JE, Gherlenda AN, Gimeno TE, Macdonald CA, Medlyn BE, Powell JR, Tjoelker MG, Reich PB, (2017) 'Elevated CO2 does not increase eucalypt forest productivity on a low-phosphorus soil', Nature Climate Change, vol.7, no.4, pp 279-282
Knauer J, Zaehle S, Reichstein M, Medlyn BE, Forkel M, Hagemann S, Werner C, (2017) 'The response of ecosystem water-use efficiency to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations: sensitivity and large-scale biogeochemical implications', New Phytologist, vol.213, no.4, pp 1654-1666
Luo Y, Shi Z, Lu X, Xia J, Liang J, Jiang J, Wang Y, Smith MJ, Jiang L, Ahlström A, Chen B, Hararuk O, Hastings A, Hoffman F, Medlyn B, Niu S, Rasmussen M, Todd-Brown K, Wang Y-P, (2017) 'Transient dynamics of terrestrial carbon storage: Mathematical foundation and its applications', Biogeosciences, vol.14, no.1, pp 145-161
Macinnis-Ng C, Webb T, Lin YS, Schwendenmann L, Medlyn B, (2017) 'Leaf age-related and diurnal variation in gas exchange of kauri (Agathis australis)', New Zealand Journal of Botany, vol.55, no.2, pp 80-99
Rogers A, Medlyn BE, Dukes JS, Bonan G, von Caemmerer S, Dietze MC, Kattge J, Leakey ADB, Mercado LM, Niinemets Ü, Prentice IC, Serbin SP, Sitch S, Way DA, Zaehle S, (2017) 'A roadmap for improving the representation of photosynthesis in Earth system models', New Phytologist, vol.213, no.1, pp 22-42
Ryan EM, Ogle K, Peltier D, Walker AP, de Kauwe MG, Medlyn BE, Williams DG, Parton W, Asao S, Guenet B, Harper AB, Lu XJ, Luus KA, Zaehle S, Shu SJ, Werner C, Xia JY, Pendall E, (2017) ' Gross primary production responses to warming, elevated CO2, and irrigation: quantifying the drivers of ecosystem physiology in a semiarid grassland', Global Change Biology, vol.23, no.8, pp 3092-3106
De Kauwe MG, Keenan TF, Medlyn BE, Prentice IC, Terrer C, (2016) 'Satellite based estimates underestimate the effect of CO2 fertilization on net primary productivity', Nature Climate Change, vol.6, no.10, pp 892-893
De Kauwe MG, Lin YS, Wright IJ, Medlyn BE, Crous KY, Ellsworth DS, Maire V, Prentice IC, Atkin OK, Rogers A, Niinemets U, Serbin SP, Meir P, Uddling J, Togashi HF, Tarvainen L, Weerasinghe LK, Evans BJ, Ishida FY, Domingues TF, (2016) 'A test of the 'one-point method' for estimating maximum carboxylation capacity from field-measured, light-saturated photosynthesis', New Phytologist, vol.210, no.3, pp 1130-1144
Drake JE, Tjoelker MG, Aspinwall MJ, Reich PB, Barton CVM, Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, (2016) 'Does physiological acclimation to climate warming stabilize the ratio of canopy respiration to photosynthesis?' New Phytologist, vol.211, no.3, pp 850-863
Gimeno TE, Crous KY, Cooke J, O'Grady AP, Osvaldsson A, Medlyn BE, Ellsworth DS, (2016) 'Conserved stomatal behaviour under elevated CO2 and varying water availability in a mature woodland', Functional Ecology, vol.30, no.5, pp 700-709
Kala J, De Kauwe MG, Pitman AJ, Medlyn BE, Wang YP, Lorenz R, Perkins-Kirkpatrick SE, (2016) 'Impact of the representation of stomatal conductance on model projections of heatwave intensity', Scientific Reports, vol.6, Article no.23418
Kelly JWG, Duursma RA, Atwell BJ, Tissue DT, Medlyn BE, (2016) 'Drought x CO2 interactions in trees: a test of the low-intercellular CO2 concentration (C-i) mechanism', New Phytologist, vol.209, no.4, pp 1600-1612
Lu Y, Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, (2016) 'Optimal stomatal behaviour under stochastic rainfall', Journal of Theoretical Biology, vol.394, pp 160-171
Medlyn BE, De Kauwe MG, Duursma RA, (2016) 'New developments in the effort to model ecosystems under water stress', New Phytologist, vol.212, no.1, pp 5-7
Medlyn BE, De Kauwe MG, Zaehle S, Walker AP, Duursma RA, Luus K, Mishurov M, Pak B, Smith B, Wang Y-P, Yang X, Crous KY, Drake JE, Gimeno TE, Macdonald CA, Norby RJ, Power SA, Tjoelker MG, Ellsworth DS, (2016) 'Using models to guide field experiments: a priori predictions for the CO2 response of a nutrient- and water-limited native Eucalypt woodland', Global Change Biology, vol.22, no.8, pp 2834-2851
Norby RJ, De Kauwe MG, Domingues TF, Duursma RA, Ellsworth DS, Goll DS, Lapola DM, Luus KA, Mackenzie AR, Medlyn BE, Pavlick R, Rammig A, Smith B, Thomas R, Thonicke K, Walker AP, Yang X, Zaehle S, (2016) 'Model-data synthesis for the next generation of forest free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments', New Phytologist, vol.209, no.1, pp 17-28
Zhou S-X, Medlyn BE, Prentice IC, (2016) 'Long-term water stress leads to acclimation of drought sensitivity of photosynthetic capacity in xeric but not riparian Eucalyptus species', Annals of Botany, vol.117, no.1, pp 133-144
Ali AA, Medlyn BE, Aubier TG, Crous KY, Reich PB, (2015) 'Elevated carbon dioxide is predicted to promote coexistence among competing species in a trait-based model', Ecology and Evolution, vol.5, no.20, pp 4717-4733
Ali AA, Xu CG, Rogers A, McDowell NG, Medlyn BE, Fisher RA, Wullschleger SD, Reich PB, Vrugt JA, Bauerle WL, Santiago LS, Wilson CJ, (2015) 'Global-scale environmental control of plant photosynthetic capacity', Ecological Applications, vol.25, no.8, pp 2349-2365
Atkin OK, Bloomfield KJ, Reich PB, Tjoelker MG, Asner GP, Bonal D, Bönisch G, Bradford MG, Cernusak LA, Cosio EG, Creek D, Crous KY, Domingues TF, Dukes JS, Egerton JJG, Evans JR, Farquhar GD, Fyllas NM, Gauthier PPG, Gloor E, Gimeno TE, Griffin KL, Guerrieri R, Heskel MA, Huntingford C, Ishida FY, Kattge J, Lambers H, Liddell MJ, Lloyd J, Lusk CH, Martin RE, Maksimov AP, Maximov TC, Malhi Y, Medlyn BE, Meir P, Mercado LM, Mirotchnick N, Ng D, Niinemets U, O'Sullivan OS, Phillips OL, Poorter L, Poot P, Prentice IC, Salinas N, Rowland LM, Ryan MG, Sitch S, Slot M, Smith NG, Turnbull MH, Vanderwel MC, Valladares F, Veneklaas EJ, Weerasinghe LK, Wirth C, Wright IJ, Wythers KR, Xiang J, Xiang S, Zaragoza-Castells J, (2015) 'Global variability in leaf respiration in relation to climate, plant functional types and leaf traits', New Phytologist, vol.206, no.2, pp 614-636
Baig S, Medlyn BE, Mercado LM, Zaehle S, (2015) 'Does the growth response of woody plants to elevated CO2 increase with temperature? A model-oriented meta-analysis', Global Change Biology, vol.21, no.12, pp 4303-4319
De Kauwe MG, Kala J, Lin Y-S, Pitman AJ, Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Abramowitz G, Wang Y-P, Miralles DG, (2015) 'A test of an optimal stomatal conductance scheme within the CABLE land surface model', Geoscientific Model Development, vol.8, no.2, pp 431-452
De Kauwe MG, Zhou SX, Medlyn BE, Pitman AJ, Wang Y-P, Duursma RA, Prentice IC, (2015) 'Do land surface models need to include differential plant species responses to drought? Examining model predictions across a mesic-xeric gradient in Europe', Biogeosciences, vol.12, no.24, pp 7503-7518
Kala J, De Kauwe MG, Pitman AJ, Lorenz R, Medlyn BE, Wang Y-P, Lin Y-S, Abramowitz G, (2015) 'Implementation of an optimal stomatal conductance scheme in the Australian Community Climate Earth Systems Simulator (ACCESS1.3b)', Geoscientific Model Development, vol.8, no.12, pp 3877-3889
Lin Y-S, Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Prentice IC, Wang H, Baig S, Eamus D, De Dios VR, Mitchell P, Ellsworth DS, De Beeck MO, Wallin G, Uddling J, Tarvainen L, Linderson M-L, Cernusak LA, Nippert JB, Ocheltree TW, Tissue DT, Martin-StPaul NK, Rogers A, Warren JM, De Angelis P, Hikosaka K, Han Q, Onoda Y, Gimeno TE, Barton CVM, Bennie J, Bonal D, Bosc A, Löw M, Macinins-Ng C, Rey A, Rowland L, Setterfield SA, Tausz-Posch S, Zaragoza-Castells J, Broadmeadow MSJ, Drake JE, Freeman M, Ghannoum O, Hutley LB, Kelly JW, Kikuzawa K, Kolari P, Koyama K, Limousin J-M, Meir P, Da Costa ACL, Mikkelsen TN, Salinas N, Sun W, Wingate L, (2015) 'Optimal stomatal behaviour around the world', Nature Climate Change, vol.5, no.5, pp 459-464
Medlyn BE, Zaehle S, De Kauwe MG, Walker AP, Dietze MC, Hanson PJ, Hickler T, Jain AK, Luo Y, Parton W, Prentice IC, Thornton PE, Wang S, Wang Y-P, Weng E, Iversen CM, Mccarthy HR, Warren JM, Oren R, Norby RJ, (2015) 'Using ecosystem experiments to improve vegetation models', Nature Climate Change, vol.5, no.6, pp 528-534
Prentice IC, Liang X, Medlyn BE, Wang YP, (2015) 'Reliable, robust and realistic: the three R's of next-generation land-surface modelling', Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol.15, no.10, pp 5987-6005
Reyer CPO, Brouwers N, Rammig A, Brook BW, Epila J, Grant RF, Holmgren M, Langerwisch F, Leuzinger S, Lucht W, Medlyn B, Pfeifer M, Steinkamp J, Vanderwel MC, Verbeeck H, Villela DM, (2015) 'Forest resilience and tipping points at different spatio-temporal scales: approaches and challenges', Journal of Ecology, vol.103, no.1, pp 5-15
Varhammar A, Wallin G, McLean CM, Dusenge ME, Medlyn BE, Hasper TB, Nsabimana D, Uddling J, (2015) 'Photosynthetic temperature responses of tree species in Rwanda: evidence of pronounced negative effects of high temperature in montane rainforest climax species', New Phytologist, vol.206, no.3, pp 1000-1012
Walker AP, Zaehle S, Medlyn BE, De Kauwe MG, Asao S, Hickler T, Parton W, Ricciuto DM, Wang YP, Warlind D, Norby RJ, (2015) 'Predicting long-term carbon sequestration in response to CO2 enrichment: How and why do current ecosystem models differ?', Global Biogeochemical Cycles, vol.29, no.4, pp 476-495
Warren JM, Jensen AM, Medlyn BE, Norby RJ, Tissue DT, (2015) 'Carbon dioxide stimulation of photosynthesis in Liquidambar styraciflua is not sustained during a 12-year field experiment', AOB Plants, vol.7, Article no.plu074
Zeppel MJB, Harrison SP, Adams HD, Kelley DI, Li G, Tissue DT, Dawson TE, Fensham R, Medlyn BE, Palmer A, West AG, Mcdowell NG, (2015) 'Drought and resprouting plants', New Phytologist, vol.206, no.2, pp 583-589
De Kauwe MG, Medlyn BE, Zaehle S, Walker AP, Dietze MC, Wang Y-P, Luo Y, Jain AK, El-Masri B, Hickler T, Wårlind D, Weng E, Parton WJ, Thornton PE, Wang S, Prentice IC, Asao S, Smith B, McCarthy HR, Iversen CM, Hanson PJ, Warren JM, Oren R, Norby RJ, (2014) 'Where does the carbon go? A model-data intercomparison of vegetation carbon allocation and turnover processes at two temperate forest free-air CO2 enrichment sites', New Phytologist, vol.203, pp 883-899
Duursma RA, Barton CVM, Lin Y-S, Medlyn BE, Eamus D, Tissue DT, Ellsworth DS, McMurtrie RE, (2014) 'The apparent feed-forward response of stomata to vapour pressure deficit in field conditions can be explained by the temperature optimum of photosynthesis', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.189-190, pp 2-10
Walker AP, Hanson PJ, De Kauwe MG, Medlyn BE, Zaehle S, Asao A, Dietze M, Hickler T, Huntingford C, Iversen CM, Jain A, Lomas M, Luo Y, McCarthy H, Parton QJ, Prentice IC, Thornton PE, Wang S, Wang Y-P, Wårlind D, Weng E, Warren JM, Woodward FI, Oren R, Norby RJ, (2014) 'Comprehensive ecosystem model-data synthesis using multiple datasets at two temperate forest free-air CO2 enrichment experiments: model performance at ambient CO2 concentration', Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, vol.119, pp 937-964
Zaehle S, Medlyn BE, De Kauwe MG, Walker AP, Dietze MC, Hickler T, Luo Y, Wang Y-P, El-Masri B, Thornton P, Jain A, Wang S, Warlind D, Weng E, Parton W, Iversen CM, Gallet-Budynek A, McCarthy H, Finzi A, Hanson PJ, Prentice IC, Oren R, Norby RJ, (2014). 'Evaluation of 11 terrestrial carbon–nitrogen cycle models against observations from two temperate Free-Air CO2 Enrichment studies', New Phytologist, vol.202, pp 803–822
Ali AA, Medlyn BE, Crous KY, Reich PB, (2013) 'A trait-based ecosystem model analysis suggests intrinsically slow-growing plants are more responsive to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration than fast-growing plants in field conditions', Functional Ecology, vol.27, pp 1011-1022
De Kauwe MG, Medlyn BE, Zaehle S, Walker AP, Dietze MC, Hickler T, Jain AK, Luo Y, Parton WJ, Prentice IC, Smith B, Thornton PE, Wang S, Wang Y-P, Wårlind D, Weng ES, Crous KY, Ellsworth DS, Hanson PJ, Seok-Kim H, Warren JM, Oren R, Norby RJ, (2013) 'Forest water use and water use efficiency at elevated CO2: a model-data intercomparison at two contrasting temperate forest FACE sites', Global Change Biology, vol.19, pp 1759-1779
Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, De Kauwe MG, Prentice IC, (2013) 'The optimal stomatal response to atmospheric CO2 concentration: alternative solutions, alternative interpretations', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.182-183, pp 200-203
Zhou S, Duursma RA, Medlyn BE, Kelly JW, Prentice IC, (2013) 'How should we model plant responses to drought? An analysis of stomatal and non-stomatal responses to water stress', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.182-183, pp 204-214
Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Eamus D, Ellsworth DS, Prentice IC, Barton CVM, de Angelis P, Crous KY, Freeman M, Wingate L, (2011) 'Reconciling the optimal and empirical approaches to modelling stomatal conductance', Global Change Biology, vol.17, pp 2134-2144
Medlyn BE, Duursma RA, Zeppel MJB, (2011) 'Forest productivity under climate change: a checklist for evaluating model studies', WIRES Climate Change, vol.2, pp 332-355
Medlyn BE, Pepper DA, O'Grady A, Keith H, (2007) 'Linking leaf and tree water use with an individual-based model',.Tree Physiology, vol.27, pp 1687-1699
Medlyn BE, Berbigier P, Clement R, Grelle A, Loustau D, Linder S, Wingate L, Jarvis PG, Sigurdsson BD, McMurtrie RE, (2005) 'The carbon balance of coniferous forests growing in contrasting climatic conditions: a model-based analysis', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.131, pp 97-124
Medlyn BE, Robinson AP, Clement R, McMurtrie RE, (2005) 'On the validation of models of forest GPP and NEE using eddy covariance data: some perils and pitfalls', Tree Physiology, vol.25, pp 839-857
Medlyn BE, Barrett DJ, Landsberg J, Sands P, Clement R, (2003) 'Conversion of canopy intercepted radiation to photosynthate: modelling approaches at regional scales', Functional Plant Biology, vol.30, pp 153-169
Medlyn BE, Dreyer E, Ellsworth DE, Forstreuter M, Harley PC, Kirschbaum MUF, LeRoux X, Loustau D, Montpied P, Strassemeyer J, Walcroft A, Wang KY, (2002) 'Temperature response of parameters of a biochemically-based model of photosynthesis. II. A review of experimental data', Plant, Cell and Environment, vol.25, pp 1167-1179
Medlyn BE, Loustau D, Delzon S, (2002) 'Temperature response of parameters of a biochemically-based model of photosynthesis. I. Seasonal changes in mature maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.)', Plant, Cell and Environment, vol.25, pp 1155-1165
Medlyn BE, Barton CVM, Broadmeadow MSJ, Ceulemans R, de Angelis P, Forstreuter M, Freeman M, Jackson SB, Kellomäki S, Laitat E, Rey A, Roberntz P, Sigurdsson BD, Strassemeyer J, Wang K, Curtis PS, Jarvis PG, (2001) 'Stomatal conductance of European forest species after long-term exposure to elevated [CO2]: a synthesis of experimental data', New Phytologist, vol.149, pp 247-264