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Carlos Sierra

Carlos Sierra
I am a guest professor at the Department of Ecology. During my visit at SLU, I will work towards a better understanding of the effects of management on soil carbon sequestration and related climate feedbacks.


My main research interest lies in the intersection between the global carbon cycle, theoretical ecology, and mathematics. I have a 50% appointment at the Department of Ecology in SLU, and a 50% appoitment at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany.


Some of my main research questions include:

- For how long does carbon stay in terrestrial ecosystems and the entire terrestrial biosphere?

- How long would it take to remove carbon of fossil-fuel origen from the atmosphere-biosphere-surface ocean system?

- Can we adaptively manage terrestrial ecosystems to increase the time carbon remains stored before returning to the atmosphere?

Selected publications

Sierra, C. A., Metzler, H., Müller, M., & Kaiser, E. (2021). Closed-loop and congestion control of the global carbon-climate system. Climatic Change, 165(1), 15. 

Sierra, C. A., Crow, S. E., Heimann, M., Metzler, H., & Schulze, E.-D. (2021). The climate benefit of carbon sequestration. Biogeosciences, 18(3), 1029–1048.

Sierra, C. A., Hoyt, A. M., He, Y., & Trumbore, S. E. (2018). Soil Organic Matter Persistence as a Stochastic Process: Age and Transit Time Distributions of Carbon in Soils. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 32(10), 1574–1588.

Sierra, C. A., Ceballos-Núñez, V., Metzler, H., & Müller, M. (2018). Representing and Understanding the Carbon Cycle Using the Theory of Compartmental Dynamical Systems. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 10(8), 1729–1734.

Sierra, C. A., & Müller, M. (2015). A general mathematical framework for representing soil organic matter dynamics. Ecological Monographs, 85, 505–524.

Sierra, C. A., Trumbore, S. E., Davidson, E. A., Vicca, S., & Janssens, I. (2015). Sensitivity of decomposition rates of soil organic matter with respect to simultaneous changes in temperature and moisture. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 7(1), 335–356.



Non employee at the Department of Ecology; S, Ekosystems Ecology Unit
Postal address:
Inst för ekologi, Box 7044,
750 07 Uppsala
Visiting address: Ulls väg 16, Uppsala