GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Benjamin N. Sulman

I am a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton Environmental Institute, working on the GFDL land model.


Research interests

My research focuses on the terrestrial carbon cycle and its sensitivity and feedbacks to climate.  My primary goal is improving the simulation of soil and ecosystem carbon storage and fluxes within the land component of the GFDL Earth System Model.  The key questions I am interested in answering include:

  • How will climate change affect carbon storage in high-latitude peatlands?
  • How sensitive are long-lived soil carbon pools to changes in temperature and precipitation?
  • Can we reduce our uncertainty in simulations of the future carbon cycle by including soil processes such as microbial dynamics, physical protection in microaggregates, and chemical protection through sorption of organic compounds onto clay particles?

As a first step to answering these questions, I am currently updating the soil carbon component of the LM3 model.


I completed my Ph.D. in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in April, 2012, working with Dr. Ankur Desai.  My dissertation focused on the responses of peatland CO2 fluxes to changes in hydrology, using both eddy covariance measurements and modeling tools.  As part of my research, I spent two summers at the University of Michigan Biological Station as part of the Biosphere-Atmosphere Research and Training (BART) IGERT fellowship program.

Curriculum vitae