PS Seminar Series: Acclimation of photosynthesis and leaf respiration to warming and elevated CO2 – Results from experimental field studies in boreal and tropical regions

Talk abstract: Photosynthesis and leaf respiration are key metabolic processes for plant growth and their carbon exchange with the atmosphere are the largest within the global carbon cycle. Most of our understanding on the acclimation of these two processes to climate change variables (temperature and elevated CO2) is largely based on studies from highly controlled experiments on seedlings, and it is uncertain to what extent these responses would apply to trees growing in realistic field settings. Moreover, plant species from boreal and tropical forests have relatively been less studied compared to those from the temperate region. In this seminar, I will present new findings on acclimation responses of photosynthesis and leaf respiration to warming and elevated CO2 from field experiments in tropical (Africa – Rwanda and Latin America - Colombia) and boreal (North America – Canada and USA) plant species.

Biography: Eric conducted his BSc at the University of Rwanda and MSc at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The research projects for both BSc and MSc thesis focused on tropical tree physiology and were both done within the University of Rwanda and the University of Gothenburg collaboration. He defended his PhD thesis on boreal climate change ecophysiology at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 2019. After his PhD, he worked on three postdoc projects in Sweden (Marie Curie Fellowship), the UK (postdoctoral fellow at the University of Exeter), and Canada (postdoctoral associate at the University of Western Ontario), before starting his current tenure-track position at Mount Allison University in Canada. Eric's main research interests are to understand and predict how tropical and boreal trees will respond to climate change.