BSc Forest Science at University of Firenze (Italy, 1992). Research Associate at Istituto Sperimentale per la Selvicoltura (Italy, 1992). PhD in plant environmental biology at the University of Firenze (Italy, 1993-1995). Postdoc at Boyce Thompson at Cornell University (USA, 1995-1997). Lecturer, senior Lecturer, Reader, then Professor of Forest Science at Edinburgh University (UK, 1997-2016). ICREA Research Professor of Plant and Ecosystem Ecology at CREAF (Barcelona, Spain) since 2012. Visiting scientist positions at CSIRO (Australia) and Western Sydney University (Australia). Honorary Professor of Forest Science at University of Edinburgh (UK, 2016-ongoing). Since 2018, ranked as a Highly Cited Researcher (top 1% by citations) in the field of Plant and Animal Science by Clarivate Analytics. Ranked among the top Italian Scientists in the area of Natural & Environmental Science by Via-Academy (https://www.topitalianscientists.org/top-italian-scientists).
I work at the frontier between plant biology and environmental sciences, at the interface with global change. My major contributions to science are in the study of the carbon and water cycles of forests, across Boreal, temperate, tropical and Mediterranean biomes of Europe, the Americas, Australia and Africa. I have authored more than 250 peer-reviewed papers. I am very involved in debates concerning how more severe droughts, as a consequence of climate change, can accelerate tree mortality. One area of major contribution has been in identifying the processes by which plant physiological properties affect the likelihood of survival following extreme drought events. I am also very interested in how canopies of forest trees can act as filters of atmospheric nitrogen deposition via their leaf microbiome. I have supervised more than 40 scientists, of whom more than 20 are still active in senior academic positions or universities. I have spoken at several high-profile conferences.
- McDowell et al. 2022, 'Mechanisms of woody-plant mortality under rising drought, CO2 and vapour pressure deficit', Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 3: 294-308.
- Duan B, Cai T, Man X, et al. 2022, 'Different variations in soil CO2, CH4, and N2O fluxes and their responses to edaphic factors along a boreal secondary forest successional trajectory', Science Of The Total Environment, 838, 1, 155983.
- Guo et al. 2022, 'High exposure of global tree diversity to human pressure', Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 119, 25, e2026733119.
- McDowell NG, Ball M, Bond-Lamberty B, et al. 2022, 'Processes and mechanisms of coastal woody-plant mortality', Global Change Biology, 28, 20, 5881-5900.
- Salomon et al. 2022, 'The 2018 European heatwave led to stem dehydration but not to consistent growth reductions in forests', Nature Communications, 13, 1, 28.
- SERRA-MALUQUER X, GAZOL A, ANDEREGG WRL, MARTÍNEZ-VILALTA J, MENCUCCINI M, CAMARERO JJ, 2022. 'Wood density and hydraulic traits influence species’ growth response to drought across biomes'. Global Change Biology, 28: 3871-3882.