Anders Michelsen

Anders Michelsen





Anders Michelsen

(mobile) +45 23 39 82 86

Physiological Ecology, Biology, Univ. of Copenhagen


Place of work

Professor at Physiological Ecology Group, Terrestrial Ecology Section, Dept. of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2200 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Academic degrees

1992               Ph.D. degree in Botany obtained from the University of Copenhagen

1989               M.Sc. degree in Biology from the University of Copenhagen

Positions held

2012- now       Full professor, Dept. of Biology, Terr. Ecol. Sect., Univ. of Copenhagen

1998-2012       Associate professor, Dept. of Biology,  Univ. of Copenhagen

1995-1998       Assistant professor, Botanical Inst., Dept Plant Ecol, Univ Copenhagen

1993-1995       Post doc, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Merlewood Research Station, UK

1993                Research fellow at the Botanical Institute, University of Copenhagen

1993                Deputy ass. prof., Botanical Museum, Univ. of Copenhagen

Appointments and duties

  • CO-PI Danish National Research Foundation/ Danmarks Grundforskningsfond Centre of Excellence, Center for Permafrost (CENPERM), 2012-21
  • Board Member of the Arctic Station, Disko/ Copenhagen Univ., Greenland, 2013-2018
  • Section Head, Terr Ecol Section, Dept of Biology,  Copenhagen Univ, 2013-2016
  • Leader of the Physiological Ecology Research Group, since 2007.
  • Member of the board of the Botanical Institute 1999-2002.
  • Head of Department of Plant Ecology 1999-2002.
  • Member of Scientific Board on the Basic Ecological Research and Monitoring Programme at Zackenberg Research Station, NE Greenland since 2006.
  • Member of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) association since 2005.

External grants received, as coordinator

  • Nitrogen fixation as a key function in contrasting ecosystems: Climatic and molecular controls, Det Frie Forskningsråd | Natur og Univers, 2.416.251 DKK (2016-2019)
  • Effects of long-term environmental change on carbon fluxes and mycorrhizal diversity in subarctic heath ecosystems. EU INTERACT Transnational Access 5357€ DKK 40.000,- (2011)
  • Influence of plant-microbial interactions and climate on plant performance and ecosystem C and N pools. FNU Research grant; 748.800,- DKK (2011-2012).
  • Analytical equipment (GC-MS) for research in physiological ecology. Carlsberg Foundation; 300.000,- DKK (2010-2011).
  • Nitrogen fixation in the Arctic in a changing climate; 640.000,- DKK (Faculty Research Grant post doc to Pernille L. Sørensen, 2008-2010).
  • EU stipend to Marie Curie fellow (MCF-ERICA: Ericoid mycorrhizas and carbon biogeochemistry in subarctic ecosystems), to post doc (Maria Olsrud) 1.400.000,- DKK, (2006-2010).
  • Environmental controls on plants, microbes and biogeochemical processes in the Arctic. 792.000,- DKK (FNU rammebevilling 272-06-0230, 2007-9).
  • Effects of climate- and UV-B manipulations on processes and organisms in high arctic terrestrial ecosystems. 315.000,- DKK (Miljøstyrelsen, 127/01-0205, 2005-6)
  • Spectral calibration for high arctic primary production estimation (SCHAPPE); 150.000,- DKK (SNF no 21-03-0454, 2003-4)
  • C and N analyzer for soil and plant analysis; 503.909,- DKK (SNF no. 21-03-0176, 2003)
  • ECOMASS: Ecosystems research with mass spectrometry; 850.000,- DKK from SNF (and 200.000,- DKK from Botanical Institute) for an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (SNF no. 1430, 2000).
  • Post doc grant (”Experimental studies of belowground processes…”); 742.000 DKK. (SNF ref. 11-0611-1. 1993-1995).

External grants received, with other researchers

  • Centre for Permafrost (CENPERM) Danish National Research Foundation/Danmarks Grundforskningsfond 2012-2021. Co-PI. Total 100 mill DKK. My share of overhead to BIO c. 5.000.000,-. DKK.
  • Climaite 3rd phase, Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation, 2012-2014, total 13.000.000,- DKK; my share c. 1.000.000,- DKK.
  • Nordic Network for Stable Isotope Research (NORDSIR) NORDFORSK, 2010-2013, 826.290,- DKK
  • Climaite 2nd phase, Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation, 2009-2012, total 12.500.000,- DKK; my share c. 1.500.000,- DKK (incl. 1 year phd co-funding from Univ. of Copenhagen)
  • Climaite,1st phase Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation, 2004-2009, total 25.000.000,- DKK;  my share c. 1.400.000,- DKK
  • Multiple environmental changes, effects on arctic organisms and ecosystem processes, 1999-2002) Nordic Arctic Research Programme (NARP)
  • Equipment for field measurements of photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration in plants; Danish Natural Science Research Council 2003 (SNF) 397.705,- DKK
  • Biogeochemistry in the Arctic…”, SNF 9901759; and The Arctic Landscape”, Danish Natural Science Research Council  (SNF) 9501046, 1995-2002)
  • “FITES - Fire in Tropical Ecosystems”, Danish Council for Development Research, 1996-2000)
  • Funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Board (127402) 1996-1997

Scientific peer reviews and evaluations

  • Review of research proposals for Natural Environment Research Council, NERC (UK), National Science Foundation, NSF (US), Research Foundation Flanders FWO (Belgium), Canadian Research Council, and NOW Polar Programme (Netherlands).
  • Evaluation of applicants for assistant professorship at Umeå and Lund Universities (Sweden), and research positions at National Environment Research Institute / Aarhus University.
  • Member of ph.d evaluation committees at University in Lund (Sweden), University of Jyväskyla (Finland) and University of Copenhagen.
  • Review of papers for the scientific journals: Nature Climate Change, Global Change Biology, Acta Oecologia, Agroforestry Systems, Ambio, Ecology, New Phytologist, Functional Ecology, Geoderma, Oikos, Antarctic Science, Journal of Tropical Ecology, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Biodiversity and Conservation, Oecologia, Ecosystems, Biogeochemistry, Nordic Journal of Botany, Plant and Soil, Applied Soil Ecology, Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, Plant Ecology.

Scientific conferences

  • Responses to multiple manipulations of arctic ecosystems, Abisko, June 1996
  • Global change and tundra soil biology, Copenhagen, Nov. 1996
  • Scenarios for ecosystem responses to global change, ARTERI, Copenhagen, 1996
  • Transport and metabolism in arbuscular mycorrhizas, COST 8.21, Risø, Nov. 1996
  • 2.nd International Conference on Mycorrhizae, Uppsala, Sweden July 1998
  • GCTE-LUCC Open Science Conference, Barcelona, March 1998
  • Nutrient constrains on carbon balances in boreal forests and arctic tundra. Abisko, Sweden, June 1999
  • Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies. Braunschweig, Germany, May 2000
  • Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies II. Wellington, New Zeeland, April 2004
  • Second International Conference on Arctic Research Planning, ICARP II, Copenhagen, Nov. 2005.
  • After the Melt – Int. Conference on Ecological Responses to Arctic Climate Change, Aarhus, May 2008
  • Climate change. Global risks, challenges and decisions. IARU Science Congress. Copenhagen, Mar. 2009
  • Isotopes in Earth System Science. Earth System Science Meeting. NBI, Copenhagen, June 2009
  • Nutrient constraints on carbon cycling. CLIMMANI & INTERFACE Workshop, Iceland, June 2011
  • Stable Isotope studies on carbon and nitrogen cycling. Nordic Network for Stable Isotope Research (NORDSIR) Meeting, Holbæk, October 2011 (invited keynote speaker)

Research and teaching output

Publications: 183 in peer reviewed journals and books since 1990, >200 publications in total. ISI/Web of Science citation index: 179 papers, 6576 times cited (2017); average citations per publication: 38.7; h-index: 47.

Completed research supervision of 8 post docs, 58 MSc students, and 15 Ph.D. students.

Present number of post docs 1, Ph.D students 2, MSc students 7.

At University of Copenhagen I am teaching basic and high level courses in Experimental design and statistics, Arctic biology, General ecology, Microbial Ecology, Methods and sampling in Environmental Management, Nature and environment, and Plant ecophysiology, and I am coordinator on a course in Terrestrial ecosystem processes and global change, and on Statistics.

List of students, ph.d and post docs

Supervised MSc students (58): Jette Lundsbøl Petersen, Charlotte Juhl Vestergaard,Jane Engstrøm Dannesboe, Iben Henriksen (nu Stanhardt), Pernille Lærkedal Sørensen, Susanne König, Mette Thyme, Karen Dahl Jensen, Klaus Steenberg Larsen, Karina Engelbrecht Clemmensen, Anja Hoff Hansen, Lisbeth Rauff, Nathan Russell, Julie Bülow Svendsen, Sita Fabricius, Tina Johnsen, Louise Andresen, Frida Kastrup, Anja Vilsholm, Vivian Danielsen, Jane Kongstad Pedersen, Marie Arndal, Pia Lund Nielsen, Kim Kjærsgaard Nielsen, Christian Lindekrans, Anders Tesgaard, Annebeth Hoffmann, Lasse Kjems, Peter Byskov Vang Dalgaard, Merian Skouw-Rasmussen, Kristine Boesgaard, Lena Folkvard Petersen, Astrid Kappel Nielsen, Sebrina Burchard, Casper Tai Christensen, Sarah Svendsen, Anders Juel, Caroline E Simonsen, Maria Topgaard, Mette Hedegaard, Signe Lett, Michelle Schollert Skovgaard , Nynne Larsen, Hanne Kristine Dyrnum, Therese van Driel, Susanne Munk Andersen, Sisse Pedersen, Kathrine Høyrup, Jesper Mosbacher, Ditte Brogaard Iversen, John Rasmussen, Camille Gry Smenge, Nina Bonke Mikkelsen, Nanna Lundh, Morten Mikkel Rolsted, Nanna Baggesen, Lotte Madsen, Lene Seierø, Astrid Emilie Knak Goth, Julie Andersen

Supervised PhD students (15): Menassie Gashaw, Enrico Graglia, Karl Emmerton, Erik Aude, Lotte Illeris, Michael Jensen, Magnus Olsson, Heidi Sjursen Konestabu, Karina E Clemmensen, Klaus Steenberg Larsen, Pernille Lærkedal Sørensen, Matteo Campioli, Louise C. Andresen, Merete Bang Selsted, Merian Skouw Haugwitz, Marie Porret Merrild.

Supervised post docs (8): Carola Gehrke, Jorge Castro,Pernille Lærkedal Sørensen, Louise C. Andresen, Maria Olsrud, Riikka Rinnan, Daan Blok, Merian Skouw Haugwitz

Current MSc students (5): Lisbeth Simonsen, Nor Balder Thane Christensen, Pia Petersen, Aya Tora Permin

Current PhD students (2):, Nynne Larsen, Jesper Mosbacher

Current Post docs (2): Kathrin Rousk, Annelein Meisner


Guest lecturer

I have contributed to several ph.d courses at University of Copenhagen, University of Lund, and KVL/LIFE, Copenhagen: Methods in Plant Ecology; Organic Matter in Soil: Pools and Processes; Experimental Design and Statistical Methods in Biology; Ecosystem Processes; Nutrient Cycling in Terrestrial Ecosystems; Dynamics of Organic Matter in Soil; Plant migration, persistence and adaptation in response to environmental change.

I have contributed to courses in Plant Ecophysiology at KVL/LIFE, Copenhagen, and in Stable Isotopes at Geology, University of Copenhagen

Research profile

My field of research is plant physiological ecology, biogeochemistry and plant ecophysiology. The focus of my research is on interactions between plants, microbes, atmosphere and soil, mainly in terrestrial ecosystems. I study above- and belowground processes in non-managed arctic/alpine, temperate and tropical ecosystems, supplemented with experimental manipulations in growth chambers, greenhouses, nurseries and the field.

The aim is to reveal the consequences of environmental changes such as global warming, nitrogen deposition or changed land use on processes involving soils, plants and microbes, from root/leaf level to ecosystem level. Current activities focus on experimental studies of the effects of climate change (global warming) and UV-B radiation on nutrient and carbon cycling in arctic and temperate ecosystems. For instance, the role of nitrogen fixation and of the emission of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from arctic and temperate heath vegetation is studied using my long-term climate change related field plots.

As the responsible for the advanced isotope ratio mass spectrometer in our laboratory, stable isotope methodology is frequently used in my research, in collaboration a wide range of scientists at BIO and abroad. By the use of stable isotopes (13C and 15N), both at natural abundance and at enrichment levels, one of my main research aims has been to increase our understanding of plant uptake of soil nitrogen in various forms, in symbiosis and/or competition with soil microorganisms, and to investigate the role of mycorrhizal fungi in plant nutrition, especially in non-managed ecosystems.

Furthermore, my research group is one of the main players internationally in the attempts to reveal the effects of climate change on decisive biogeochemical and physiological processes and key organisms in natural ecosystems, both in the temperate zone and, not the least, in the Arctic. Several long-term ecosystem manipulation experiments in N Sweden and Greenland, led by me, constitute a permanent attraction for post docs, ph.d and master students, both nationally and internationally. My emphasis on the coupling between above-and belowground processes, biogeochemistry and plant physiology ecology in natural or low-management ecosystems in the Arctic is probably unique in a Danish university context.




ID: 12629