Background and activities

I am a terrestrial ecosystem ecologist and land surface modeler interested in the feedback cycles of global climate change and ecosystem carbon cycles. My work focuses on understanding how climate and environmental changes affect ecosystem structure and function, particularly ecosystem C cycling. My recent research interests involve climate change impacts on nature and society. I am particularly interested in how climate change affects people’s lives in high latitude ecosystems and how our efforts to mitigate affect future climate and ecosystems. 


  • 2021- :  Research grant. European Commission – Horizon2020. Polar Regions in the Earth System (PolarRES): Role of local-regional scale polar processes in the changing polar and global climate systems. Lee: WP leader
  • 2020-2024: International partnership grant. Research Council of Norway – INTPART. ES651575/(PRISM) Permafrost thaw RIsks to nature and Society: Multidisciplinary efforts towards solving a multi-dimensional problem. Lee: Project leader
  • 2020-2023: Research grant. Research Council of Norway – KLIMAFORSK. Permafrost4Life: Permafrost ecosystems entangled with human life in Mongolia - evaluating the impact of land use change in a warming climate. Lee: Project co-leader
  • 2019-2022: Research grant. Research Council of Norway – KLIMAFORSK. Emit now, mitigate later? IMPlications of temperature OverShoots for the Earth system (IMPOSE). Lee: Project co-leader
  • 2019-2022: Research grant. Research Council of Norway – KLIMAFORSK. Terrestrial ecosystem-climate interactions of our EMERALD planet. Lee: Project leader group.
  • 2018-2021: Research grant. SKD (Centre for Climate Dynamics). Low and overshoot emission scenarios – from a high to a low carbon society (LOES). Lee: Project co-leader
  • 2017-2020: Research grant. Research Council of Norway – KLIMAFORSK. Hidden costs of implementing afforestation in the Norwegian coast as a climate mitigation strategy (HiddenCosts). Lee: project leader
  • 2016-2019: Research grant. Research Council of Norway – KLIMAFORSK. PERMANOR - Permafrost landscapes in transformation – from local-scale processes to the global model NorESM. Lee: Project co-leader
  • 2016-2019: Research grant. Research Council of Norway – FRINATEK: Young Research Talents Grant. Advancing permafrost carbon climate feedback – improvements and evaluations of the Norwegian Earth System Model with observations (FEEDBACK). Lee: Project leader


  • Kwon T.O., Shibata H., Kepfer-Rojas S., Schmidt I.K., Steenberg Larsen K., Beier C., Berg B., Verheyen K., Lamarque J.F., Hagedorn F., Eisenhauer N., TeaComposition Network, Djukic I. (Lee H. part of the TeaComposition Network) 2021 Effects of climate and atmospheric nitrogen deposition on early to mid-term stage litter decomposition across biomes, Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 4:678480.
  • Schneider von Deimling, T., Lee, H., Ingeman-Nielsen, T., Westermann, S., Romanovsky, V., Lamoureux, S., Walker, D. A., Chadburn, S., Cai, L., Trochim, E., Nitzbon, J., Jacobi, S., and Langer, M. 2021 Consequences of permafrost degradation for Arctic infrastructure – bridging the model gap between regional and engineering scales, The Cryosphere,
  • Peano, D., Hemming, D., Materia, S., Delire, C., Fan, Y., Joetzjer, E., Lee, H., Nabel, J. E. M. S., Park, T., Peylin, P., Wårlind, D., Wiltshire, A., and Zaehle, S. 2021 Plant phenology evaluation of CRESCENDO land surface models – Part 1: Start and end of the growing season, Biogeosciences, 18, 2405–2428,
  • Lee H., Muri H., Ekici A., Schwinger J., Tjiputra J. 2021 The response of terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycling under different aerosol-based radiation management geoengineering, Earth System Dynamics. 12, 313–326,
  • Liu X., Tvinnereim E., Grimsrud K.M., Lindhjem H., Velle L.G., Saure H., Lee H. 2021 Explaining landscape preference heterogeneity using machine learning-based survey analysis, Landscape Research.
  • Cai L., Lee H., Aas K.S., Westermann S. 2020 Projecting circum-Arctic excess-ground-ice melt with a sub-grid representation in the Community Land Model, The Cryosphere. 14, 4611-4626,
  • Mooney P.A., Lee H., Sobolowski S.P. 2020 Impact of quasi-idealized future land cover scenarios at high latitudes in complex terrain, Earth’s Future.
  • Mooney P.A., Sobolowski S.P., Lee H. 2020 Designing and evaluating regional climate simulations for high latitude land use land cover change studies, Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology & Oceanography. 72:1, 1-17.
  • Chadburn S.E., Aalto T., Aurela M., Baldocchi D., Biasi C., Boike J., Burke E.J., Comyn-Platt E., Dolman A.J., Duran-Rojas C., Fan Y., Friborg T., Gao Y., Gedney N., Göckede M., Hayman G.D., Holl D., Hugelius G., Kutzbach L., Lee H., Lohila A., Parmentier F.-J. W., Sachs T., Shurpali N.J., Westermann S. 2020 Modeled microbial dynamics explain the apparent temperature-sensitivity of wetland methane emissions, Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 34, e2020GB006678.
  • Davies-Barnard T., Meyerholt J., Zaehle S., Friedlingstein P., Brovkin V., Fan Y., Fisher R. A., Jones C. D., Lee H., Peano D., Smith B., Wårlind D., Wiltshire A.J. 2020 Nitrogen cycling in CMIP6 land surface models: progress and limitations, Biogeosciences. 17, 5129–5148.
  • Ekici A., Lee H., Lawrence D.M., Swenson S.C., Prigent C. 2019 Ground subsidence effects on simulating dynamic high latitude surface inundation under permafrost thaw using CLM5, Geoscientific Model Development. 12:5291-5300.
  • Halbritter A.H., De Boeck H.J., Eycott A.E., Robinson D.A., Vicca S., Berauer B., Christiansen C.T., Estiarte M., Grünzweig J.M., Gya R., Hansen K., Jentsch A., Lee H., Linder S., Marshall J., Peñuelas J., Reinsch S., Kappel Schmidt I., Wilfahrt P., the ClimMani working group and Vandvik V. 2019 The handbook for standardised field and laboratory measurements in terrestrial climate change experiments and observational studies (ClimEx), Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 11: 22-37.
  • Lee H., Ekici A., Tjiputra J., Muri H., Chadburn S.E., Lawrence D.M., Schwinger J. 2019 The response of permafrost and high latitude ecosystems under large scale stratospheric aerosol injection and its termination, Earth’s Future. 7, 605-614.
  • Aas K.S., Martin L., Nitzbon J., Langer M., Boike J., Lee H., Berntsen T., Westermann S. 2019 Representing dynamically changing permafrost landscapes in Land Surface Models with laterally coupled tiles, The Cryosphere. 13:591-609.
  • Hewins* D.B., Lee* H., Barnes P.W., McDowell N.G., Pockman W., Rahn T., Throop H.L. 2019 Early exposure to UV radiation overshadowed by precipitation and litter quality as drivers of decomposition in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, PlosOne. *Equal contribution.
  • Metcalfe, D.B., Hermans, T.D.G., Ahlstrand, J., Becker, M., Berggren, M., Björk, R.G., Björkman, M., Blok, D., Chaudhary, N., Chisholm, C., Classen, A.T., Hasselquist, N.J., Jonsson, M., Kristensen, J.A., Kumordzi, B., Lee, H., Mayor, J., Prevéy, J., Pantazatou, K., Rousk, J., Sponseller. R., Sundqvist, M.K., Tang, J., Uddling, J., Wallin, G., Wenxin, Z., Ahlström, A., Tenenbaum, D.E, Abdi, A.M. 2018 Patchy field sampling biases understanding of climate change impacts across the Arctic, Nature Ecology & Evolution. 2:1443-1448.
  • Althuizen I.H.J., Lee H., Sarneel J., Vandvik V. 2018 Long-Term Climate Regime Modulates the Impact of Short-Term Climate Variability on Decomposition in Alpine Grassland Soils, Ecosystems, 21:1580-1592.
  • Djukic I., Kepfer-Rojas S., Kappel Schmidt I., Steenberg Larsen K., Beier C., Berg B., Verheyen K., TeaComposition (Lee H. part of the TeaComposition network) 2018 Early stage litter decomposition across biomes, Science of the Total Environment. 628-629: 1369-1394.
  • Tjiputra J., Grini A., Lee H. 2016 Impact of future stratospheric aerosol injection on the large scale ocean and land carbon cycles. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.
  • Lee H., Swenson S.C., Slater A.G., Lawrence D.M. 2014 Effects of excess ground ice on projections of permafrost in a warming climate. Environmental Research Letters. 9:124006.
  • Lee H., Fitzgerald J., Hewins D.B., McCulley R.L., Archer S.A., Rahn T.A., Throop H.L. 2014 Soil moisture and soil-litter mixing effects on surface litter decomposition: A controlled environment assessment. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 72:123-132.
  • Lee H., Mishurov M. 2013 Scaling climate change experiments across space and time. New Phytologist. 200:595-597.
  • Schädel C., Schuur E.A.G., Bracho R., Elberling B., Knoblauch C., Lee H., Luo Y., Shaver G.R., Turetsky M.R. 2012 Circumpolar assessment of permafrost C quality and its vulnerability over time using long-term incubation data. Global Change Biology. 20:641-652.
  • Lee H., Rahn T.A., Throop H.L. 2012 A novel source of atmospheric H2: abiotic degradation of plant litter. Biogeosciences. 9:4411-4419.
  • Swenson S.C., Lawrence D.L., Lee H. 2012 Improved simulation of the terrestrial hydrological cycle in permafrost regions by the Community Land Model. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems. 4:M08002.
  • Lee H., Rahn T.A., Throop H.L. 2012 An accounting of C-based trace gas production from abiotic plant litter degradation. Global Change Biology. 18:1185-1195.
  • Lee H., Schuur E.A.G., Inglett K.S., Lavoie M., Chanton J.P. 2012 The rate of permafrost carbon release under aerobic and anaerobic conditions and their climate effect. Global Change Biology. 18:515-527.
  • Lee H., Schuur E.A.G., Vogel J.G., Lavoie M., Bhadra D., Staudhammer C.L. 2011 A spatially explicit analysis to extrapolate carbon fluxes in upland tundra where permafrost is thawing. Global Change Biology. 17:1379-1393.
  • Lee H., Schuur E.A.G., Vogel J.G. 2010 Soil CO2 production in upland tundra where permafrost is thawing. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. 115:G01009.
  • Schuur E.A.G., Vogel J.G., Crummer K.G., Lee H., Sickman J.O., Osterkamp T.E. 2009 The effects of permafrost thaw on old carbon release and net carbon exchange from tundra. Nature. 459:556-559.
  • Vogel J.G., Schuur E.A.G., Trucco C., Lee H. 2009 Response of CO2 exchange in a tussock tundra ecosystem to permafrost thaw and thermokarst development. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. 114, G04018.
  • Schuur E.A.G., Bockheim J., Canadell J., Euskirchen E., Field C.B., Goryachkin S., Hagemann S., Kuhry P., Lafleur P., Lee H., Mazhitova G., Nelson F.E., Rinke A., Romanovsky V., Shiklomanov N., Tarnocai C., Venevsky S., Vogel J.G., Zimov S.A. 2008 Vulnerability of permafrost carbon to climate change: Implications for the global carbon cycle. BioScience. 58:701-714.

Outreach and media appearence