Ram Oren

Ram Oren

Nicholas Professor of Earth System Science

MF Program Co-Chair

With his graduate students, Dr. Oren quantifies the components of water flux in forest ecosystems and the influence of biotic and abiotic factors on water and, due to strong links between carbon and water, on carbon flux. Climate variability, including variations in air temperature, vapor pressure deficit, incoming radiation and soil moisture, and environmental change, including elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide, affect the intra- and inter-annual patterns and amounts of water used by forest ecosystems, and its spatial distribution, as well as carbon uptake and sequestration. The variation of water flux influence the temporal and spatial partitioning of incoming radiation between latent and sensible heat. Using a local mass balance approach and detailed measurements of water flux and driving variables in the soil, plants, and the atmosphere, in forests from Brazil to Alaska, Dr. Oren evaluates the likely responses of different forest ecosystems to environmental change.

In The News


Metcalfe, DB, Ricciuto, D, Palmroth, S, Campbell, C, Hurry, V, Mao, J, Keel, SG, Linder, S, Shi, X, Näsholm, T, Ohlsson, KEA, Blackburn, M, Thornton, PE, and Oren, R. "Informing climate models with rapid chamber measurements of forest carbon uptake." Global change biology 23, no. 5 (May 2017): 2130-2139.
Kim, D, Oren, R, Clark, JS, Palmroth, S, Oishi, AC, McCarthy, HR, Maier, CA, and Johnsen, K. "Dynamics of soil CO2 efflux under varying atmospheric CO2 concentrations reveal dominance of slow processes." Global change biology (April 5, 2017).
Tor-Ngern, P, Oren, R, Oishi, AC, Uebelherr, JM, Palmroth, S, Tarvainen, L, Ottosson-Löfvenius, M, Linder, S, Domec, J-C, and Näsholm, T. "Ecophysiological variation of transpiration of pine forests: synthesis of new and published results." Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America 27, no. 1 (January 2017): 118-133.
Franklin, O, Cambui, CA, Gruffman, L, Palmroth, S, Oren, R, and Näsholm, T. "The carbon bonus of organic nitrogen enhances nitrogen use efficiency of plants." Plant, cell & environment 40, no. 1 (January 2017): 25-35.
Hasselquist, NJ, Metcalfe, DB, Inselsbacher, E, Stangl, Z, Oren, R, Näsholm, T, and Högberg, P. "Greater carbon allocation to mycorrhizal fungi reduces tree nitrogen uptake in a boreal forest." Ecology 97, no. 4 (April 2016): 1012-1022.


ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
ENVIRON 898: Program Area Seminar (ENVIRON 898: Program Area Seminar)
ENVIRON 503: Forest Ecosystems (ENVIRON 503: Forest Ecosystems)
ENVIRON 899: Master's Project (ENVIRON 899: Master's Project)
ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study (ENVIRON 393: Research Independent Study)

Contact Information

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
A246A Lev Sci Res Ctr
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., Oregon State University (1984)
M.S., Oregon State University (1980)
B.S., Humboldt State University (1978)