Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Ensheng Weng

(Associate Research Scientist)

Ensheng Weng's Contact Card & Information.
Org Code: 611
Mail Code 611
New York, NY 10025

Research Interests

Terrestrial ecosystem and carbon cycle modeling

Earth Science: Ecosystem function

My research focuses on the modeling of terrestrial ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, and their responses to climate change. I use mathematical modeling, simulation of ecosystem processes, and game theory to understand plant demographic and eco-physiological processes and their effects on ecosystem structure, carbon, nutrient, and water cycles across various scales. I also use data assimilation approaches to improve model parameterization and analyze model structure and uncertainty.


Associate Research Scientist

Columbia University/NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies - 2880 Broadway, New York, NY

October 2016 - Present

Vegetation modeling

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Princeton University - Princeton, NJ 08540

June 2011 - September 2016

Modeling forest dynamics based on competition and plant traits


  • 8/2007~ 5/2011: PhD, University of Oklahoma 
  • 8/2001~2/2005: PhD, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences 
  • 8/1998~ 7/2001: Master of Science, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 9/1993-7/1997: Bachelor of Science, Department of Biology, Shaanxi Normal University

Selected Publications


2021. "CMIP6 Historical Simulations (1850‐2014) with GISS‐E2.1." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 13 e2019MS002034 [10.1029/2019ms002034] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Improving collaborations between empiricists and modelers to advance grassland community dynamics in ecosystem models." New Phytologist 228 (5): 1467-1471 [10.1111/nph.16900] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "GISS‐E2.1: Configurations and Climatology." Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 12 (8): [10.1029/2019ms002025] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Competition alters predicted forest carbon cycle responses to nitrogen availability and elevated CO2: simulations using an explicitly competitive, game-theoretic vegetation demographic model." Biogeosciences 16 (23): 4577-4599 [10.5194/bg-16-4577-2019] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Increasing impacts of extreme droughts on vegetation productivity under climate change." Nature Climate Change 9 (12): 948-953 [10.1038/s41558-019-0630-6] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Carbon–nitrogen coupling under three schemes of model representation: a traceability analysis." Geoscientific Model Development 11 (11): 4399-4416 [10.5194/gmd-11-4399-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Vegetation demographics in Earth System Models: A review of progress and priorities." Global Change Biology 24 (1): 35-54 [10.1111/gcb.13910] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Predicting vegetation type through physiological and environmental interactions with leaf traits: evergreen and deciduous forests in an earth system modeling framework." Global Change Biology 23 (6): 2482-2498 [10.1111/gcb.13542] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Using ecosystem experiments to improve vegetation models." Nature Climate change 5 (6): 528-534 [10.1038/nclimate2621] [Journal Article/Letter]

2015. "Scaling from individual trees to forests in an Earth system modeling framework using a mathematically tractable model of height-structured competition." Biogeosciences 12 (9): 2655-2694 [10.5194/bg-12-2655-2015] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Ecosystem carbon storage capacity as affected by disturbance regimes: A general theoretical model." Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 117 (G3): n/a--n/a [10.1029/2012JG002040] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Assimilation of multiple data sets with the ensemble Kalman filter to improve forecasts of forest carbon dynamics." Ecological Applications 21 (5): 1461--1473 [10.1890/09-1234.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Uncertainty analysis of forest carbon sink forecast with varying measurement errors: a data assimilation approach." Journal of Plant Ecology 4 (3): 178-191 [10.1093/jpe/rtr018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Relative information contributions of model vs. data to short- and long-term forecasts of forest carbon dynamics." Ecological Applications 21 (5): 1490--1505 [10.1890/09-1394.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Lagged effects of experimental warming and doubled precipitation on annual and seasonal aboveground biomass production in a tallgrass prairie." Global Change Biology 14 (12): 2923--2936 [10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01703.x] [Journal Article/Letter]

2008. "Soil hydrological properties regulate grassland ecosystem responses to multifactor global change: A modeling analysis." Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 113 (G3): n/a--n/a [10.1029/2007JG000539] [Journal Article/Letter]