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Research

My research focuses on mapping, monitoring, modeling, and managing terrestrial environments across scales, especially in the context of global environmental changes. My research employs a combined toolset (e.g., geotechnology, spatial analysis, machine learning, biophysical & climate modeling, ecological modeling, Bayesian statistics, and eddy-covariance) to characterize the status and change in ecosystems, and examine biophysical and ecological responses of terrestrial ecosystems to disturbances and climate change. Example of my research questions include how much carbon forests store, where terrestrial ecosystems have been disturbed and why, how compositions of vegetation communities can be mapped over extensive areas from the air, how long-term vegetation activities have been driven by climate change, where and how forestry and land-use activities generate best climate regulation services, and how crop productivity may change in a warming or dry world? One of my particular emphases is to develop geospatial applications, using tools such as hyper spectral imaging, high-resolution imagery, hyper-temporal remote sensing, and lidar, to characterize ecosystem structure and functioning.