I am broadly interested in landscape ecology, ecosystem ecology, global change ecology, watershed hydrology, and sustainability science. My research goal is to understand and predict how global environmental changes alter ecosystems and biodiversity at regional to global scales, and their consequences for freshwater resources and other vital ecosystem services that underpins human well-being. I am particularly interested in understanding effects of multiple drivers of change (e.g., climate change and extremes, land-us and land management, biological invasions) and their interactions.
Previous, I have been working in a very large, interdisciplinary project on Water Sustainability and Climate funded by the National Science Foundation. Throughout this project, I have focused on a wide range of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystem services (e.g., food production, freshwater supply, water quality, climate and flood regulation, soil retention, hunting, recreation) that are socially and ecologically desirable.I used empirical estimates and spatially explicit models to quantify and map ecosystem services, and developed an innovative approach to analyze spatial interactions among multiple services. I also used spatial statistics and landscape metrics to test for effects and thresholds of landscape pattern on freshwater ecosystem services, and further merged with spatial data on 30 public water policies to investigate spatial fit of water institutions. My ongoing research couples stakeholder-driven future scenarios with process-based biophysical simulation models to understand spatio-temporal dynamics of freshwater resources and ecosystem services from present to 2070.
My current position is part of the sea level rise cluster hire, and I will be investigating the effects of climate extremes and sea level rise on the resilience of coastal communities, and the sustainability of ecosystem services. In addition, I am also interested in land-water interactions and how we can manage the landscapes to enhance freshwater supply and water quality. Moreover, I am also working together with social scientists to understand how water hazards and surprises have changed the social and environmental resilience of urban and agricultural landscapes.
Overall, my research takes an interdisciplinary approach integrating field observation and experiment, computational modeling, remote sensing, landscape analysis, data synthesis, and social sciences to address basic and applied research questions across a range of spatial and temporal scales. The ultimate goal of his research is to produce knowledge that is critical for developing solutions for real-world conservation, management and policy challenges.
Keywords: Landscape ecology; Ecosystem ecology; Watershed hydrology; Global change ecology; Sustainability science; Social-ecology systems; Water quality and quantity; Hydrological modeling; Climate and land-use change; Future scenarios