About us

Principle Investigator

Dr. Han Wang is a quantitative plant ecologist. She is interested in mathematically predicting the responses of plants and ecosystems and to environmental changes from first-principles, such as the optimality hypotheses rooted in natural selection. By expanding the role of theory in ecology, she aims to understand the links between the acclimation/adaptation of plant ecophysiological processes, the evolution of plants and the succession of ecosystem and even earth system.

Email: wang_han@tsinghua.edu.cn

Post Doctors

Jian Zhou got his PhD degree in Department of Earth System Sciences, Tsinghua University, and had a Postdoc experience in Department of Ecology, Peking University. He is interested in theoretical ecology and has been seeking for mathematical principles underlying ecological processes and phenomena. During his PhD studies, he analyzed the problems of respiratory carbon isotopic fractionations and forest size structural dynamics with diffusion equations, and applied Jensen’s inequality to the derivation of self-thinning rule. During his Postdoctoral studies, he mainly focused on the biodiversity effects on ecosystem productivity and stability, and developed an analytic model to the variable biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships in natural communities. He is now trying to understand the formation of functional diversity in natural communities with the concepts of natural selection and the evolutionary optimality. He is also interested in applying ecological principles to the construction and maintenance of closed life support systems.

Email: jianzhou120@gmail.com

Ph.D students

Shengchao Qiao is interested in crop growth simulation. He tries to construct a simple crop model (PC model) based on theories and observations with the development of current natural vegetation models. He studies the response of crop growth to environmental conditions and management practices, and the food production risks in the future scenarios. Currently, he is working on extending a universal productivity model (proposed by Wang et al.) to predict crop grain yield. At the same time, his work also involves the comparison of differences in harvest index parameterization of different crop models, and the sensitivity analysis of harvest index to different factors, such as fertilization and irrigation. Shengchao Qiao is currently studying for an ecology PhD at Tsinghua University.

Email: qsc17@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn

Huiying Xu works on the mechanism behind the variations of plant functional traits across time and space, and their predictions based on the theory of first principles. Her research involves the relationships between traits themselves and environment variables, and the prediction of leaf traits using models with the data from fieldwork and collections.

Email: xuhy19@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn

Ziqi Zhu is interested in analyzing the impact of climate factors on vegetation greenness by using remote sensing data. At present, he is trying to figure out the adaptability of vegetation to climate changes on the Tibetan Plateau. And he will also try to combine Pmodel, a universal productivity model (proposed by Wang et al.), with remote sensing methods and data. Ziqi Zhu is currently studying for a PhD at Tsinghua University.

Email: zq-zhu20@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn

Yanghang Ren aims at developing a next-generation land surface model (LSM) incorporating the Eco-Evolutionary Optimality. During her MRes in the Institute of Tibetan Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences, she evaluated P model’s ability to simulate GPP in alpine ecosystem at regional and site scales and successfully revealed the impact of monsoon break on alpine ecosystem photosynthesis. She will focus on the theory of plant respiration acclimation and apply that theory to Noah-MP to understand how plant acclimation affects land-atmosphere interaction in her PhD research.

Email: ryh21@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn

Han Zhang is interested in the relationship between plant physiological traits and environmental factors. She works on the predictions of plant traits based on the theory of Eco-Evolutionary Optimality and then applying them to improve the land surface model (LSM). At present, she is working on the controls of stem respiration across time and space based on the least-cost theory. She will enter Tsinghua University as a PhD candidate in September 2022.

Email: zhanghan_2000@126.com

External collaborators

Runxi Wang holds very broad research interests in the ecology of insects and plants, major focus on the community assembly process across sales, and he is a PhD candidate at the University of Hong Kong now. Toward the theory of ecosystem, he is particularly interested in how insect modified the environment and the insect-plant interaction. Therefore, after taking part in the fieldwork and symposium for several times, he joined LPICEA as the external member. Here, he is trying to develop the ecosystem functional based theory and models to explain ‘how the little things run the world’ (Wilson, 1987). And he also loves hiking, photography and designing. More information: http://runxiwang.weebly.com

Yunke Peng aims at applying theoretical and predictive frameworks in global ecosystems to understand how plants interact with climate and other elements in physical environments, encompassing leaf traits, remote sensing, soil and atmospheric measurements. After receiving MRes degree at Ecosystem and Environmental Change in Imperial College London, he is currently a PhD student at Environmental System Sciences, ETH Zurich. He has applied optimality hypothesis to extend an elevational and global framework about how leaf traits and ecosystem functions acclimated to environments. He will apply such a theory to predict global patterns of carbon and nutrients dynamics in his PhD research.

Email: yunke.peng@usys.ethz.ch

Previous Members

Shen Tan got his PhD degree in the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences (RADI, CAS), with a background of RS-based evapotranspiration (ET) estimation. During the pos-doc period, his interest will keep concentrating upon ET, but with a new strategy combining the plant eco-physiological processes. Additionally, he will also try to do some work in the combination of P-model with RS methods and data, which is also an important step in the model application in agriculture. He likes many kinds of sports, such as basketball and swimming.

Email: tanshen@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn

Wenjie Zhang was committed to discover the ecological impact of climate change at a large scale by multiple remote sensing data during his PHD. It mainly includes the analysis of ecosystem response and resilience to climate forcing and extreme event. Currently, he is looking at the impact of changes in vegetation phenology on hydrological processes. Specifically, he aims at answering how the phenological changes to affect the evapotranspiration, river flow and spring flood caused by melting water. This research extends to couple the global flux measurements with satellite observations for comprehensive assessment purpose.

Email: wenjie.zhang.uts.zky@gmail.com