Spring,  2022

Principal Investigator

Dr. Chaoqun (Crystal) Lu

Chaoqun is an associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Organismal Biology at ISU. She is a quantitative ecosystem ecologist, with a research focus on understanding and quantifying the complex ecosystem processes in response to climate change, land use and cover change, and human management across scales. Her primary area of interest includes estimation of terrestrial carbon sequestration, land-to-atmosphere greenhouse gas emissions, and land-to-aquatic nutrient movements by using land surface models, and data-model assimilation approach. Prior to joining ISU, she was a Research Fellow at Auburn University. She received her Ph.D. degree from Chinese Academy of Sciences and got postdoctoral training at Auburn University.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Dr. Jien Zhang

Jien is a postdoc research associate at Iowa State University. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science at Lehigh University in 2017. Before joining ISU, Jien was a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Wisconsin, Madison. His current projects employ climate data, process-based ecosystem modeling, and statistical approaches to identify and understand the linkages between climate, hydrology, ecosystems, disturbance, and mitigation policy.

PhD candidate, Environmental Sciences

Peiyu is a Ph.D. candidate in the program of Environmental Sciences at ISU. He received his Master's degree in Ecology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. His research interest includes understanding and modeling nitrogen flows in the land-atmosphere-aquatic interface across scales.

Bo is a Ph.D. student in the program of EEB at ISU. He received his Master's degree in soil science from Zhejiang University, China. His current research work seeks to represent lignin decomposition and belowground carbon cycling in models. His projects integrate a large volume of lab incubation and field measurement data from NEON soil samples and long-term observation sites to improve a mechanistic ecosystem model.

Master student, Environmental Sciences

Ignacio Calderon 

Ignacio is an Environmental Science MS student at ISU. After graduating with a Photojournalism BA from Columbia College Chicago in 2020, he worked as a data journalist through a USA Today Fellowship. During that time, he reported on the intersection between climate change and agriculture. His research interests include how different land uses affect water quality in local communities and downstream ecosystems and how extreme weather events affect this dynamic.

Visiting student

Yan is a Ph.D. candidate in soil science at the Northwest Agricultural & Forestry University, China. Her research focus is mainly on evapotranspiration in surface energy balance systems and hydrological cycles. In her current research project, she uses remote sensing and ecosystem modeling approaches to estimate the dynamics and patterns of evapotranspiration in croplands.

Bo Yi-Picture.jpg

Lab Alumni

Zhen Yu, Postdoctoral researcher (2016-2019), now a professor at Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, China


Alina Lu, Undergraduate Researcher (2017-2018), now a DMD student at Penn Dental Medicine

Avani Khadilkar, Graduate student (2017-2020), now a Bioinformatics Systems Analyst in the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute


Geunhu Kim, Graduate student (2019-2020), now in Korea


Luke Sloterdyk, Undergraduate researcher (2019-2020), now a graduate student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Rotation Students

Henri Chung, BCB rotation student, Fall 2019

Zerui Zhang, BCB rotation student, Fall 2017

Avani Khadilkar, BCB rotation student, Summer 2017