Researchers and Visitors

Visiting Scholars

Matteo Goldstein Bolocan

(Ph.D. 1997, Territorial public policies, IUA-Venice; professor of economic-political geography at the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano)

At UCLA I’m spending part of my sabbatical year working on the effects of the geo-strategic Chinese project of the New Silk Roads on Mediterranean cities and regions. My theoretical focus concerns the hegemonic relations in their spatial dimension. Faculty reference: professor John Agnew.

Siân Butcher

(Ph.D. 2016, Geography, University of Minnesota; M.A. 2009, Geography, University of Cape Town; B.A.(Hons) 2006, Development Sociology, University of Cape Town)

At UCLA from December 2018 to March 2019 with the support of an Urban Studies Foundation International Visiting Fellowship and mentorship from Professors Helga Leitner and Eric Sheppard, my research examines the production of developer-driven ‘affordable’ housing on the edges of Johannesburg, South Africa for an aspirant middle class. I teach in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Xiaobo He

(Ph.D. 2009, Cold Region Hydrology, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences; M.S. 2002, Geological Engineering, Lanzhou University; B.S. 1999, Hydrological and engineering geology, Lanzhou University)

At UCLA, I will be working with professor Yongkang Xue on observation and simulation of the variation process of cryosphere elements in the alpine region of the Tibetan Plateau. My work will focus on study on uncertainty of hydrometeorological observations in alpine regions and simulation analysis of land surface processes in permafrost area.

Lingxue Yu

(Ph.D 2015, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS; 2010, geography science, Shandong Normal University)

At UCLA, I am working with professor Yongkang Xue. My work focused on the regional land use changes in Northeast China and its climate effects. I will use both the land surface model and regional climate model to quantify the temperature and precipitation effects due to land use changes as well as its mechanisms.   


Visiting Graduate Researchers



Postdoctoral Scholars and Researchers


Postdoctoral Scholars

Abinash Bhattachan

(Ph.D. 2013, Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia; M.S. 2008, Environmental Science, Indiana University – Bloomington; B.S. 2006, Watershed and Earth Science, Utah State University)

At UCLA, I will be working with professors Greg Okin and Dennis Lettenmaier on a multi-campus research project examining the links between drought and public health in California. My work will focus on studying the role of climate and soil exposure in Valley Fever incidence.

Ismaila Diallo
(Ph.D. 2015, Atmospheric Sciences, Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD); M.Sc. 2009,  Meteorology, Oceanography and Management of Arid Area (MOGMA), Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD); B.Sc. 2007, Physics and Chemistry, Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD))

Field of research: Climate Dynamics/Climate modelling, hydroclimatology, land-atmosphere interactions, extreme weather events (floods, droughts, heat waves...) and atmospheric teleconnections. The dynamics and impacts of climate variability and change.

Lee Dietterich
(Ph.D. 2016, University of Pennsylvania, B.A. 2010, Harvard University)

Funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy to Prof. Daniela Cusack, I am studying how plant-soil interactions affect ecosystem-level cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in tropical forests.  I aim to improve our ability to predict and mitigate the effects of climate change on these valuable ecosystems and the people who depend on them.

Chunyu Dong
(Ph.D., Hydrology and Climatology, Heidelberg University; M.Sc., Earth System Science, Lanzhou University; B.Sc. Geographic Science, Lanzhou University)

As a team member of an interdisciplinary project, I currently work with Prof. Glen MacDonald, Prof. Gregory Okin and Prof. Thomas Gillespie. This project aims at investigating the impacts and implications of the recent drought for the habitats and energy infrastructure in southern California. My research focuses on capturing the dynamics of the natural vegetation during the drought events in the context of a changing climate. Remote sensing and GIS spatial analysis will be jointly applied to detect the ecosystem response to the disturbance by wildfire and hydrological extremes.

Dongyue Li
(Ph.D. 2016, M.Sc. 2011, Earth Sciences, Ohio State University; B.Sc. 2009, Civil Engineering, Information Engineering University, China)
I work with Prof. Dennis Lettenmaier and also closely work with Prof. Steven Margulis (CEE, UCLA) and Dr. Kostas Andreadis (JPL) on two hydrologic areas: (1) current space-borne hydrologic observations are discontinuous in both space and time due to satellite orbital characteristics. At UCLA, we seek to fill this spatiotemporal gap (specifically for the future SWOT satellite mission) with the combined application of hydrologic modeling and available satellite observations in data assimilation frameworks. (2) With the model and data assimilation systems developed from graduate research, I continue to work on quantifying snow as a water resource, and on characterizing the potential changes of the snow water resource availability over the western U.S. in the context of climate change. 

Ye Liu
(Ph.D. 2015, Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University; B.Sc 2010, Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University)

I am working on the interactions between vegetation and climate change funded by a NSF project, including the application of a global dynamic vegetation model and its coupling with a global climate model.

Ting Yuan
(Ph.D. 2017, Geosensing Systems Engineering and Sciences, University of Houston)

I work with Prof. Yongwei Sheng on NASA-funded SWOT Lake Mapping project. My research focuses on SWOT image simulation, model-based lake mapping method development, data processing and analysis, and lake product assessment.

Bo Zhou

(Ph.D. 2013, Forestry, University of Missouri Columbia; M.A. 2007, Geography, University of Missouri Columbia)

I am currently working on a NASA funded project that involves the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to develop a web-based tool that fuses existing Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) data with NASA Earth-observing satellite data to produce spatial and temporal extrapolations of AIM variables.