Researchers and Visitors


He Zhu
(Ph.D. 2017 Institute of Geographic Sciences & Natural Resources Research,CAS; B.S. 2012 China Agricultural University; assistant of IGSNRR, CAS, membership of AAG and CSC)
E-mail: /

At UCLA, I’m working with Professor John Agnew on strategy of China’s The Belt and Road Initiative. My field focus on the culture and tourism effects with their spatial dimension under this international cooperative framework.



Qiuyu Chen
(Ph.D. student, School of Atmospheric sciences, atmospheric science, Nanjing University)

At UCLA, I am working with Professor Yongkang Xue. My work focus on the effects of land-ocean-atmosphere interaction on the climate of the East Asia. I will use the CFS/SSiB4 model to investigate fully coupled influence of land-ocean-atmosphere interaction on the East Asian climate, especially in the sub seasonal time scale.

Mykola Dobysh
(Ph.D. candidate, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv)

At UCLA, I am working with Professor John Agnew. My research is focused on the electoral geography of Ukraine. I am using electoral returns data at the precinct level to study spatial differences in turnout and electoral mobilization in Ukraine. I am also comparing Ukrainian, U.S., and European contexts of the spatial patterns of electoral behavior.

Jacob Forrest
(Ph.D. Candidate, University of British Columbia Department of Geography, Vancouver)

I am examining the historical evolution of intelligent transportation systems in the Los Angeles area, using the Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) center as a central case study. I am conducting oral histories, interviews, ethnographic observation, and archival research into ATSAC’s evolving social, political, and material geographies.

María Gálvez del Castillo Luna
(Ph.D. student at University of Cádiz (Spain) Oceanographer, environmental scientist, MSc. in Integrated coastal zone management and).

At UCLA, I am working with Professor Kyle Cavanaugh. My work focused on study of Governance of Climate Change in Coastal Areas. From a Global to a Local Level. Firstly, the international scope will provide an approximation to the general context and the study of natural resources in their relationship to public policies, with particular emphasis on the political, social and economic aspects.

These aspects will then be studied, individually and in greater detail, at other territorial levels: national (The United States of America), state (California) and local (coastal cities of Los Angeles). There is no doubt that the four levels analysed require joint study, with the intention of observing the impact they have on each other and through a comparative analysis with other areas of the world (e.g., California-Andalusia and coastal cities of Los Angeles-coastal cities of Cádiz).

Xuqian Hu
(Ph.D. student, Department of Urban and Economic Geography, Peking University)

At UCLA, I am working with Professor David Rigby. My work focused on evolution of trade in China. I will use Chinese custom data and industries data to empirically study the relationship between relatedness of industries and export evolution.

Huaikuan Liu
(Ph.D. candidate, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University)

At UCLA, I am working with Professor John Agnew. My work focused on the world cites’ marketing activities, especially the cities in China and United States. I will use some quantitative methods (e.g., T-test, variance analysis, cluster analysis) and some visualization software to elaborate the diversity of world cities’ marketing contents as well as the territoriality of their marketing mechanisms. 

Ânderson Marcelo Schmitt
(Ph.D. Candidate, Center of Philosophy and Human Sciences, Global History, Federal University of Santa Catarina – Brazil)

At UCLA, I am working with Professor Stephen Bell. My research focuses on the military features of the frontier during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As places of analyses, I focus on the Southern Brazil and Western United States, from a comparative perspective.

Wenqiang Xi
(Ph.D. candidate, Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System, Cartography and Geographical Information System, Peking University)

At UCLA, I am working with Professor Yongwei Sheng. My work focused on the general research area of geographical science and terrestrial environmental change analysis. I will use multi-temporal and multi-platform remote sensing data to analyze changes in different geographic scenes and environments, including mapping LC/LU, investigating the spatiotemporal changes at regional and global scales.

Zhanmei Yang
(Ph.D. student, Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

At UCLA, I am working with Professor Yongkang Xue. My work focused on the land-air interaction over the Asia and use the models to try to explain the its mechanisms.

Ruoyan Zhang
(Ph.D. candidate, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Science, human geography)

At UCLA, I am working with professor David Rigby. My work focused on Chinese Special Economic Zones(SEZs). After studying the policy diffusion and spatial evolution of SEZs in different setting times through long history, I will use Difference-in-difference technology to answer what’s the impact of SEZs on Chinese economy and what drives it.




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.

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.