Dr. Chen photo

Jiquan Chen, PhD

Professor
E-Mail:  jqchen@msu.edu | Phone: 517-884-1884
Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Processes
(https://ecologicalprocesses.springeropen.com/)

A native of Shanxi in Northern China, Dr. Chen received his undergraduate education in grassland ecology (Inner Mongolia University), MS in forest ecology (Chinese Academy of Sciences), and PhD in ecosystem Analysis (University of Washington). His postdoc training was in the stream ecology and ecosystem management.  He was a Bullard Fellow at Harvard University (1999-2000).  He was on the faculty at Michigan Tech University (1993-2001) and University of Toledo (2001-2014).

His research and academic instruction programs are on ecosystem processes and their interactive feedbacks to the biophysical and human activities, including community ecology to 3-D canopy structure, forest fragmentation, edge effects, riparian zone, conservation biology, landscape ecology, and micrometeorology.  His current research lies in the coupled effects of global climate change and human activities on terrestrial ecosystems, global change ecology, bioenergy, and carbon/water fluxes.  He will be teaching special topics on coupled human and natural systems, micrometeorological instrumentation & measurements, image processing and GIS, and global change science. 

He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 2011) and a fellow of Ecological Society of America (ESA, 2014).  Dr. Chen is also the Editor-in-Chief for two book series: 1) Landscape Ecology (Springer); and 2) Ecosystem Science and Application –ESA (HEP & De Gruyter).   He is the founder and chief scientist of the US-China Carbon Consortium (USCCC) . He enjoys Thai Chi practice and Buddha Meditation. He is also a member of the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEBB) Graduate Program and the Environmental Science & Policy Program (ESPP).

Current Members


Raffaele Lafortezza

Raffaele Lafortezza, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Center for Global Change and Earth Observations | University of Bari, Italy
E-Mail: raffa@msu.edu

Dr. Raffaele Lafortezza is Adjunct Professor at the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations (CGCEO), Michigan State University. He holds a PhD in Landscape Ecology and Planning from the University of Bari (2002) and has accumulated considerable experience in landscape ecology issues by participating in numerous research projects and scientific collaborations conducted worldwide. His main research interest lies in the fields of landscape modeling at multiple spatial and temporal scales, sustainable land management in the context of global change, ecosystem services associated with green infrastructures and nature-based solutions, quantitative assessment of biodiversity, and analysis of ecological disturbances, including forest fires and fragmentation in wildland urban interfaces. In addition, he seeks to understand the impact of human activity on ecosystems (i.e., coupled human and natural systems) and to discover methods for preserving ecological patterns and related processes/services.

Dr. Lafortezza has developed his research interests in the United States (University of Toledo, Michigan State University), Canada (University of Guelph), Japan (University of Tsukuba, University of Tokyo), and the United Kingdom (University of Cambridge) and has been involved, as principal- and co-investigator, in many research projects. He is Associate Editor of the journal "Urban Forestry & Urban Greening” (Elsevier) and a member of the Editorial Board of the Springer journals “Landscape Ecology” and “Ecological Processes”.


Michael Abraha

Michael Abraha, PhD

Research Associate
E-Mail: abraha@msu.edu | Phone: 249-290-9766

My research interest lies in measuring and modeling the physical processes involved in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, with a special focus on energy and mass exchange measurement between surfaces (bare soil, vegetated, wet-lands and/or water) and the atmosphere using micrometeorological methods. I am interested in investigating energy balance closure using eddy covariance measured fluxes; and also the influence of land-use and climate changes on heat, carbon dioxide, water vapor and other trace gas fluxes.

My previous studies concentrated on measurement and modeling of crop growth and development, soil water balance, solar radiation and its interception by shrubs, and evapotranspiration from sparse trees. I was also involved in investigating inexpensive means of estimating sensible heat flux from high frequency air temperature measurements.


Connor Crank

Connor Crank

Lab Manager
E-Mail: crankcon@msu.edu | Phone: 517-574-1805

Connor received her B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife from MSU in 2010. She completed her M.S. degree in 2016 at the University of Florida, where she also conducted research for UF-IFAS’s Range Cattle Research and Education Center. Her research interests primarily focus on biological invasions of mammals, such as the impacts of invasive feral swine on Florida rangelands. Connor edits publications, helps run the website, and will begin organizing fieldwork campaigns this fall, among other responsibilities. Outside of work and research, Connor enjoys spending time with her dogs, hiking, gardening, cooking, and travelling.


Vincenzo Giannico

Vincenzo Giannico

Visiting Scholar, PhD Candidate | University of Bari, Italy
E-Mail: vincenzo.giannico@gmail.com

Vincenzo Giannico is a PhD candidate in "Biodiversity, Agriculture and Environment” at the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (DISAAT), University of Bari. His doctoral research focuses on ecosystem service trade-offs of urban and peri-urban forest areas using high resolution remotely sensed data (i.e. LiDAR, Multi- and Hyperspectral data).

Specifically, the aim of his research is to find explanatory variables derived from remote sensing data capable of estimating carbon stored in biomass, the amount of biodiversity and its patterns, and to understand the relationships among these ecosystem services. Previously, he did an internship in "Planetek Italia", a leader company in the field of Earth Observation technologies, where he performed pre-processing and advanced analysis methodologies on optical and laser sensor data and more. His main research interests are ecosystem modeling, ecosystem services, remote sensing of the environment, and applications of geomatics in forestry.


Samantha Greenlee

Samantha Greenlee

Undergraduate Student
E-Mail: greenl65@msu.edu | Phone: 248-767-0535

Samantha Greenlee is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife with a concentration in Wildlife Biology and Management. She has previously earned her Associate’s Degree in Environmental Science from Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI. She has ambitions for graduate school accompanied by a variety of interests, including the effects of climate change on the transmission zoonotic diseases, predator-prey relationships, and keystone species effects on trophic cascades in the age of climate change.

Her experiential learning includes a trip to Yellowstone National Park where she gained direct exposure to the complex interaction of ecological, political, and economic dimensions of the issues surrounding wildlife management. She is also attending a study away to Alaska in June, which focuses on conservation and conservation policy issues related to the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of Kachemak Bay, Alaska.


Ranjeet John

Ranjeet John, PhD

Research Associate
E-Mail: ranjeetj@msu.edu | Phone: 517-214-6675

Ranjeet's research interests focus on the applications of Remote Sensing and Geospatial technologies to study biophysical attributes that include carbon, water and energy fluxes at varying scales in context of ecosystem ecology, land cover/land use, and climate change. His current position in the LEES lab requires him to synthesize existing meteorological and medium to coarse resolution satellite derived-data (for e.g., drought indices, extreme climate anomalies & non-parametric trend analysis). In addition, his research also involves scaling up from in situ observations from various eddy covariance flux towers and standard ground truth methods to a regional scale in context of rapid climatic and socio-economic changes (in the Mongolian Plateau and elsewhere).


Fei Li

Fei Li, PhD

Postdoctor
E-Mail: feili6@msu.edu | Phone: 517-505-4517

Dr. Li devotes to the interdisciplinary research with assist of Remote Sensing and Geospatial technologies in the fields of Geography and Ecology. He has rich experiences in field experiments, processing and analysing time series remote sensing data. The scientific questions he tries to explore are how the terrestrial ecosystem at regional and global scales responds to changing climate companying with an intensive disturbance from human activity. His current focus in the LEES lab is to monitor and evaluate sustainability in grassland biome in context of climate warming at Mongolia Plateau and global scales.


Maowei Liang

Maowei Liang

Visiting Scholar, PhD candidate | Inner Mongolia University
E-Mail: liangmao@msu.edu

Maowei Liang is a PhD candidate at the Department of Ecology, Inner Mongolia University. Previously, his research focused on land use change adaptations (grazing technology integration) to mitigate the effect of climate change on the grassland ecosystem in the Mongolia Plateau. At Michigan State University, he is researching the impacts of global climate and land use change on ecosystem functions in the grassland ecosystem, specifically semi-arid and arid regions. To accomplish this, he seeks to understand the mechanisms behind water and heat balance and their role in both the net primary production and carbon/water fluxes. He incorporates various approaches to research carbon sequestration, including the eddy covariance technique, terrestrial ecosystem modeling of elevated atmospheric CO2, and manipulative experiments. He is also evaluating the potential changes of ecosystem function, such as net primary production and soil carbon storage.


Cheyenne Lei

Cheyenne Lei

PhD student
E-Mail: leicheye@msu.edu

Cheyenne is a doctoral student in the LEES lab at Michigan State University. She holds a Masters of Arts in Geography from Western Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science in Earth Science from Northern Michigan University. She is interested in geographic information systems, cartography and environmental and resource analysis. Her focus is in analyzing water quality and land use and land cover change at multiple spatial and temporal scales, with emphasis on providing sustainable land and water management and addressing the impact of anthropogenic activities on water quantity and quality. She has collaborated alongside multiple watershed councils within Michigan in water data collection, invasive species monitoring and public education.


Kaitlyn O'Brien

Kaitlyn O'Brien

Undergraduate Student
E-Mail: obrie227@msu.edu | Phone: 517-262-3768

Kaitlyn is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University pursuing a Bachelors in Science degree in Environmental Services and Sustainability. Her interests are in environmental sustainability, renewable energy, and forestry. She has plans to further expand her knowledge and experience in these fields with research and studying abroad. Kaitlyn also has some background in engineering, which she will integrate into her research to better problem solve. Her goal is to find sustainable alternatives to unsustainable human lifestyles.


Zutao Ouyang

Zutao Ouyang

Research Associate
E-Mail: yangzuta@msu.edu | Phone: 567-225-7112

My former research focused on mapping and investigating invasive plants in wetlands (such as Spartina alterniflorain east coast of China by remote sensing techniques and GIS. Currently, my research interest has moved on to carbon fluxes of terrestrial ecosystems, as I think carbon related problems such as greenhouse gases, carbon storage and cycling , and so on are core issues of global climate change. I love science, but I also like many other things, like cycling, swimming, playing ping-pong and reading.  


Hogeun Park

Hogeun Park

PhD Student
E-Mail: parkhoge@msu.edu

Hogeun is currently developing a synthesis study reviewing urbanization and coupled human and nature systems (CHNS). Before joining LEES, he studied social capital and network contingency on a local development project. During his master's degree, he successfully participated in international research workshops as a member of the Asian Program for Incubation of Environmental Leaders (APIEL) and did an internship in the social science division at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). His first professional career was a Cooperation Agent at the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) from 2008 — 2010 where he worked in both Pelileo and Saquisili City Hall in Ecuador as a GIS specialist.


Pietro Sciusco

Pietro Sciusco

Master's Student
E-Mail: sciuscop@msu.edu

Pietro Sciusco is a Master Student candidate at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (DISAAT) at the University of Bari (Supervisor: Prof. Raffaele Lafortezza). He is investigating how to use satellite data, such as ESA-Sentinel-1 and -2, to estimate ecological processes in agricultural and forest landscapes. He is currently doing an internship in Planetek Italia, an Italian company in the field of Earth Observation technologies, where he is studying the data fusion of radar, optical and hyperspectral data. As an example, he is using Sentinel Application Platform ESA (SNAP) as a tool for Sentinel data processing in order to estimate forest biomass. In addition, he is gaining experience on ERDAS Imagine 2016 and PolSARpro for data processing. Besides studying and doing research, Pietro has different passions, including insect collection, gardening, do-it-yourself, playing the drums, skating, and technologies.


Changliang Shao, Ph.D.

Changliang Shao, PhD

Research Associate
E-Mail: clshao@msu.edu | Phone: 517-974-1750

My research interests aimed at understanding human-environment interactions through a focus on land-use and land-cover changes through using eddy covariance technique in grassland ecosystems: from observation to data analysis of carbon, water and energy fluxes. I have been the one maintaining two mobile flux towers in Inner Mongolia for 3 years and opened the eddy covariance data in public via internet. Recent work has used two mobile eddy flux towers to study different disturbance ecosystems under the same environment, which is valuable for modeling precision, and contribute us to understand the underlying effect mechanism through different management types. I have served the NASA LCLUC Science Team, the NSFC and the Foundation of Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2009 I was elected fellow of the US-China Carbon Consortium (USCCC).


Gabriela Shirkey

Gabriela Shirkey

Lab Manager
E-Mail: geshirkey@gmail.com

Gabriela regularly edits publications, promotes the website, and organizes fieldwork campaigns for multiple projects. Her interests include discovering the links between human action and landscape change as well as a population's ability to address this change. She has volunteered with both the Huron River Watershed Council in Ann Arbor and the Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership to gain a better understanding of how local inititives can make a difference spatially.

Prior to LEES, she worked on two human-environment research projects within the Department of Social Sciences and with EEPP students at Michigan Technological University investigating the role social influence plays in land use decision making, conservation practices, and geothermal energy.


Susie Wu

Ruqun Wu (Susie)

Research Associate
E-Mail: wuruqun@msu.edu | Phone: 517-974-1750

I joined the team in fall 2013 to pursue my Ph.D. study in the research area of life cycle sustainability assessment. I have bachelor degree in Agronomy and Master degrees in Environment and Energy Studies. During my Master study, I grew interested in the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). After graduation, I began working on LCA related topics in China (e.g. eco-design, carbon footprint) and I found that the popularization of partial LCA enables many companies to use “halo effects” which jeopardizes the company as they may “green wash” by claiming a product system as “green ” simply because it has a superior sustainability than something else. Thus, a holistic way of assessing product systems' overall sustainability is needed in order to help the industry better understand their current performance and improve policy.

The topic which Professor JiQuan Chen and Doctor Defne Apul are working on is very interesting to me. They are conducting life cycle sustainability analysis of proposed photovoltaic technologies and comparing them to different alternatives.

I am excited to begin my work here and study this most interesting, and interdisciplinary, topic.

Current Collaborators


Dan Brown University of Michigan
Yaoqi Zhang Auburn University
Ochirbat Batkhishig Mongolian Academy of Sciences
Peilei Fan Michigan State University
Ge Sun Southern Global Change Program, USDA Forest Service
Steve McNulty Southern Global Change Program, USDA Forest Service

LEES Alumni & Associates


Karrin Alstad California
Weikai Bao Chengdu Institute of Biology, CAS
Runcheng Bi Shangxi Normal University
Mary Bresee USDA Forest Service
Kim Brosofske Michigan Tech University
Xiaoli Cheng Chinese Academy of Sciences
Housen Chu University of California-Berkley
Amy Concilio St Edward's University
Mike Deal Ohio EPA (Columbus)
Jared DeForest Ohio University
Eugenie Euskirchen University of Alaska
Yu Gao Fudan University
Lyn Gerdes Minnesota DNR
Chongfeng Gong Sun Yat-Sen University
Beyza Sat Gungor Ozyegin University
Haiqiang Guo Fudan University
Juanjuan Han Henan University
Malanding Jaiteh Columbia University
Anna Kvashinina Russia
Jacob LaCroix US Fishery and Wildlife (AK)
Jim LeMoine Clemson University
Haitao Li Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS 
Qinglin Li Timberline Natural Resource Group Ltd.
Yun Liu Beijing University of Agriculture, China
Nan Lu Chinese Academy of Sciences
Siyan Ma University of California - Berkley
Elia Mario University of Bari, Italy
Asko, Noormets Texas A&M University
Robert Phillips UT
John Rademacher USDA Forest Service
Mark Rudnicki University of Connecticut
Soung Ryu Clemson University
Sari Saunders BC Forest Service
Jessica Schafer TX
Changlaing Shao Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, CAAS
Wei Shen Northeast Forestry University
Janet Silbernagel University of Wisconsin
Bo Song Clemson University
Yahn-Jauh Su Michigan
Lisa (Delp) Taylor  
Jennifer Teeple Michigan State University
Gwen Tenney  
Xinli Wang Michigan Tech University
Xu Wang Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)
Surachit Wanggsenthorn  
Radley Watkins Wisconsin
Burkhard Wilske Canada
Shiqiang Wan Henan University
Chuankuan Wang Center for Ecological Research of Northeast Forestry University
Jing Xie Beijing Forestry University
Jianye Xu NA
Ming Xu Rutgers University
Xuefeng Yu Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Terenzio Zenone University of Antwerp
Feng Zhang, Ph.D. IBCAS
Wenli Zhang Three Gorges University
Daolan Zheng Retired
Rui Zhou California