Dr. Chen photo

Jiquan Chen, PhD

E-Mail:  jqchen@msu.edu | Phone: 517-884-1884
ResearchGate | Google Scholar
Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Processes

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
ResearchGate | Google Scholar

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 2014. She completed her M.S. degree in 2016 at the University of Florida, where she 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 regularly edits publications, runs the website, and assists in organizing fieldwork campaigns among other lab responsibilities. Outside of work and research, Connor enjoys spending time with her dogs, hiking, gardening, cooking, and travelling.

Ranjeet John

Ranjeet John, PhD

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

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

E-Mail: lifei6@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
ResearchGate | Google Scholar

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
ResearchGate | Google Scholar

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
ResearchGate | Google Scholar

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.

David Reed

David Reed

ResearchGate | Google Scholar

An interdisciplinary researcher at heart, David grew up in Michigan and received Bachelor and Master degrees in Climate Physics and Atmospheric Science from University of Michigan. He moved to Wyoming for to complete his PhD between the Atmosphere Science department and the Program in Ecology, examining ecosystem flux response to forest mortality from native bark beetles while also working on climate change impacts on sagebrush ecosystem fluxes. David served as a visiting professor of physics at Dickinson College for a year, teaching meteorology, climate and physics, and then he received a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Ankur Desai at UW-Madison. During his time in Madison, David worked on improving observations of lake thermodynamics and carbon fluxes, collaborating with the Long Term Ecological Research North Temperate Lakes group. Happy to return to Michigan, David is currently working on landscape scale carbon fluxes with the LEES group. Outside of work, David enjoys spending time with his dog Yost, being outdoors, baking, biking, and tabletop games.

Pietro Sciusco

Pietro Sciusco

PhD Student

Pietro Sciusco is a PhD student in the LEES lab at Michigan State University. He received his Master’s Degree at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (DISAAT), University of Bari (Supervisor: Prof. Raffaele Lafortezza). His interest’s research is to investigate the use of satellite data, such as ESA Sentinel-1 and -2, to estimate ecological processes in agricultural and forest landscapes. Pietro did an internship at Planetek Italia, an Italian company in the field of Earth Observation technologies, where he studied the fusion of radar, optical and hyperspectral data. As an example, he used ESA’s Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP) as a tool for Sentinel data processing to estimate forest biomass. In addition, he gained experience with ERDAS Imagine 2016 and PolSARpro for data processing. Pietro also spent approximately three months in 2017 at the Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Science lab at Michigan State University (Michigan, USA) where, under the supervision of Dr. Jiquan Chen, he investigated the relationships between radar variables (from both RADARSAT-2 and Sentinel-1) and EC flux measurements (CO2 fluxes) in one of the KBS’ Long Experimental Sites located in Kalamazoo watershed, Michigan. Besides studying and doing research, Pietro enjoys a variety of hobbies including insect collection, gardening, do-it-yourself, playing the drums and the guitar, skating, as well as technology.

Gabriela Shirkey

Gabriela Shirkey

Graduate Student
E-Mail: geshirkey@gmail.com
ResearchGate | Google Scholar

Gabriela's academic and volunteer experiences have landed her between people and the environment. With a B.S. in Scientific and Technical Communications from Michigan Tech, she initially worked in community based qualitative research and environmental communications discussing land management, geothermal energy, and community engagement in watershed health. As a graduate student, she will apply her knowledge at a larger scale: across the Kalamazoo watershed. Her research will link human activity to carbon emission and compare it to eddy covariance towers and historical landscape change dating back to the 1950s. Beyond LEES, Gabriela is found scoping out Lansing's musical venues, hosting dinner parties and trying to be a decent trivia partner.

Current Collaborators

Ochirbat Batkhishig Mongolian Academy of Sciences
Kyla Dahlin Michigan State University
Peilei Fan Michigan State University
Steve Hamilton Michigan State University - KBS
Phil Robertson Michigan State University - KBS

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
Vincenzo Giannico University of Bari, Italy
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 B.C. Forest Service
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 Michigan Tech University
Soung Ryu University of Alberta
Sari Saunders BC Forest Service
Jessica Schafer TX
Piero Sciusco University of Bari, Italy
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  
Shiqiang Wan Henan University
Chuankuan Wang Center for Ecological Research of Northeast Forestry University
Xinli Wang Michigan Tech University
Xu Wang Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)
Surachit Wanggsenthorn  
Radley Watkins Wisconsin
Burkhard Wilske Canada
Ruqun Wu (Susie) NA
Jing Xie Beijing Urban Forestry Division
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