Dr. Fu's research aims at understanding the role of the atmospheric hydrological cycle in determining the stability of the Earth's climate. She uses satellite and in situ observations and numerical models to identify the mechanisms that control this interaction between water cycle and surface climate, and use them to explain natural variability and anthropogenic forced changes in rainfall, cloudiness and water vapor distribution. In recent years, her research has been focused on the coupling between rainfall, rainforest and biomass burning in the Amazon, and on convective transport of water vapor in the tropics and over the Tibetan Plateau.

Dr. Fu has served on a variety of national and international panels and programs, including the National Research Council Committee on Report of Challenges and Opportunities in Earth Surface Processes, the review panels for NASA Carbon Cycle Science program, Cloud and aerosol program, the NOAA and NSF panels for Climate Prediction and Drought research, and the panels for the US and International CLIVAR. She is also a long-term member of NASA Aura, SesWinds and UARS Science Teams.

Areas of Expertise

Terrestrial biosphere-atmosphere interaction and its role in climate Distributions and transport of water vapor and chemical tracers in the troposphere and stratosphere Convection, cloud and precipitation processes Atmosphere, ocean and land interaction Satellite remote sensing applications and retrievals

Group Achievement Award, UARS Team - NASA (2007)

Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Geophysical Research Letter. - AGU (2006)

National Science Foundation (CNSF), Outstanding Oversea-Chinese Scientist Award - The Chinese Natural Science Foundation (2004 - 2007)

Mission to Planet Earth New Investigator Award - NASA (1996 - 1999)

CAREER - NSF (1995 - 1998)


Dinali N Fernando
I am a physical geographer, specializing in climatology, by training. My research interests are in applied climate science, tropical and sub-tropical climate dynamics, drought, climate predictability at the seasonal to decadal timescales, and remote sensing of land use-land cover change and land surface hydrology. I am strongly motivated by the need to apply science for the benefit of society. In my current position as a postdoctoral fellow in the UCAR-PACE (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research-Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise) program, I am able to fulfill that need by researching the predictability of drought and its persistence over Texas keeping in mind the information needs of decision makers in the water sector. I work with Dr. Rong Fu in the Department of Geological Sciences (http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/dgs/)and Dr. Bridget Scanlon at the Bureau of Economic Geology (http://www.beg.utexas.edu/), Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin and Dr. Robert Mace and Dr. Ruben Solis in the Water Science and Conservation Division, Texas Water Development Board (http://www.twdb.texas.gov/). Previous work experience (listed from earliest to most recent) includes international non-profit (Intermediate Technology Development Group, now known as Practical Action, Colombo, Sri Lanka), multilateral (World Meteorological Organization, Hydrology and Water Resources Department, Geneva, Switzerland), academia (University of Colombo, Department of Geography, Colombo, Sri Lanka; International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University, Palisades, NY; and Rutgers University, Department of Geography, Piscataway, NJ), and industry (Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Computational Modelling Center, Allentown, PA).

Graduate Students

Adam R Bowerman, Ph.D., expected 2017 (Supervisor)

Kai Zhang, Ph.D., expected 2017 (Supervisor)
For further details, please click Links and go to my homepage.

Ze Yang, Ph.D., expected 2016 (Supervisor)
Drought Indicator, Extreme Events Detection

Lei Yin, Ph.D., expected 2015 (Supervisor)
My research centers on recognizing the basic physical processes and dynamics contributing to climate variability and change on all time scales, understanding the relative importance of natural variability and anthropogenic forcing, and revealing the potential influence of air-land interactions behind the hydrological cycle. Currently, we focus our realization on South America, the south-central US and the Congo basin. Earth system modeling and water isotope technics are employed to facilitate our physical understanding and striking scientific explorations. Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) indicates an unignored bias on regional climate, especially Amazonia. As the largest tropical rainforest, Amazonia contributes to a large fraction of global carbon uptake. The bias attenuates our acceptance of the couple climate models. A deep understanding of physical processes will increase our confidence in the simulations and projections from the climate models. I also share my interest on boundary layer meteorology and emphasize on how the change of surface conditions can impact the turbulent characteristics, which will boost our knowledge on the interactions between the boundary layer processes and large-scale climate.

Sudip Chakraborty, Ph.D., expected 2014 (Supervisor)
I use A-Train as well as ISCCP geostationary satellite data to unfold the mystery behind the convective transport of aerosols and the influence of those transported aerosols on those clouds. I use the software IDL to analyse the data. My primary research interests are: - Transport of Pollutants from the Lower Troposphere to Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere. - Physical and Dynamic Structure of Deep Convection - Analysis of Satellite data (NASA A-Train, ISCCP) - WRF-Chem

Lei Huang, Ph.D., expected 2013 (Supervisor)

Tong Ren, M.S., expected 2013 (Supervisor)
Satellite remote sensing of atmosphere. Clouds and aerosols.