I am broadly interested in integrating remote sensing, data analytics, and numerical modeling to study the dynamics and interactions between the cryosphere and climate systems. In particular, I have focused on using multi-sensor satellite imagery and ice flow models to understand the flow dynamics and evolving instability of Antarctic ice shelves, and on developing novel methods to study the physical changes of ice sheets caused by microbial processes and their spatiotemporal characteristics. I am especially intrigued by the possibility of finding new means of using remote sensing and geospatial methods to solve research questions in different fields from interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives. For instance, I have applied ocean color remote sensing methods to map glacial algal blooms (important but not-well understood biological phenomena occurring on the ice surface) in Greenland from space. I am also developing object-oriented hydrologic approaches to study ice fractures from satellite altimetry observations. In the big data context, both observational and modeling data for studying earth system dynamics are increasing in terms of different spatial and temporal scales. I am very interested in ‘intelligently’ coupling different observations and models using emerging advanced data-driven methods in machine learning and artificial intelligence to address questions pertaining to land-water-climate-biological systems.
Before joining Penn State, I was a postdoctoral research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, working with Dr. Marco Tedesco to understand the role of impurities (both abiotic and biologic) on the mass balance of Greenland Ice Sheet, and also collaborating with biologists to investigate the hyperspectral properties of different algal and bacterial microbes to support the search for life on extraterrestrial planets. I obtained my Ph.D. degree in Geography from the University of Cincinnati under the supervision of Dr. Hongxing Liu, with a research focus on ice shelf flow dynamics and retreat.