Group Members

Principal Investigator

Rong Fu

Professor of AOS
Director of JIFRESSE

Ph.D., Atmospheric Sciences, Columbia University in New York City (1991)
B.S, Geophysics, Peking University (1984)

2021–present: Director, Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (JIFRESSE), UCLA
2016–present: Professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA
2019–2021: Vice Chair, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UCLA
2016–2021: Associate Director, Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (JIFRESSE), UCLA
2008–2016: Professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin
1999–2008: Associate Professor, School of Earth Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
1994–1999: Assistant Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona

Click for Full CV


Yizhou Zhuang

Ph.D., Meteorology, Peking University (2019)
B.S., Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (2013)

Research Area:
Drought; fire weather; convection; attribution; machine learning application




Siyu Zhao

Ph.D., Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology (2019)
B.S., Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University (2014)

Research Area:
Hydroclimate; atmospheric dynamics; climate variability; air-sea interaction; seasonal forecast



Jiaying Zhang

Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (2021)
M.S., Meteorology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (2016)
B.S., Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University (2014)

Research Area:
Ecohydrology, hydrometeorology, remote sensing, vegetation dynamics, data assimilation



Ph.D. Student


Sarah Worden


B.S., Physics, B.A., Music Performance; University of California, Los Angeles (2019)

Research Areas:
Tropical rainforest dynamics, land-atmosphere interactions, carbon and water cycle coupling


Alex Chang


B.A., Applied Mathematics and Data Science; University of California, Berkeley (2021)

Research Areas:
High-resolution climate modeling, climate extremes, tropical cyclones, atmospheric rivers, precipitation processes, droughts



Annie Rosen


B.A., Mathematics; University of California, Berkeley (2018)

Research Areas:
Compound Extreme Weather Events & Climate Model Evaluation



M.S. Student

Undergraduate Student

Visiting Graduate Reseacher

Graduate with Ph.D.:

  • Kai Zhang (2017), Financial Analyst, Chase Bank.
  • Sudip Chakraborty (2016), Postdoctoral Researcher, Caltech JPL.
  • Lei Yin (2015), Apple Inc.
  • Lei Huang (2013), Staff member, NASA JPL.
  • Marilee Roell (2012), Mission Engineering, NASA Langley Laboratory.
  • Paola Arias (2011), Associate professor (Tenured), Escuela Ambiental, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia.
  • Katia Fernandes  (2009): Tenure track Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas.
  • Yan Zhang (2008): Research scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • Jonathan Wright (2006), Associate Professor, Tenured, Tsinghua University. 
  • Wenhong Li (2003): Duke University, Associate Professor with Tenure.

Graduate with M.S.:

  • Rachael Isphording (2017), MS. DOE Oakridge National Lab.
  • Adam Bowerman (2016), MS. Texas Railway Commission.
  • Ze Yang (2013), MS. Currently working in oil company in Houston TX.
  • Tong Ren (2013), MS. Postdoctorial Researcher, Texas A&M.
  • Arnaud Monges (2003): Weather Forecast, France.
  • Naysha Morris (2002, AAAS Mass Media Fellowship): Georgia Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Bin Zhu (1998): Assistant Professor, Oregon State University


  • Danning Fu (2020-2021), Undergraduate in UCLA.
  • Xu Shan (2016, 2017), Visiting student from Tsinghua University. Currently graduate student in Delft University of Technology
  • Jonathan Weyn (2012-2014), Undergraduate. Currently Ph.D. student in University of Washington.
  • Adam Bowerman (2010-2012): Geoscience Honor Thesis
  • Bao Wen (2010 Summer)
  • Michael Young (2006, 2007 Georgia Tech Presidential Award)
  • James Blangler (2006)
  • Ausuka Suzuki (2005)
  • Nike Raj (2005)
  • Chad Cross (2004)
  • Melanie Snow (2003)
  • Timothy Atkins (2001)
  • Bryan Henry (2000)

Postdoc and Research Scientists Supervised:

  • Dr. Gaoyun Wang, Visiting Ph.D. Student, Sep 2018 - Sep 2020, now geography teacher at the High School Affiliated to SUSTech in Shenzhen, China.
  • Dr. Lan Dai, Visiting Ph.D. Student, 2018, now postdoc at IBS Center for Climate Physics.
  • Dr. Amir Erfanian, Postdoc, 2018 – 2019, now data scientist at McKinsey & Company.
  • Dr. Sudip Chakraborty, Postdoc, 2016 – 2018, now postdoc at JPL.
  • Dr. Yizhou Zhuang, Visiting Ph.D. Student, Oct 2015 – Sep 2017, now postdoc at UCLA.
  • Dr. Ying Sun, Postdoctoral Fellow, March 2014 – Jan. 2016, now Assistant Professor at Cornell University.
  • Dr. Bing Pu, Research Scientist, March 2014 – December 2015, now Assistant Professor at University of Kansas.
  • Dr. Nelun Fernando, UCAR-PACE postdoctoral research, 2011-2013, Postdoctorial researcher, January 2013-October 2014, now Research Scientist in TWDB, Austin, TX.
  • Dr. Jung Hyo Chae, Postdoctoral researcher, 2011-2012, now a Postdoc Fellow in JPL/Caltech, NASA.
  • Dr. Diandong Ren, Research Scientist Associate V, 2008 – 2010. Now associate professor at Curtin University Sarawak, Australia.
  • Dr. Nicole Smith-Downey, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2008 – 2010. Now in Earth System Sciences, LLC.
  • Dr. Wenhong Li: Research Scientist II, 2003 – 2009. Now Associate Professor in Duke University.
  • Dr. Huilin Gao: Research scientists II, September 2005 – 2007. Now Assistant Professor  in TAMU.
  • Dr. Robinsin Juarze: Post-doctoral researcher, August 2005 – 2007. Now Professor in Tulane University.
  • Dr. Hui Wang: Senior research scientists, 1998 – 2006. Now scientist in NOAA/NCEP/CPC.
  • Dr. Yuanlong Hu: Post-doctoral researcher, 2003 –2006. Now Vice President, Resource Analytics at Terra-Gen Power, LLC.
  • Dr. John McCormick: Post-doctoral researcher, 1998-2000. Now Atmospheric Scientist at Naval Research Laboratory
  • Ms. Mingxuan Chen: Research scientist II, 1996 – 2006. Now Research Scientist in Colorado State University.
  • Ms. Alison Walker: Computer programming consultant, 2004-2006.

Ph.D. Dissertation Committees:

  • Sudip Chakraborty, Kai Zhang, Wenting Fu, Qinjian Jin, Lei Yin, Ming Jie, Lei Huang, Marilee Roell, Hieu H. Nguyen, Paola Arias, Enrique Rosero, Katia Fernades, Yan Zhang, Jonathon Wright, Jiangfeng Wei, Wenhong Li, Carissa Howard, Wei Liao, Dennis Robinson, Brant McDaniel, Yan Huang, Ray Mooring, Anton Darmenov, Jun Jian, Mi Zho, Qing Lu, Qian Tan, Brain Dinunno, Amy Tidwell (Civil Engineering), Christos Fountoukis (Chemical Engineeing)