Group Members

Prof. Lifeng Luo

Dr. Lifeng Luo is a faculty member of the Department of Geography at Michigan State University. He received his B.Sc. from Peking University in 1998, and Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University in 2003. He worked as a post-doc and then research scientist in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University. He became a tenure track faculty at MSU in August, 2009, and is currently also affiliated with the Environmental Sciences and Policy Program and Center for Global Change and Earth Observations.

Dr. Lifeng Luo's research covers a range of topics related to land-atmosphere interaction and its impact on the global climate and hydrological cycle at various spatial and temporal scales. His research involves the use of statistical and dynamical approaches to downscale large scale atmospheric fields for hydrological applications. His recent research focuses on the predictability and prediction of climate extremes such as drought, floods, heat waves at subseasonal to seasonal scale. His current research activities are supported by NOAA, NASA and USDA.

Dr. Luo has authored and coauthored over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles, and some of them have been highlighted in Nature and Nature Reports Climate Change. He has reviewed more than 60 manuscripts for numerous scientific journals, and has served on several review panels for funding agencies. He is currently a member of the WCRP/GEWEX/GLASS panel and a member of the US Drought Task Force.

Graduate Students

Sam Arcand

Sam received his bachelors degree in meteorology from St. Cloud State University, and is now nearing the end of the first year of his master's degree here at MSU. His co-advised by Dr. Lifeng Luo and Dr. Sharon Zhong. His current research combines weather and climate, and he is looking into the effects of agricultural irrigation on low-level jets (LLJ) throughout the central United States. He had the opportunity this past summer to be employed as a student field scientist through the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) chasing storms in an effort to better understand nocturnal convection in and around the Great Plains where LLJs play an important role. He is excited to apply what he learned during this project to his master's research. He also assists with research at the U.S. National Forest Service Office here in East Lansing. Outside of academic life he enjoys playing all sorts of sports as well as spending time outside hunting, fishing, running, and spending time with family and friends.

Pouyan Hatami

Pouyan joined the research group in Spring 2017 as a PhD student. He earned his bachelor degree in Civil Engineering at Shiraz University, Iran. He has two Master of Engineering degrees, one in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Tehran, Iran and another in Biosystems Engineering from Michigan State University. Currently, his research area lies in the application of data mining and machine learning in hydroclimatic data. He is also interested in studying the roles of social, political and economic factors in climate change.

Yunyun (Lisa) Li

Yunyun (Lisa) Li is a PhD student from Xi'an University of Technology. Her research focus is in hydrology and water resources. She has worked on drought risk assessment, rivre hydrological regime anlaysis, hydrological process simulation with hydrological model (SWAT), and hydrological response to environment change. She is visiting MSU from March 2017 to February 2018. Her research topic is on drought system analysis in the Yellow River basin in the changing environment, which integrates drought drivers, drought assessment, drought prediction and drought resiliance together. In her spare time, she like hiking, singing and watching movies.

Feng Ma

Feng is a PhD student from Beijing Normal University. She joined our group as a visiting PhD student. Her research topic is related to seasonal drought propagation and forecasting under the changing environment in the Heihe River basin. Her research focus is in hydroclimatology. She has worked on the contribution of climate change and human activities on hydrology, drought forecast skill and predictability in China, application of multiple climate models in hydrology, and the relationship between SSTA and drought in China. She is visiting MSU from August 2017 to July 2018. She likes dancing and watching movies.


  • Huating Xu (Visiting Ph.D. 2016-2017), Hohai University
  • Deanna Apps (M.S, 2016), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Dr. Steven Schultze (Ph.D. 2015), University of South Alabama
  • Dr. Ying Tang (Ph.D. 2015), Michigan State University
  • Dr. Yang Lang (Visiting Ph.D. 2013-2014), Yunnan University, China
  • Dr. Xiaolei Fu (Visiting Ph.D. 2013-2014), Fuzhou University, China
  • Dr. Xiaona Zhang (Visiting scholar, 2013-2014), Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, China
  • Dr. Wei Tang (Visiting Ph.D. 2012), China Meteorology Administration


  • Prof. Eric F. Wood (Princeton University)
  • Prof. Pang-Ning Tan (Michigan State University)
  • Dr. Ming Pan (Princeton University)
  • Dr. Justin Sheffield (Princeton University)
  • Dr. Youlong Xia (NOAA/EMC)
  • Prof. Sharon Zhong (Michigan State University)
  • Prof. Julie Winkler (Michigan State University)
  • Dr. Warren Heilman (USDA Forest Service)
  • Dr. Joseph J. Charney (USDA Forest Service)
  • Dr. Xindi Bian (USDA Forest Service)
  • Prof. Zhaohui Lin (IAP/CAS)
  • Prof. Qingyun Duan (Beijing Normal University)
  • Prof. Paolo Sabbatini (Michigan State University)
  • Prof. Jianguo (Jack) Liu (Michigan State University)
  • Dr. Thomas Huntington (USGS)
  • Dr. Lisi Pei (NCAR)