Hi, my name’s Rui and I’m a PhD Candidate at Frankenberg Lab, Caltech. My research interest is evaluating vegetation-climate feedbacks, such as carbon, water, and energy fluxes between land and atmosphere, using a fusion of remote sensing techniques, specifically in regions with limited direct measurements, including the Arctic and mountainous regions.
I am most skilled in: Solar-Induced chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF), canopy reflectance, and vegetation phenology
California Institute of Technology
Ph.D. 2017 - present, M.S. 2018
Major: Environmental Science and Engineering
Minor: Electrical Engineering
Thesis Advisory Committee: Christian Frankenberg (Advisor), Tapio Schneider (Chair), Paul O. Wennberg, Anthony Bloom
Thesis: Remotely evaluating the seasonality of gross primary production at high latitudes
M.S. 2015 - 2017
Major: Earth and Environmental Science
Advisor: Benjamin Felzer
Thesis: The associated effects of temperature and soil moisture on forest carbon fluxes in the contiguous US
Sun Yat-sen University
B.S. 2011 - 2015
Major: Atmospheric Science
Advisor: Song Yang
Thesis: Characteristics of hot days in China with Central-Pacific El Niño
Projects & Publications
Photosynthetic Phenology in an Evergreen Needleleaf Forest in Colorado
Multi-scale studies on the seasonality of SIF, hyperspectral reflectance, canopy color, and GPP in Niwot Ridge, Colorado. These papers feature a canopy-level telescope, PhotoSpec (a.k.a. BEYONCE).
Cheng, R., Magney, T.S., Dutta, D., Bowling, D.R., Logan, B.A., Burns, S.P., Blanken, P.D., Grossmann, K., Lopez, S., Richardson, A.D. and Stutz, J., 2020. Decomposing reflectance spectra to track gross primary production in a subalpine evergreen forest. Biogeosciences, 17(18), pp.4523-4544. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-4523-2020
Magney, T.S., Bowling, D.R., Logan, B.A., Grossmann, K., Stutz, J., Blanken, P.D., Burns, S.P., Cheng, R., Garcia, M.A., Kӧhler, P. and Lopez, S., 2019. Mechanistic evidence for tracking the seasonality of photosynthesis with solar-induced fluorescence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(24), pp.11640-11645. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1900278116
Seyednasrollah, B., Bowling, D.R., Cheng, R., Logan, B.A., Magney, T.S., Frankenberg, C., Yang, J.C., Young, A.M., Hufkens, K., Arain, M.A. and Black, T.A., 2020. Seasonal variation in the canopy color of temperate evergreen conifer forests. New Phytologist. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.17046
Remotely Estimating Photosynthetic Seasonality in the Arctic
Radiative Transfer in Mountainous Regions
Topographic dependence of radiation and vegetation dynamics.
- Cheng, R., Köhler, P., & Frankenberg, C. (under review), Impacts of Topography and Radiation on Temporal Upscaling of Instantaneous Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology.
Interannaul Variability of Precipitation in SoCal
ENSO and PDO explain 20% of the interannual variability of total precipitation and precipitation frequency in SoCal.
- Cheng, R., Novak, L., & Schneider, T., 2021. Predicting the interannual variability of California’s total annual precipitation. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2020GL091465. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL091465
Droughts and Floods in Ethnographic Reports
- Felzer, B.S., Ember, C.R., Cheng, R. and Jiang, M., 2020. The Relationships of Extreme Precipitation and Temperature Events with Ethnographic Reports of Droughts and Floods in Nonindustrial Societies. Weather, Climate, and Society, 12(1), pp.135-148. https://doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-19-0045.1
- Zhang, D., Qiu, G., Gao, Y., Fang, X., Cheng, R., Chang, A. and Chan, C.Y., 2014, October. Crowdsourcing based radio map anomalous event detection system for calibration-on-demand. In 2014 International Conference on Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation (IPIN) (pp. 220-229). IEEE.
GE 157c: Remote Sensing for Environmental and Geological Applications
Prof. Bethany Elmann, Caltech
ESE 103: Earth’s Biogeochemical Cycles
Prof. Christian Frankenberg, Caltech
ESE 131a: Physical Oceanography I
Prof. Jörn Callies, Caltech
ESE 101: Earth’s Atmosphere
Prof. Tapio Schneider, Caltech
2019 - present
Data and Coding Instructor at the Carpentries, Caltech
Certificate of Participation in Teacher Development Program (I+II), Lehigh University
A Little More About Me
Alongside my research interests, my other interests and hobbies are:
- Science Outreach
- DEI advocacy on women in STEM
Look at this cool image I took along the Dalton Highway in Brooks Range, Alaska.