Dr. Lifeng Luo

Lifeng  Luo
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Director, ESPP
  • Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences
  • 673 Auditorium Road
  • 124 Geography Building
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 884-0547


I grew up in Xi’An, an ancient city in China where the terracotta Army was found. I attended Peking University to study Atmospheric Sciences before I came to the U.S. for advanced degrees. I received both M.S. and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences/Climatology from Rutgers University, advised by Prof. Alan Robock. In 2003, I started my postdoctoral training at Princeton University with a joint appointment between the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Program of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science. I was then promoted to continue working at Princeton as a research scientist in the Land Surface Hydrology Group led by Prof. Eric Wood. I joined the faculty at Michigan State University in the fall of 2009 and has been here since. I am now a Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, and Director of the Environmental Science Policy Program (ESPP).


My research interests are mainly in the field of hydroclimatology, a multidisciplinary field with strong links to climate science, hydrology, and water resources. I am interested in understanding how land and atmospheric interact at various scales, and how such interaction affects the variability and predictability of the climate system. Understanding the processes that govern land-atmosphere interactions, developing the ability to predict the variation in the hydrological processes, and determining their usefulness for resource management are the fundamental science priorities of my research. The major research topics include:

1) Climate predictability at seasonal time scale, especially how land surface conditions contribute the predictability.
2) Prediction of hydrological extremes, in particular, the onset, development, and recover of severe drought events and floods.
3) Climate change and its regional impact.
4) Human activities such as land use land cover change, irrigation, and water management on regional climate and water resources.