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Jiafu Mao, PhD

ORNL Joint Faculty Professor


Jiafu Mao is a Senior Staff Scientist with the Earth Systems Modeling group in the Environmental Sciences Division and the Climate Change Science Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He is also a Joint Faculty Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering of University of Tennessee.

Mao’s work primarily involves modeling and understanding hydrology, carbon cycling, and vegetation dynamics in the Earth terrestrial ecosystems using field measurements, satellite data, process-oriented land surface and Earth system models, and various statistic methods including the machine learning techniques; investigating the land surface response to multiple-factor global change and attributing the variations of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics to natural and anthropogenic drivers; and global scale coupling research primarily concentrating on human-land-climate interactions using the integrated Earth system modeling and statistical framework.

Mao earned a combined MA-PhD in atmospheric sciences at Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2007. He then became a joint postdoctoral research fellow at the University of New South Wales and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia. Mao was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Associate Scientist, and Scientist with ORNL from 2009 until his Senior Staff Scientist appointment in 2021.

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