Welcome to Tong Qiu’s personal website!


  I am a postdoc Associate with Dr. Jim Clark and Dr. Jennifer Swenson. I received my Ph.D. under the tutelage of Dr. Conghe Song at UNC-Chapel Hill. I also worked with Dr. Jim Clark, Dr. Erika Wise, Dr. Diego Riveros-Iregui, and Dr. Allen Hurlbert to conduct my dissertation research.
  I am always drawn to ecological questions at continental-to-global scales. Answering those questions requires a data-model synthesis framework that combines remote sensing with the state-of-the-art quantitative models. For my doctoral research, I utilized multi-scale satellite remote sensing and Bayesian Hierarchical models to explore how vegetation phenology (i.e. spring budburst and fall senescence) responded to climate change, extreme weather events, and land cover land use change (e.g. urbanization). My disssertation has

  • Built a framework to separate temporal shifts of phenology related with climate change from those caused by urbanization
  • Tested the importance of incorporating landscape metrics in characterizing the spatial patterns of phenology along a rural-to-urban gradient
  • Developed a Bayesian space-time model that enhanced our understanding of the continuous response of phenology to weather stressors and climate change across broad biogeographic gradients
  • Forecasted future phenological shifts using projected climate and weather conditions


  • biodiversity and global change
  • Vegetation phenology
  • Remote Sensing
  • Bayesian Hierarchical Model


  • Ph.D. in physical geography, 2020

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • B.Eng. in remote sensing, 2015

    Wuhan University (with the highest honor, GPA ranking 1/229)

Honors and Awards

Graduate Student Transportation Grant

Top 10 Finalist for 3MT thesis competition

James Carlton Ingram Summer Research Fellowship

Finalist in Student Honors Paper

Best Student Paper

Conference Travel Award (four times)

Best Undergraduate Thesis (3%)

Presidential Fellowship (0.4%), equivalent to Full-ride Scholarship in the U.S.

Geoway Remote Sensing Academic Star (0.4%)

Best Group Presentation (10%)

Outstanding Engineer Fellowship, awarded a summer school in University of Cambridge (10%)

Pacemaker for Outstanding student (0.4%, twice)

National Undergraduate Innovative Fellowship (2%)

First-class Scholarsihp (5%, three times)

Outstanding student (5%, three times)

National Fellowship (2%, three times)


Quickly discover relevant content by filtering publications.

Urbanization and climate change jointly shift land surface phenology in the northern mid-latitude large cities

We found that amplitude of urbanization, quantified as changes of %ISA, can compensate the negative effects (delayed SOS or advanced …

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Predicting When and Where Autumn Foliage Coloration will Peak in the United States

This talk is for the final round of UNC-Chapel Hill 3MT thesis competition, related with my dissertation research.

Recent News

I advanced to the UNC-Chapel Hill 3MT Final

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) is an academic competition that assists current graduate students with fostering effective presentation …

My first-author paper has been accepted at remote sensing of environment

This paper aims to understand how urbanization and climate change jointly shifts land surface phenology in mid-latitude large cities.