Tong Qiu

Tong Qiu

Postdoc Associate

Duke University


I am a broadly trained physical geographer and quantitative ecologist. My research aims to understand how the function and structure of the terrestrial ecosystem respond to global environmental changes at regional to global scales. I take a data-model synthesis approach that integrates satellite and airborne remote sensing, monitoring networks, and forest inventory with Bayesian hierarchical models to answer my research questions. Currently, I am working as a postdoc with Dr. Jim Clark and Dr. Jennifer Swenson. To date, my postdoc project has

  • Provided the first reproduction-related evidence on tree physiological senescence
  • Quantified seed production in tree species across all vegetated continents and provided a previously unmeasured dimension of tree fitness
  • Revealed the soil fertility effects on tree reproduction and pointed to the urgent need to improve forest demographic models with a realistic soil effect
  • Evaluated the reorganization of forest communities from adult tree to fecundity to seedling recruitment

Additionally, I am analyzing how combined lidar and hyperspectral imagery affect tree fecundity at NEON sites through mastif. I am also quantifying response of ground beetles to habitat characteristics using gjam/gjamTime.

For my doctoral research, I worked with Drs. Conghe Song, Jim Clark, Erika Wise, Diego Riveros-Iregui, and Allen Hurlbert to understand how vegetation phenology responds to climate change, extreme weather events, and urbanization.

  • Tree mast and biodiversity
  • Vegetation phenology
  • Climate change and extreme weather events
  • Bayesian hierarchical models
  • 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)


Duke University
Postdoc Associate
May 2020 – Present North Carolina
Conducting research with funding resources from NASA-AIST and NSF-DEB.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduate Research Assistant and Instructor
Aug 2015 – May 2020 North Carolina
Conducted dissertation research and taught quantitative methods in geography.


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(2021). Niche shifts from trees to fecundity to recruitment that determine species response to climate change. accepted at Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Project Request the preprint

(2021). Limits to reproduction that shape forest dominance and future recovery. under review.

Project Request the preprint

(2021). Is there tree senescence? The fecundity evidence. In PNAS.

Cite Project DOI pdf

Upcoming Talks

NASA Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting
Preliminary results on combined lidar and hyperpsectral in understanding fecundity.