Tong Qiu

Tong Qiu

Postdoc Associate

Duke University


I am a broadly trained ecologist interested in understanding how the function and structure of the forest ecosystem respond to global change at regional to global scales. I will be joining the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management at Penn State University in Oct 2022. I am looking for a postdoc and graduate students, please contact me if you are interested.

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
  • Uncovered the climate-habitat interactions that govern abundance change of ground beetles to climate warming.

The other ongoing projects include:

  • Quantifying the effects of adaptive benefits, climate, and soil on tree masting at a global scale.
  • Deriving canopy nutrients based on combined LiDAR and hyperspectral remote sensing and quantifying their impacts on tree fecundity at NEON sites through mastif.
  • Modeling the response of ground beetles to remotely sensed habitat.

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.


Quickly discover relevant content by filtering publications.
(2022). Limits to reproduction and seed size-number trade-offs that shape forest dominance and future recovery. in Nature Communications.

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(2022). Globally, tree fecundity exceeds productivity gradients. in Ecology letters.

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

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

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Upcoming Talks

American Geophysical Union 2021 Fall meeting
Combined lidar and hyperpsectral in understanding fecundity.
NASA Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting
Preliminary results on combined lidar and hyperpsectral in understanding fecundity.