Link to Talk Video: https://mediaspace.illinois.edu/media/t/1_72uwdx3r
Abstract: Humanity faces grand challenges in fulfilling growing needs in water, food, and energy, while maintaining the long-term sustainability of natural resources; these challenges are further intensified by climate change with increasing risks posed to different aspects of societal needs. My research tackles two key science questions: How do climate and human activities control ecosystem productivity and service? How can we optimally manage our landscape to achieve co-sustainability of ecosystem productivity and environmental resource? To address these questions, my team is integrating earth system science (that encompasses plant ecology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and climate science) with advanced engineering tools (airborne/satellite sensing, AI, modeling, supercomputing), aiming to revolutionize how we monitor and model plant-water-nutrient interactions for agricultural and natural ecosystems at scale. In this talk, I will specifically share my vision and my group's work of how to advance the science and technology to enable us to monitor, model, and manage every piece of land in our planet, primarily using my team’s work done in the past five years for the U.S. Midwest agroecosystem as examples. I will illustrate how we framed and resolved the scaling problem of sensing and modeling from individual farmland to the continental scale; how we used novel experiments and sensing to understand the underlying processes of crop yield responses to environmental stresses; and how we developed new methods of data-model fusion to calculate field-level whole carbon cycle through AI-based model-data fusion. I envision these knowledge and framework gained in agroecosystem can be transferred to natural ecosystems, and we can ultimately achieve the goal to provide information to enable optimal management of every piece of land in our planet.
Bio: Dr. Kaiyu Guan is a Blue Waters Associate Professor in ecohydrology and remote sensing and the founding director of Agroecosystem Sustainability Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He got his PhD at Princeton University and was a postdoc fellow at Stanford University before he joined UIUC in Feb 2016. Guan’s group at UIUC focuses on bringing the interdisciplinary domain knowledge (plant ecology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and climate science), satellite/airborne data, fieldwork, supercomputing, and machine learning together to revolutionize how we monitor and model plant-water-nutrient interactions for agricultural ecosystems, across the U.S. and globe. His group’s work aims to increase our society’s resilience and adaptability to maintain sustainability of ecosystem services, food security and water resources under the influence of climate change and anthropogenic drivers. Guan has published 100+ papers in leading scientific journals. Guan serves as PI and Co-PI for 20+ federal grants from NASA, NSF, DOE, and USDA. Guan is the awardee of NSF CAREER Award, NASA New Investigator Award, AGU Early Career Award in Global Environmental Change, Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientist Finalist, Hyperion Research High-Performance-Computing Innovation Excellence Award, SoAR Foundation’s National Selection of U.S. Agricultural Research, FFAR Seeding Solution Award, etc. Guan leads a research group currently having 25+ people, including three research professors, two research scientists, five postdocs, 12 PhD students and four technicians.
Part of the Illinois Computer Science Speakers Series. Faculty Host: Cheng Zhai