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Brief Curriculum Vitae

Professor Zicheng Yu

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015

Phone: (610) 758-6751; Fax: (610) 758-3677; E-mail: ziy2@lehigh.edu


Research interests:

Paleoclimatology and paleoecology; late glacial and Holocene; pollen, stomatal and macrofossil analysis of lake and wetland sediments; paleoclimatic applications of stable isotopes and trace elements (from marl and ostracode/mollusk shells); peatland carbon cycle dynamics and climatic connection; global peatland synthesis; field studies on peatlands and peat banks in Alaska, Kamchatka, western Canada, the Tibetan Plateau, Patagonia, Antarctic Peninsula; and tepuis in northern tropical South America (Venezuela).


Professional preparation:

B.Sc. in Physical Geography, Peking University (Beijing, China), 1985

M.Sc. in Environmental Geosciences, Peking University (Beijing), 1988

M.Sc. in Botany (Paleoecology & paleohydrology), University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada), 1992

Ph.D. in Botany (Paleoecology & paleoclimatology), University of Toronto (Toronto), 1997

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Stable isotope geochemistry and paleoclimatology, Limnological Research Center, University of Minnesota, 7/1997 - 7/98

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Peatland dynamics modeling and Holocene climate change, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 8/1998 - 6/2000



Full Professor, September 2013 – present, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

Associate Professor, September 2007 – August 2013, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

Assistant Professor, August 2001 – August 2007, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

Research Scientist, June 2000 – July 2001, Climate Change Network, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Teaching and Research Assistants, September 1991 – April 1997, Royal Ontario Museum and University of Toronto, Toronto

Instructor, July 1988 – July 1991, Department of Geography, Peking University, Beijing, China


Selected publications:

1.  Yu, Z.C., J. McAndrews, and U. Eicher. 1997. Middle Holocene dry climate caused by change in atmospheric circulation patterns: Evidence from lake levels and stable isotopes. Geology, 25: 251-254.


2.  Yu, Z.C. and U. Eicher. 1998. Abrupt climate oscillations during the last deglaciation in central North America.  Science, 282: 2235-2238.


3.  Yu, Z.C. and E. Ito. 1999. Possible solar forcing of century-scale drought frequency in the northern Great Plains. Geology, 27: 263-266.


4.  Yu, Z.C.  2000. Ecosystem responses to late-glacial and early-Holocene climate oscillations in the Great Lakes region of North America.  Quaternary Science Reviews, 19: 1723-1747.


5.  Yu, Z.C. and H.E. Wright, Jr. 2001. Response of interior North America to abrupt climate oscillations in the North Atlantic region during the last deglaciation.  Earth-Science Reviews, 52: 333-369.


6.  Yu, Z.C., M.R. Turetsky, I.D. Campbell and D.H. Vitt. 2001. Modelling long-term peatland dynamics. II. Processes and rates as inferred from litter and peat-core data. Ecological Modelling, 145: 159-173.


7. Yu, Z.C., E. Ito, D.R. Engstrom, and S.C. Fritz. 2002. A 2100-year trace-element and stable-isotope record at decadal resolution from Rice Lake in the northern Great Plains, USA. The Holocene 12: 605-617.


8.  Yu, Z.C. 2003. Late Quaternary dynamics of tundra and forest vegetation of the southern Niagara Escarpment, Canada. New Phytologist. 157: 365-390.


9. Yu, Z.C., Vitt, D.H., Campbell, I.D. and Apps, M.J. 2003. Understanding Holocene peat accumulation pattern of continental fens in western Canada. Canadian Journal of Botany, 81: 267-282.


10. Yu, Z.C. 2006. Power laws governing hydrology and carbon cycle dynamics in northern peatlands. Global and Planetary Change 53: 169-175.


11. Jones, M.C.* and Yu, Z.C. 2010. Rapid deglacial and early Holocene expansion of peatlands in Alaska. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA 107: 7347-7352.


12.  Yu, Z.C., Loisel, J.*, Brosseau, D.P., Beilman, D.W. and Hunt, S.J.* 2010. Global peatland dynamics since the Last Glacial Maximum. Geophysical Research Letters 37: L13402  doi:10.1029/2010GL043584.


13. Zhao, C.*,  Z.C. Yu, L. Li*, and G. Bebout. 2010. Major shifts in multidecadal moisture variability in the mid-Atlantic region during the last 240 years. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L09702, doi:10.1029/2010GL043133.


14. Yu, Z.C. 2011. Holocene carbon flux histories of the world’s peatlands: Global carbon-cycle implications. The Holocene 21: 761-774.


15. Yu, Z.C. 2012. Northern peatland carbon stocks and dynamics: a review. Biogeosciences 9: 4071-4085, doi:10.5194/bg-9-4071-2012.


16. Spahni, R. F. Joos, B. D. Stocker, M. Steinacher1, and Z.C. Yu. 2013. Transient simulations of the carbon and nitrogen dynamics in northern peatlands: from the Last Glacial Maximum to the 21st century. Climate of the Past, 9: 1287-1308. 


17. Loisel, J*. and Z.C. Yu. 2013. Holocene peatland carbon dynamics in Patagonia. Quaternary Science Reviews 69: 125-141.


18. Yu, Z.C., J. Loisel*, M. Turetsky, S. Cai*, Y. Zhao, S. Frolking, G. MacDonald and J. Bubier. 2013. Evidence for elevated emissions from high-latitude wetlands contributing to high atmospheric CH4 concentration in the early Holocene. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 27: 131-140.


19. Yu, Z.C., J. Loisel, D.J. Charman, D.W. Beilman and P. Camill. 2014. Holocene peatland carbon dynamics in the circum-Arctic region: An introduction. The Holocene 24: 1021-1027.    


20. Loisel, J.*, Z.C. Yu, D.W. Beilman, P. Camill, J. Alm, D. Anderson, S. Andersson, B. Fiałkiewicz-Kozieł, K. Barber, L.R. Belyea, J. Bunbury, F.M. Chambers, D.J. Charman, F.De Vleeschouwer, S.A. Finkelstein, M. Garneau, D. Hammarlund, J. Holmquist, P. Hughes, M.C. Jones, E.S. Klein, U. Kokfelt, A. Korhola, P. Kuhry, A. Lamarre, M. Lamentowicz, D. Large, M. Lavoie, G. MacDonald, G. Magnan, M. Gałka, P. Mathijssen, D. Mauquoy, J. McCarroll, T.R. Moore, J. Nichols, B. O’Reilly, P. Oksanen, D. Peteet, P.J.H. Richard, S. Robinson, T. Ronkanien, M. Rundgren, B. Sannel, T. Thom, E.-S. Tuittila, M. Turetsky, M. Väliranta, M. van der Linden, B. van Geel, S. van Bellen, D. Vitt, Y. Zhao, and W.J. Zhou. 2014. A database and synthesis of northern peatland soil properties and Holocene carbon and nitrogen accumulation. The Holocene 24: 1028-1042.



Synergistic activities:



Associate Editor of the following journals: The Holocene (2008- ), Science China–Earth Scientists (2012-), Chinese Science Bulletin (2005-2012), Wetlands (2002-2004);


Editorial Board Member (2005-2007) of Geology;


Guest Editor (2007) of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS);


Lead Guest Editor of the following Special Issue: Quaternary Science Reviews (2008; on INTIMATE project), and The Holocene (2014; on circum-Arctic peatlands project).



International Leadership.

Leader of PAGES C-PEAT (Carbon in Peat on Earth through Time) Working Group (2014-2017);


co-Leader of PAGES Antarctica2k Project (coastal terrestrial records) (2014- );


Project Leader of INQUA Project “Holocene Global Peatland Carbon Dynamics: Community-Wide Data Synthesis and Modeling Initiatives” (2013-2015).


Steering Group member for PAGES Arctic 2k Project (2011);


Project Secretary and Co-Leader of INTIMATE (INtegration of Ice-core, MArine and TErrestrial records of the North Atlantic) Project (INQUA – Palaeoclimate Commission) (2003-2008).



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