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Full-time Academic Staff: Teaching Staff

Professor Jimmy Li


Room 10.19

391 77106

Associate Professor 

PhD (University of Virginia); MS (University of Wyoming); BS (Jilin University)




HKU Scholar Hub

Professor Li is a broadly trained physical geographer. He got his doctoral degree from the University of Virginia, USA. He had postdoctoral training in Cornell University and UCLA. Prior to joining in HKU, he was an associate professor at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he worked for nine years. 


Professor Li research is highly interdisciplinary including aeolian geomorphology, biogeochemistry and health impact of atmospheric dust, ecosystem science, GIS and remote sensing. Professor Li was one of the first to investigate the mechanism of aeolian processes on rapid ecosystem change in southwestern United States. Professor Li also pioneered the application of rare earth element tracers on aeolian sediment transport. Recently, Professor Li has grown interests in Valley fever, a respiratory infection caused by the inhalation of airborne fungus spores. Professor Li’s research has been supported by US NSF, US Department of Transportation, NASA etc. Professor Li has published broadly in a variety of top-tier earth and environmental science journals.

Research Interests
  • Aeolian geomorphology and ecosystem change in dryland systems

  • Biogeochemistry of atmospheric dust and its human health impacts

  • GIS, spatial statistics, and stochastic modeling



Nature Conservation for Sustainable Societies



Annual; 2nd Semester


Global Landforms



Annual; 1st Semester


Energy, Environment, and Climate



Annual; 2nd Semester

Selected Publications


  • Sun J., Wang Y., Piao S., Liu M., Han G., Li J., Liang E., Lee T.M., Liu G., Wilkes A., Liu S., Zhao W., Zhou H., Yibeltal M., Berihun M.L., Browning D., Fenta A.A., Tsunekawa A.,Brown J., Willms W., and Tsubo M. Toward a sustainable grassland ecosystem worldwide. The Innovation 3(4), 100265, 2022.

  • Sprigg WA, Gill TE, Tong DQ, Li J, Ren L, Van Pelt RS. Are opportunities to apply airborne dust research being missed? Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, DOI 10.1175/BAMS-D-22-0034.1, 2022.

  • Li J, Ravi S, Wang G*, Van Pelt RS, Gill TE, and Sankey JB. Woody plant encroachment of grassland and the reversibility of shrub dominance: Erosion, fire and feedback processes, ECS21-0344 Ecosphere DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3949, 2022.


  • Wang G*, Li J, Ravi S, Theiling B, Burger B. Fire-induced microsite-scale spatial heterogeneity of soil nitrogen (N) and δ15N: Implications for N cycling at a grassland-shrubland ecotone, Journal of Arid Environments, DOI:10.​1016/​j.​jaridenv.​2020.​104422, 2021.

  • Sankey J, Sankey T, Li J, Ravi S, Wang G*, Caster J, Kasprak A. Quantifying plant-soil-nutrient dynamics in rangelands: the potential of ground-based LiDAR, UAV hyperspectral-LiDAR fusion, and UAV multispectral-photogrammetry fusion in a shrub-encroached grassland, Remote Sensing of Environment, DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2020.112223, 2021.

  • Cao Q, Li J et al. On the spatial variability and influencing factors of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen stocks in a desert oasis ecotone of northwestern China, Catena, DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2021.105533, 2021.


  • Ravi S, Li J, Meng Z et al. Generation, resuspension, and transport of particulate matter from biochar-amended soils: A potential health risk, GeoHealth, DOI: 10.1029/2020GH000311, 2020.

  • Van Pelt S, Tatarko, J, Gill, TE, Chang CP, Li J, Eibedingil IG, and Mendez M. Dust Emission Source Characterization for Visibility Hazard Assessment on Lordsburg Playa in Southwestern New Mexico, USA, Geoenvironmental Disasters, DOI: 10.1186/s40677-020-00171-x, 2020.

  • Jiao S*, Li J et al. Variation of soil organic carbon in relation to soil physical properties and land uses in the Yellow River Delta, China, Scientific Reports, DOI:10.1038/s41598-020-77303-8, 2020.

  • Ju X, Li W, He L, Li J et al. Ecological redline policy may significantly alter urban expansion and affect surface runoff in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei megaregion of China, Environmental Research Letters, DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/abb4ff, 2020.

  • Li J and McDonald-Gillespie J*. Airborne lead (Pb) from abandoned mine waste in northeastern Oklahoma, USA, GeoHealth, DOI: 10.1029/2020GH000273, 2020.

  • Cao Q, Li J, Xiao H et al. Sap flow characteristics of Amorpha fruticose: implications of water use strategy in a semiarid system with secondary salinization in northwestern China, Scientific Reports,10-13504,  DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-70511-2, 2020.

  • Gao G, Tuo D, Han X, Jiao L, Li J, and Fu B. Effects of land-use patterns on soil carbon and nitrogen variations along revegetated hillslopes in the Chinese Loess Plateau, Science of the Total Environment, DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141156, 2020.

  • Cao Q, Yang B, Li J et al. Characteristics of soil water and salt associated with Tamarisk communities during normal and dry periods in a semi-arid saline environment, Catena, DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2020.104661, 2020.

  • Rui M*, Li J et al. A wind tunnel study on the seasonal shelter efficiency of deciduous windbreaks, Transactions of the ASABE, DOI:10.13031/trans.13782, 2020.

  • Li Y*, Li J et al. Ecosystem-scale Carbon Allocation Among Different Land Uses: Implications for Carbon Stocks in an Estuarine System in the Yellow River Delta, China, Ecosphere, DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.3125, 2020.

  • Wang D, Gao G, Li J et al. Sap flow dynamics of xerophytic shrubs differ significantly among rainfall categories in the Loess Plateau of China, Journal of Hydrology, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2020.124815, 2020.

  • Xiao L*, Li J et al. A method to predict the resistivity index for tight sandstone reservoirs from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data, AAPG, DOI: 10.1306/05222018269, 2020.

  • Qi Y, Wei W, Li J et al. Effects of terracing on root distribution of Pinus tabulaeformis Carr. forest and soil properties in the Loess Plateau of China, Science of the Total Environment, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137506, 2020.


  • Jiao S*, Li J et al. Soil C, N, and P distribution as affected by plant communities in the Yellow River Delta, China, PLoS ONE 14(12): e0226887, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226887, 2019.

  • Feng S, Chen L, Sun R, Feng Z, Li J et al. The Distribution and Accessibility of Urban Parks in Beijing, China: Implications of Social Equity, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16, 4894, DOI:10.3390/ijerph16244894, 2019.

  • Hamid G, Mojtaba DK, Li J, Matt TW, Javad A. Diverse sources of aeolian sediment revealed in an arid landscape in southeastern Iran using a Bayesian un-mixing model, Aeolian Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.aeolia.2019.100547, 2019.

  • Wang G*, Li J, Ravi S. A combined grazing and fire management may reverse woody shrub encroachment in desert grasslands, Landscape Ecology, DOI: 10.1007/s10980-019-00873-0, 2019.

  • Ma* R, Li J et al. On the airflow field and shelter efficiency of mixed windbreaks: A wind tunnel study, Aeolian Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.aeolia.2019.100544, 2019.

  • Liu S, Dong Y, Sun Y, Li J et al. Modelling the spatial pattern of biodiversity utilizing the high-resolution tree cover data at large scale: Case study in Yunnan province, Southwest China, Ecological Engineering, 134, 1-8, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2019.05.001, 2019.

  • Xiao L*, Li J et al. A method to evaluate pore structures of fractured tight sandstone reservoirs using borehole electrical image logging, AAPG Bulletin, DOI: 10.1306/04301917390, 2019.


  • Wang G*, Li J et al. Fire changes the spatial distribution and sources of soil organic carbon in a grassland-shrubland transition zone, Plant and Soil, DOI: 10.1007/s11104-018-3895-z, 2018.

  • Ravi S, Gonzales HB, Buynevich LV, Li J, Sankey JB, Dukes D, Wang G*. On the development of a magnetic susceptibility-based tracer for aeolian sediment transport research, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, DOI: 10.1002/esp.4536, 2018.

  • Wang G*, Li J, Ravi S, Dukes D, Gonzales HB, and Sankey JB. Post-fire redistribution of soil carbon and nitrogen at a grassland-shrubland ecotone. Ecosystems, DOI: 10.1007/s10021-018-0260-2, 2018.

  • Gonzales HB, Ravi S, Li J, Sankey JB. Ecohydrological implications of aeolian sediment trapping by sparse vegetation in drylands, Ecohydrology, DOI: 10.1002/eco.1986, 2018.

  • Li J and Ravi S. Interactions among hydrological-aeolian processes and vegetation determine grain-size distribution of sediments in a coppice dune (nebkha) system. Journal of Arid Environments, DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2018.03.011, 2018.

  • Xiao L*, Li J et al., A method to determine nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) T2cutoff based on normal distribution simulation in tight sandstone reservoirs, Fuel, 225, 472-482, DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2018.03.178, 2018.

  • Dukes D, Gonzales HB, Ravi S, Grandstaff DE, Van Pelt RS, Li J, Wang G*, and Sankey JB. Quantifying Post-Fire Aeolian Sediment Transport Using Rare Earth Element Tracers. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 123(1), 288-299, DOI: 10.1002/2017JG004284, 2018.

  • Xiao L*, Mao Z, Li J et al., Effect of hydrocarbon on evaluating formation pore structure using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) logging. Fuel, 216, 199–207, DOI: 10.1016/j.fuel.2017.12.020, 2018.

  • Liu S, Yin Y, Li J et al. Using landscape connectivity to identify key habitats for Asian elephants in southwestern China. Landscape and Urban Planning, 171, 80-87, DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.09.017, 2018.

  • Li J, Kandakji T, Lee JA, Tatarko JT, Blackwell J*, Gill TE, and Collins J. Blowing dust and highway safety in the southwestern United States: Characteristics of dust emission "hotspots" and management implications. Science of the Total Environment, 621, 1023-1032, DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.10.124, 2018.


  • Liu D, Xiao L*, Li J et al., Method of predicting tight gas deliverability from conventional well logging data based on experimental simulation. Arabian Journal of Science and Engineering, DOI: 10.1007/s13369-017-2916-1, 2017.

  • Xiao L*, Liu D, Li J et al. The applicability analysis of models for permeability prediction using mercury injection capillary pressure (MICP) data. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, DOI: 10.1016/j.petrol.2017.06.042, 2017.

  • Wang G*, Li J et al. Aeolian sediment tracers: Approaches, applications, and challenges. Earth-Science Reviews, DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.05.001, 2017.

  • Li J, Gilhooly WP, Okin GS, and Blackwell J*. Abiotic processes are insufficient for fertile island development: A 10-year artificial shrub experiment in a desert grassland. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, DOI: 10.1002/2016GL072068, 2017.


  • Ravi S, Sharratt BS, Li J et al. Particulate matter emissions from biochar-amended soils: A tradeoff to the negative emission potential. Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/srep35984, 2016.

  • Liu S, Yin Y, Liu X, Cheng F, Yang J, Li J, Dong S, and Zhu A. Ecosystem services and landscape change associated with plantation expansion in a tropical rainforest region of southwest China. Ecological Modelling, 353, 129-138, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2016.03.009, 2016.


  • Li J, Flagg C, Okin GS, Painter TH, Dintwe K, and Belnap J. On the prediction of threshold friction velocity of wind erosion using soil reflectance spectroscopy. Aeolian Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.aeolian.2015.10.001, 2015.

  • Liu S, Su X, Dong S, Chen F, Zhao H, Wu X, Zhang X, and Li J. Modeling aboveground biomass of an alpine dessert grassland with SPOT-VGT NDVI. GIScience and Remote Sensing, DOI: 10.1080/15481603.2015.1080143, 2015.

  • Lü Y, Zhang L, Feng X, Zeng Y, Fu B, Yao X, Li J, and Wu B. Recent ecological transitions in China: greening, browning, and influential factors. Scientific Reports, 5:8732, DOI: 10.1038/srep08732, 2015.

  • Wang J, Yan S, Guo Y, Li J, and Sun G. The effects of land consolidation on the ecological connectivity based on ecosystem service value-A case study of Da’an land consolidation project in Jilin Province. Journal of Geographical Sciences, (5):603-616, DOI: 10.1007/s11442-015-1190-y, 2015.

  Prior to 2015  

  • Li J, Okin GS, Tatarko J, Webb NP, and Herrick JE. Consistency of wind erosion assessments across land use and land cover types: A critical analysis. Aeolian Research, DOI:10.1016/j.aeolia.2014.04.007, 2014.

  • Liu S, Deng L, Chen L, Li J, Dong S, and Zhao H. Landscape network approach to assess ecological impacts of road projects on biological conservation. Chinese Geographical Sciences, 24(1), DOI: 10.1007/s11769-014-0651-z, 2014.

  • Li J, Okin GS, Skiles SM, and Painter TH. Relating variation of dust deposition on the snow to bare soil dynamics in the western United States. Environmental Research Letters, (8) 044054, DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/8/400054, 2013.

  • Li J, Okin GS, Herrick JE, Belnap J, Miller ME, Vest K, and Draut AE. Evaluation of a new model of aeolian transport in the presence of vegetation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, 118, DOI: 10.1002/jgrf.20040, 2013.

  • Vest KR, Elmore AJ, Kaste, JM, Okin GS, and Li J. Estimating total horizontal flux within shrub-invaded groundwater dependent meadows using empirical and mechanistic models. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, 118-1132-1146, 2013.

  • Li J, Anderson T, and Walter TM. Landscape scale variation in nitrous oxide flux along a typical Northeastern US topographic gradient in the early summer. Water, Air & Soil Pollution, DOI: 10.1007/s11270-011-0965-8, 2012.

  • Alvarez LJ, Epstein HE, Li J, and Okin GS. Aeolian process effects on vegetation communities in an arid grassland ecosystem. Ecology and Evolution, 2(4): 809-821, 2012.

  • Alvarez LJ, Epstein HE, Li J, and Okin, GS. Spatial patterns of grasses and shrubs in an arid grassland environment. Ecosphere, 2(9): 103, DOI:10.1890/ES11-00104.1, 2011.

  • Ravi S, D’Odorico P, Goudie A, Okin GS, Li J, Breshears D, Field J, Swap R, Thomas A, and Zobeck T. Aeolian processes and the biosphere. Review of Geophysics, 49, RG3001, DOI:10.1029/2010RG000328, 2011.

  • Li J, Okin GS, Herrick JE, Belnap J, Munson SM, and Miller ME. A simple method to estimate threshold friction velocity of wind erosion in the field. Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1029/2010GL043245, 2010.

  • Li J, Okin GS, and Epstein HE. Effects of enhanced wind erosion on surface soil texture and characteristics of windblown sediments. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, DOI:10.1029/2008JG000903, 2009.

  • Li J, Okin GS, Alvarez L, and Epstein H. Sediment deposition and soil nutrient heterogeneity in two desert grassland ecosystems, southern New Mexico. Plant and Soil, DOI: 10.1007/s11104-008-9850-7, 2008.

  • Li J, Okin GS, Alvarez L, and Epstein H. Effects of wind erosion on the spatial heterogeneity of soil nutrients in two desert grassland communities. Biogeochemistry, 88:73-88, DOI 10.1007/s10533-008-9195-6, 2008.

  • Li J, Okin GS, Alvarez L, and Epstein H. Quantitative effects of vegetation cover on wind erosion and soil nutrient loss in a desert grassland of southern New Mexico, USA. Biogeochemistry, 85:317-332, DOI 10.1007/s10533-007-9142-y, 2007.

Journal Reviewer

Aeolian Research, Atmospheric Environment, Australian Journal of Soil Research, Catena, Chemosphere, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Ecosphere, Ecological Indicator, Environmental Management, Environmental Modelling and Software, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Geoderma, Geomorphology, Geophysical Research Letters, JGR-Atmospheric Science, JGR-Biogeosciences, JGR-Earth Surface, Journal of Arid Environment, Land Degradation and Development, Landscape Ecology, Nature Geoscience, Nature Ecology and Evolution, Plant and Soil, Plant Ecology, Water Resources Research etc.

Proposal Reviewer

US National Science Foundation Geomorphology and Land-use Dynamics Program; US-Israel Binational Science Foundation; CABNR/NAES Program, University of Nevada System; Canada Foundation for Innovation; US National Science Foundation CAREER Program; French National Research Agency; Oklahoma Water Resource Research, USA; Israel Science Foundation

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