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Full-time Academic Staff: Teaching Staff

Professor Lishan Ran
冉立山 副教授


Room 10.32

391 77103

Associate Professor

BA (Lanzhou); MA (CAS); PhD (NUS)




I currently have specific ideas for postgraduate research topics in the areas listed below. Please feel free to contact me at to discuss any of these further, or to discuss any ideas you might have in these areas:

  • Aquatic carbon cycle in contrasting environmental settings

  • Groundwater inflow as hotspots of carbon cycling in fluvial systems

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from inland waters

  • Chemical weathering and CO2 consumption in subtropical river basins

  • Gas exchange in mountain turbulent streams and waterfalls

  • Understanding microbial controls on carbon cycling in lakes and streams

  • Soil erosion and sediment transport in large river basins

Professor L. Ran received his B.A. degree in Hydrology from the Lanzhou University (2006), M.A. degree in Fluvial Geomorphology from the Chinese Academics of Sciences (2009), and PhD degree in Physical Geography from the National University of Singapore (2013). Before joining the department, he was working as a postdoc in Singapore. His current research interests reside in riverine carbon cycling and its responses to climate change and human activity, and water and sediment transport in large Asian rivers.

Research Interests
  • Riverine Carbon Cycle

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Soil Erosion and Carbon Export

  • Chemical Weathering and CO2 consumption

  • Sediment Transport and River Channel Change



Living in a Hazardous World



Annual; 1st Semester


Introductory Spatial Analysis #



Annual; 1st Semester

Selected Publications


  • Shuai Chen, Lishan Ran, Jun Zhong, Boyi Liu, Xiankun Yang, Ping Yang, Mingyang Tian, Qianqian Yang, Si-Liang Li, Zhifeng Yan, Nufang Fang. 2024. Magnitude of and hydroclimatic controls on CO2 and CH4 emissions in the subtropical monsoon Pearl River Basin. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, (in press) (2022IF=3.7)

  • Yanzhang Huang, Zhongbao Xin, Guangyao Gao, Xixi Lu, Lishan Ran, Yafeng Wang, Zhiqiang Zhang. 2024. Increasing lateral transport of soil and carbon on the Tibetan Plateau. Catena, 239, 107901.

  • Qianqian Yang, Shuai Chen, Yuxin Li, Lishan Ran. 2024. Carbon emissions from Chinese inland waters: current progress and future challenges. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 129, e2023JG007675. Highlighted by Eos (link: (2022IF=3.7)

  • Xuhui Wang, Yuanyi Gao, Sujong Jeong, Akihiko Ito, Ana Bastos, Benjamin Poulter , Yilong Wang, Philippe Ciais, Hanqin Tian, Wenping Yuan, Naveen Chandra, Frédéric Chevallier, Lei Fan, Songbai Hong, Ronny Lauerwald, Wei Li, Zhengyang Lin , Naiqing Pan, Prabir K. Patra, Shushi Peng, Lishan Ran, Yuxing Sang, Stephen Sitch, Maki Takashi, Rona Louise Thompson, Chenzhi Wang, Kai Wang, Tao Wang, Yi Xi, Liang Xu, Yanzi Yan, Jeongmin Yun, Yao Zhang, Yuzhong Zhang, Zhen Zhang, Bo Zheng, Feng Zhou, Shu Tao, Josep G. Canadell, Shilong Piao. 2024. The greenhouse gas budget of terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia since 2000. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 38, e2023GB007865 (2022IF=5.2)


  • Simon Scheper, Chunyue Liu, Zhongbao Xin, Lishan Ran, Christine Alewell. 2023. Soil loss and sedimentation rates in a sub-catchment of the Yellow River basin in China. International Soil and Water Conservation Research, (in press) (IF2022= 6.4)

  • Sen Xu, Aaron Bufe, Si-Liang Li, Erica D. Erlanger, Lishan Ran, Jun Zhong, Ci-Jian Yang, Liwei Zhang, Tingting Ma, Dirk Sachse. 2024. Erosional modulation of the balance between alkalinity and acid generation from rock weathering. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 368, 126-146.

  • Shuai Chen, Jun Zhong, Lishan Ran, Yuanbi Yi, Wanfa Wang, Zelong Yan, Si-liang Li, Khan M.G. Mostof. 2023.Geographical controls and anthropogenic impacts on dissolved organic carbon from mountainous rivers : Insights from optical properties and carbon isotopes. Biogeosciences, 20, 4949-4967 (IF2022= 4.9)

  • Lishan Ran, Nufang Fang, Xuhui Wang, Shilong Piao, Chun Ngai Chan, Siliang Li, Yi Zeng, Zhihua Shi, Mingyang Tian, Yi-jun Xu, Junyu Qi, Boyi Liu. 2023. Substantially enhanced landscape carbon sink due to reduced terrestrial-aquatic carbon transfer through soil conservation in the Chinese Loess Plateau. Earth’s Future, 11, e2023EF003602. (IF2022= 8.2)

  • Yanzi Yan, Ronny Lauerwald, Xuhui Wang, Pierre Regnier, Philippe Ciais, Lishan Ran, Yuanyi Gao, Ling Huang, Yao Zhang, Zheng Duan, Fabrice Papa, Bing Yu, Shilong Piao. 2023. Increasing riverine export of dissolved organic carbon from China. Global Change Biology, 29, 5014-5032. (IF2022= 11.6)

  • Lauerwald R., Allen G., Deemer B., Liu S., Maavara T., Raymond P., Alcott L., Bastviken D., Hastie A., Holgerson M., Johnson M., Lehner B., Lin P., Marzadri A., Ran L., Tian H., Yang X., Yao Y., Regnier R. (2023) “Inland water greenhouse gas budgets for RECCAP2: 2. Regionalization and homogenization of estimates”. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 37, e2022GB007658 (IF2021=6.5)

  • Lauerwald R., Allen G., Deemer B., Liu S., Maavara T., Raymond P., Alcott L., Bastviken D., Hastie A., Holgerson M., Johnson M., Lehner B., Lin P., Marzadri A., Ran L., Tian H., Yang X., Yao Y., Regnier R. (2023) “Inland water greenhouse gas budgets for RECCAP2: 1. State-of-the-art of global scale assessments”. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 37, e2022GB007657 (IF2021=6.5)

  • Ma F.C., Wong T.L., Chan C.N., Ran L. (2023) “Revising the effectiveness of municipal waste management in Hong Kong”. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11, 1178363. (IF2021=5.411)

  • Yin S., Gao G., Huang A., Li D., Ran L., Nawaz M., Xu Y.J., Fu B. (2023) “Streamflow and sediment load changes from China's large rivers: quantitative contributions of climate and human activity factors”. Science of the Total Environment, 876, 162758.  (IF2021=10.75)

  • Yin S., Gao G., Ran L., Li D., Lu X., Fu B. (2023) “Extreme streamflow and sediment load changes in the Yellow River Basin: Impacts of climate change and human activities”. Journal of Hydrology, 619, 1293722. (IF2021=6.708)

  • Fang N., Zeng Y., Ran L., Wang Z., Lu X., Wang Z., Yang X., Jian J., Yu Q.,  Ni L., Liu C., Yue C., Shi Z. (2023) “Substantial role of check dams in sediment trapping and carbon sequestration on the Chinese Loess Plateau”. Communications Earth & Environment, 4, 65, ( IF2021=7.29)

  • Liu B., Wang Z., Tian M., Yang X., Chan C.N., Chen S., Yang Q. Ran L. (2023) “Basin-scale CO2 emissions from the East River in South China: Importance of small rivers, human impacts and monsoons”. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 128, e2022JG007291. ( IF2021=4.432)


  • Battin T., Lauerwald R., Bernhardt E., Bertuzzo E., Gómez-Gener L., Hall R., Hotchkiss E., Maavara T., Pavelsky T., Ran L., Raymond P., Rosentreter J., Regnier P. (2023) “River ecosystem metabolism and carbon biogeochemistry in a changing world”. Nature, 613, 449-459. (IF2021=69.5)

  • Yin S., Gao G., Li Y., Xu Y.J., Turner E., Ran L., Wang X., and Fu B. (2023) “Long-term trends of streamflow, sediment load and nutrient fluxes from the Mississippi River Basin: Impacts of climate change and human activities”. Journal of Hydrology, 616, 128822. (IF2021=6.708)

  • Zeng Y., Meng X., Wang B., Li M., Chen D., Ran L., Fang N., Ni L., Shi Z. (2023) “Effects of soil and water conservation measures on sediment delivery processes in a hilly and gully watershed”. Journal of Hydrology, 616, 128804. (IF2021=6.708)

  • Chan C.N., Bogard M.J., Ma F.C., Ip Y.C., Liu B., Chen S., Ran L. (2022) “CO2 dynamics in a small and old subtropical reservoir in East Asia: Environmental controls driving seasonal and spatial variability”. Science of the Total Environment, 856, 159047. (IF2021=10.75)

  • Zeng Y., Ran L., Fang N., Wang Z., Xu Z., Lu X., Yu Q., Wang L., Yu S., Shi Z. (2022) “How to balance green and grain in marginal mountainous areas?” Earth’s Future, 10(5), e2021EF002552. (IF2021=8.85)

  • Huang Y., Zhang L., Ran L. (2022) “Total organic carbon concentration and export in a human-dominated urban river: a case study in the Shenzhen river and bay basin”. Water, 14(13), 2102. (IF2021=3.53)

  • Kong Q., Xin Z., Zhao Y., Ran L., Xia X. (2022) “Health assessment for mountainous rivers based on dominant functions in the Huaijiu River, Beijing, China”. Environmental Management, 70, 164–177 (IF2021=3.644)

  • Ran L., Wang X., Li S., Zhou Y., Xu Y-J., Chan C.N., Fang N., Xin Z., Shen H. (2022) “Integrating aquatic and terrestrial carbon fluxes to assess the net landscape carbon balance of a highly erodible semiarid catchment”. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 127, e2021JG006765 (IF2020= 3.822)

  • Ran L., Yue R., Shi H., Meng X., Chan C.N., Fang N., Shi Z. (2022) “Seasonal and diel variability of CO2 emissions from a semiarid hard-water reservoir”. Journal of Hydrology,  608, 127652 (IF2020=5.722)

  • Huang Y., Xin Z., Ran L., Qin Y., Cai M. (2022) “Topsoil carbon sequestration of vegetation restoration on the Loess Plateau”. Ecological Engineering, 177, 106570. (IF2020=4.035).


  • Yin S., Gao G., Ran L., Lu X., and Fu B. (2021) “Spatiotemporal variations of sediment discharge and in-reach sediment budget in the Yellow River from the headwater to the delta”. Water Resources Research, 57, e2021WR030130 (IF2020=5.24).

  • Nayna O.K., Shirina Begum S., Ran L., Park J. (2021) “Improving carbonate equilibria-based estimation of pCO2 in anthropogenically impacted river systems”. Frontiers in Earth Science, 9:778215. doi: 10.3389/feart.2021.778215 (IF2020=3.103).

  • Chan C.N., Tsang C.L., Lee F., Liu B., Ran L. (2021) “Rapid loss of dissolved CO2 from a subtropical steep headwater stream”. Frontiers in Earth Science, 9: 741678. doi: 10.3389/feart.2021.741678. (IF2020=3.498).

  • Zhang W., Cheng Z., Qiu J., Park E., Ran L., Xie X., Yang X. (2021) “Spatiotemporal changes in mulberry-dyke-fish ponds in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area over the past 40 years”. Water, 13(21): 2953. doi: 10.3390/w13212953. (IF2020=3.103).

  • Liu B., Tian M., Shih K., Chan C.N., Yang X., Ran L. (2021) “Spatial and temporal variability of pCO2 and CO2 emissions from the Dongjiang River in South China”. Biogeosciences, 18, 5231-5245. (IF2020=4.295).

  • Ran L., Butman D.E., Battin T.J., Yang X., Tian M., Duvert C., Hartmann J., Geeraert N., Liu S. (2021) “Substantial decrease in CO2 emissions from Chinese inland waters due to global change”. Nature Communications 12, 1730: 1-9, (IF2020=14.919).

  • Gómez-Gener L., Rocher-Ros G., Battin T., Cohen M.J., Dalmagro H.J., Dinsmore K.J., Drake T., Duvert C., Prast A.E., Horgby Å., Johnson M., Kirk L., Machado-Silva F., Marzolf N., McDowel l M.J., McDowell W.H., Miettinen H., Ojala A.K., Peter H., Pumpanen J., Ran L., Riveros-Iregui D.A., Santo s I., Six J., Stanle y E.H., Wallin M.B., White S., Sponseller R.A. (2021). “Global carbon dioxide efflux from rivers enhanced by high nocturnal emissions”. Nature Geoscience 14: 289-294. (IF2020=16.908).

  • Peng Y., Xie X., Lin M., Ran L., Yuan F., Zhou Y., Tang L. (2021) “A Study of Sea Surface Rain Identification Based on HY-2A Scatterometer.” Remote Sensing  13, 3475. (IF2020=4.848).

  • Begum M.S., Bogard M.J., Butman D.E., Chea E., Kumar S., Lu X., Nayna O.K., Ran L., Richey J.E., Tareq S.M., Xuan D.T., Yu R., Park J.H. (2021) “Localized pollution impacts on greenhouse gas dynamics in three anthropogenically modified Asian river systems”. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 126: e2020JG006124. (IF2020=3.822).

  • Chen S., Zhong J., Li S., Ran L., Wang W., Xu S., Yan Z., Xu S. (2021) “Multiple controls on carbon dynamics in mixed karst and non-karst mountainous rivers, Southwest China, revealed by carbon isotopes (δ13C and Δ14C)”. Science of the Total Environment 791: 148347. (IF2020=7.964).

  • Chan C.N., Shi H., Liu B., Ran L. (2021) “CO2 and CH4 emissions from an arid fluvial network on the Chinese Loess Plateau”. Water 13(12): 1614, (IF2020=3.103)

  • Liu W., Wang S., Sang Y., Ran L., Ma Y. (2021) “Effects of large upstream reservoir operations on cross-sectional changes in the channel of the lower Yellow River reach”. Geomorphology 387: 107768. (IF2020=4.139)

  • Su Y., Yu R., Tian M., Yang X., Ran L., Hu H., Zhang Z., Lu X. (2021) “Major ion chemistry in the headwater region of the Yellow River: impact of land covers”. Environmental Earth Sciences 80: 398. (IF2020=2.784)

  • Ran L., Shi H., Yang X. (2021) “Magnitude and drivers of CO2 and CH4 emissions from an arid/semiarid river catchment on the Chinese Loess Plateau”. Journal of Hydrology 598: 126260. (IF2020=5.722)


  • Ran L., Yang X., Tian M., Shi H., Liu S., Yu R., Zhou Y. (2020) “Riverine export of water, sediment and carbon during flood events in the arid to semiarid Wuding River on the Chinese Loess Plateau”. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 48: 1777-1788. (IF2020=4.133)


  • Tian M., Yang X., Ran L., Su Y., Li L., Yu R., Hu Z., Lu X. (2019) “Impact of land cover types on riverine CO2 outgassing in the Yellow River Source Region”. Water 11(11): 2243; (IF2020=3.103)

  • Yang, X., Lu, X., Ran, L. and Tarolli, P. (2019) “Geomorphometric Assessment of the Impacts of Dam Construction on River Disconnectivity and Flow Regulation in the Yangtze Basin.” Sustainability 11(12): 3427. DOI: 10.3390/su11123427 (IF2018=2.592).


  • Zhou, Y., Huang, H. and Ran, L. (2018) “Hydrological controls on the evolution of the Yellow River Delta: An evaluation of the relationship since the Xiaolangdi Reservoir became Fully Operational.” Hydrological Processes 33(24): 3633-3649. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.13274 (IF2018=3.189).

  • Ran, L., Lu, X., Fang, N. and Yang, X. (2018) “Effective Soil Erosion control represents a significant Net Carbon Sequestration.” Scientific Reports 8:1201. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-30497-4. (IF2018=4.011).

  • Ran, L., Tian, M., Fang, N., Wang, S., Lu, X., Yang, X. and Cho, F. (2018) “Riverine Carbon Export in the arid to semiarid Wuding River Catchment on the Chinese Loess Plateau.” Biogeosciences 15(12): 3857-3871. DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-3857-2018 (IF2018=3.951).

  • Wang, Y., Ran, L., Fang, N. and Shi, Z. (2018) “Aggregate Stability and Associated Organic Carbon and Nitrogen as affected by Soil Erosion and Vegetation Rehabilitation on the Loess Plateau.” Catena 167: 257-265. DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2018.05.005 (IF2018=3.851).

  • Park, J., Nayna, Omme K., Begum, Most, S., Chea, E., Hartmann, J., Keil, Richard G., Kumar, S., Lu, X., Ran, L., Richey, Jeffrey E., Sarma, Vedula V. S. S., Tareq, Shafi M., Xuan, D. T. and Yu, R. (2018) “Reviews and Syntheses: Anthropogenic Perturbations to Carbon Fluxes in Asian River Systems – Concepts, Emerging Trends, and Research Challenges.” Biogeosciences 15(9): 3049-3069. DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-3049-2018 (IF2018=3.951).


  • Ran, L., Li, L., Tian, M., Yang, X., Yu, R., Zhao, J., Wang, L. and Lu, X. X. (2017) “Riverine CO2 Emissions in the Wuding River Catchment on the Loess Plateau: Environmental Controls and Dam Impoundment Impact.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 122(6): 1439-1455. DOI: 10.1002/2016JG003713 (IF2018=3.621).

  • Liu, S., Lu, X. X., Xia, X., Yang, X. and Ran, L. (2017) “Hydrological and Geomorphological control on CO2 Outgassing from Low-gradient Large Rivers: An example of the Yangtze River System.” Journal of Hydrology 550: 26-41. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.04.044 (IF2018=4.405).

  • Ran, L., Lu, X. X. and Liu, S. (2017) “Dynamics of Riverine CO2 in the Yangtze River Fluvial Network and their Implications for Carbon Evasion.” Biogeosciences 14: 2183-2198. DOI: 10.5194/bg-14-2183-2017 (IF2018=3.951).


  • Wang, S., Li, L., Ran, L. and Yan, Y. (2016) “Spatial and Temporal Variations of Channel Lateral Migration Rates in the Inner Mongolian Reach of the Upper Yellow River.” Environmental Earth Sciences 75(18). DOI: 10.1007/s12665-016-6069-4 (IF2018=1.871).

  • Yang, X., Lu, X. X. and Ran, L. (2016) “Sustaining China’s Large Rivers: River Development Policy, Impacts, Institutional Issues and Strategies for Future Improvement.” Geoforum 69: 1-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.11.019 (IF2018=2.926).


  • Ran, L., Lu, X. X., Yang, H., Yu, R., Sun, H. and Han, J. (2015) “CO2 Outgassing from the Yellow River Network and its Implications for Riverine Carbon Cycle.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 120(7): 1334-1347. DOI: 10.1002/2015JG002982 (IF2018=3.621).

  • Ran, L., Lu, X. X., Richey, J. E., Sun, H., Han, J., Yu, R., Liao, S. and Yi, Q. (2015) “Long-term Spatial and Temporal Variation of CO2 Partial Pressure in the Yellow River, China.” Biogeosciences 12(4): 921-932. DOI: 10.5194/bg-12-921-2015 (IF2018=3.951).

  • Ran, L., Lu, X. X., Sun, H., Han, J. and Yu, R. (2015) “Chemical Denudation in the Yellow River and its Geomorphological Implications.” Geomorphology 231: 83-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.12.004 (IF2018=3.681).

  • 02/2023
    Outstanding Young Researcher Award 2021-22, HKU


  • 08/2022  
    NSFC Excellent Young Scientist Fund (Hong Kong and Macau)


  • 09/2021
    2021 Social Sciences Outstanding Research Output Award, The University of Hong Kong


  • 12/2014
    CYWater Young Scientist Best Paper Award (AGU Meeting, San Francisco)


  • 06/2010-08/2010
    Hydrological Synthesis Summer Institute Fellowship (UBC, Canada)


  • 08/2009-07/2013
    PhD scholarship, National University of Singapore

Journal review

Earth Surface Process and Landforms, Journal of Hydrology, Hydrological Processes, Scientific Reports, Geomorphology, Hydrological Research, PNAS, International Journal of Sediment Research, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Journal of Geographical Sciences.

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