Dr. Wei Ren

Associate professor

Department of Natural Resources & the Environment

Research Website

Office: University of Connecticut U-4087, 1376 Storrs Road, Storrs, CT 06269-4087 (Room: Young #223A)
Phone:  860-486-8741
Fax: 860-486-5408
Email: wei.ren@uconn.edu


Professional Experience

Research Interests



PhD 2009 Ecosystem Ecology Auburn University
MS 2003 Meteorology Nanjing Institute of Meteorology
BS 2000 Agrometeorology Nanjing Institute of Meteorology

Professional Experience

2022 - Present Associate Professor Department of Natural Resources & the Environment, University of Connecticut
2021 - 2022 Associate Professor Department of Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky
2015 - 2021 Assistant Professor Department of Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky
2011 - 2015 Research Fellow International Center for Climate and Global Change Research, Auburn University
2009 - 2010 Postdoctoral Fellow School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in understanding, assessing, and predicting interactions and feedbacks between natural and anthropogenic processes in Earth's Ecosystems and Climate System by integrating field observations/measurements, remote sensing/GIS, and numerical models. Currently my research foci include assessment of climate-smart agriculture effectiveness at multiple scales; big-data synthesis for natural resource management and sustainable agriculture; climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Selected Publications (See more on Google Scholar)

* Students/postdocs under my supervision/co-supervision, † Corresponding authors

· Shen, C., A. P. Appling, P. Gentine, T. Bandai, H. Gupta, A. Tartakovsky, M. Baity-Jesi, F. Fenicia, D. Kifer, and L. Li, W. Ren, Y. Zheng, C. Harman, M. Clark, M. Farthing, D. Feng, P. Kumar, D. Aboelyazeed, F. Rahmani, Y. Song, H.

Beck, T. Bindas, D. Dwivedi, K. Fang, M. Höge, C. Rackauckas, B. Mohanty, T. Roy, C. Xu, K. Lawson (2023) Differentiable modelling to unify machine learning and physical models for geosciences, Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-023-00450-9

· Huang, Y.W.*, B. Tao, R. Lal, K. Lorenz, P. Jacinthe, R. Shrestha, X. Bail, M. Singh, L. Lindsey, and W. Ren† (2023), A global synthesis of biochar's sustainability in climate-smart agriculture-Evidence from field and laboratory experiments. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2022.113042.

· Gerlitz, M.*, J. Fox, W. Ford, A. Husic, T. Mahoney, M. Armstead, S. Hendricks, A. Crain, J. Backus, E. Pollock, W. Ren, B. Tao, B. Riddle, D. White (2023) Instream sensor results suggest soil-plant processes produce three distinct seasonal patterns of nitrate concentrations in the Ohio River Basin, Journal of the American Water Resources Association, https://doi.org/10.1111/1752-1688.13107.

· Shrestha, R., P. Jacinthe, R. Lal, K. Lorenz, M. P Singh, S. M. Demyan, W. Ren, Laura E Lindsey (2023) Biochar as negative emission technology: A synthesis of field research on greenhouse gas emissions. Journal of Environmental Quality, https://doi: 10.1002/jeq2.20475

· Navneet, F., C. Kieffer, W. Ren, D. Hui (2022). How much is soil nitrous oxide emission reduced with biochar application? An evaluation of meta-analyses, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.13003

· Jin, N.*, B. Tao, W. Ren, L. He, D. Zhang, D. Wang, Q. Yu. 2022. Assimilating remote sensing data into a crop model improves winter wheat yield estimation based on regional irrigation data. Agricultural Water Management, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2022.107583.

· Huang, Y.W.*, B. Tao, Y. Yang, X. Zhu, X.J. Yang, J. Grove, W. Ren† (2022). Modeling crop yield and greenhouse gas emissions in Kentucky no-tillage corn and soybean cropping systems: 1980-2018. Agricultural Systems, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2021.103355

· You, Y., H. Tian, S. Pan, H. Shi, Z. Bian, A. Gurgel, Y. Huang, D. Kicklighterf, X. Liang, C. Lu, J. Melillo, R. Miao, N. Pan, J. Reilly, W. Ren, R. Xu, J. Yang, Q. Yu and J. Zhang (2022). Incorporating dynamic crop growth processes and management practices into a terrestrial biosphere model for simulating crop production in the United States: Toward a unified modeling framework. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109144.

· Huang, Y.W.*, B. Tao, X. Zhu, Y. Yang, L. Liang, L. Wang, P. Jacinthe, H. Tian, and W. Ren† (2021), Conservation tillage increases corn and soybean water productivity across the Ohio River Basin. Agricultural Water Management, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2021.106962

· Che-Castaldo, J., R. Cousin, S. Daryanto, G. Deng, M. Feng, R. Gupta, D. Hong, R. McGranaghan, O. Owolabi, T. Qu, W. Ren, T. Schafer, A. Sharma, C. Shen, M. Sherman, D. Sunter, B. Tao, L. Wang, and D. Matteson (2021), Critical Risk Indicators (CRIs) for the electric power grid: a survey and discussion of interconnected effects. Environment Systems and Decisions, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10669-021-09822-2

· Huang, Y.W.*, B. Tao, X. Zhu, Y. Yang, L. Liang, L. Wang, P. Jacinthe, H. Tian, and W. Ren† (2021), Conservation tillage increases corn and soybean water productivity across the Ohio River Basin. Agricultural Water Management, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2021.106962

· Yang, Y.W.*, B. Tao, L. Liang, Y. Huang, C. Matocha, C. Lee, M. Sama, B. Masri, and W. Ren† (2021). Detecting Recent Crop Phenology Dynamics in Corn and Soybean Cropping Systems of Kentucky. Remote Sensing, 13(9), 1615.

· Shrestha, D., K. Jacobsen, W. Ren, and O. Wendroth (2021), Understanding soil nitrogen processes in diversified vegetable systems through agroecosystem modelling. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 120: 49-68

· Yang, Y.J.*, W. Ren†, B. Tao, L. Ji, L. Liang, A. Ruane, J.B. Fisher, J.G. Liu, M. Sama, Z. Li, and Q.G. Tian (2020), Characterizing spatial and temporal patterns of crop phenology across North America during 2000-2016 using MODIS time series and agricultural survey data. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 170:156-173

· Huang, Y.W.*, W. Ren†, J. Grove, H. Poffenbarger, K. Jacobsen, B. Tao, X. Zhu and D. McNear (2020), Assessing synergistic effects of no-tillage and cover crops on soil carbon dynamics in a long-term maize cropping system under climate change, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2020.108090

· Tao, B., Y.J. Yang, J. Yang, R. Smith, J. Fox, A. Ruane, J.Z. Liu, W. Ren† (2020), Recent Shrinkage and Fragmentation of Bluegrass Landscape induced by crop expansion in Kentucky, Remote Sensing,12(11):1815

· Ren, W.†, K. Banger, B. Tao, J. Yang, Y. Huang, and H. Tian (2020), Global pattern and change of cropland soil organic carbon during 1901-2010: Roles of climate, atmospheric chemistry, land use and management, Geography and Sustainability, 1(1),59-69.

· Bai, X.X.*, Y.W. Huang, W. Ren†, M. Coyne, P. A. Jacinthe, B. Tao, D. Hui, J. Yang, and C. Matocha (2019), Responses of soil carbon sequestration to climate‐smart agriculture practices: A meta-analysis, Global Change Biology, 25(8), 2591-2606.

· Ren W. † (2019) Towards an Integrated Agroecosystem Modeling Approach for Climate-Smart Agricultural Management. In the book: Bridging Among Disciplines by Synthesizing Soil and Plant Processes. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America Books, Volume 8: 127-144, ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison, WI 53711-5801, USA

· Huang, Y.W. *, W. Ren†, L. Wang, D. Hui, J. Grove, X. Yang, B. Tao, and B. Goff (2018), Greenhouse gas emissions and crop yield in no-tillage systems: a meta-analysis. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment, 268:144-153, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2018.09.002

· Emberson, L. H. Pleijel, E. Ainsworth, M. van den Berg, W. Ren, S. Osborne, G. Mills, D. Pandey, F. Dentener, P. Büker, F. Ewert, R. Koeble, and R. Van Dingenen (2018), Ozone effects on crops and consideration in crop models, European Journal of Agronomy, DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2018.06.002.

· Tian, H.Q., C. Lu, S. Pan, J. Yang, R. Miao, W. Ren, Q. Yu, B. Fu, F. Jin, Y. Lu, J. Melillo, Z. Ouyang, C. Palm, J. Reilly (2018), Optimizing resource use efficiencies in the food-energy-water nexus for sustainable agriculture: from conceptual model to decision support system, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2018.04.003.

· Dangal, Shree R.S., H. Tian, C. Lu, W. Ren, S. Pan, J. Yang, N. Di Cosmo, A. Hessl (2017), Integrating Herbivore Population Dynamics into a Global Land Biosphere Model: Plugging Animals into the Earth System. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems. 9, 2920–2945, DOI: 10.1002/2016MS000904

· Zhang, C. and W. Ren† (2017), Complex climatic and CO2 controls on net primary productivity of temperate dryland ecosystems over central Asia during 1980–2014, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 122,DOI:10.1002/ 2017JG003781.

· Pan, S., G. Chen, W. Ren, SRS Dangal, K. Banger, J. Yang, B. Tao, and H. Tian (2017), Responses of global terrestrial water use efficiency to climate change and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration in the twenty-first century, International Journal of Digital Earth, 1-25, DOI: 10.1080/17538947.2017.1337818

· Ren, W. †, H.Q. Tian, W. Cai, S.E. Lohrenz, C.S. Hopkinson, W. Huang, J. Yang, B. Tao, S.F. Pan, and R. He (2016),

Century-long increasing trend and variability of dissolved organic carbon export from the Mississippi River basin driven by natural and anthropogenic forcing, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 30(9):1288-1299, DOI: 10.1002/2016GB005395.

· Jin, N., B. Tao, W. Ren, M. Feng, R. Sun, L. He, W. Zhuang, and Q. Yu (2016), Mapping irrigated and rainfed wheat areas using multi-temporal satellite data, Remote Sensing, 8(3):207, DOI: 10.3390/rs8030207.

· Zhang, B., H.Q. Tian, W. Ren, B. Tao, C. Lu, J. Yang, K. Banger, and S. Pan (2016), Methane emissions from global rice fields: magnitude, spatiotemporal patterns, and environmental controls, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 30(9):1246-1263, DOI: 10.1002/2016GB005381. · An, P., W. Ren, X. Liu, M. Song, and X. Li (2016), Adjustment and optimization of the cropping systems under water constraint, Sustainability, 8 (12): 1207, DOI: 10.3390/su8121207.

· Ren, W, Tian, H, Tao, B.,Yang, J.Pan, S, Cai, W., Lohrenz, S., He, R., Hopinson, C (2015), Large increase in dissolved inorganic carbon flux from the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico due to climatic and anthropogenic changes over the 21st century, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 120,724–736, DOI:10.1002/2014JG002761.

· Tian, H., W. Ren, J. Yang, B. Tao, W. Cai, S.E. Lohrenz, C.S. Hopkinson, M. Liu, Q. Yang, C. Lu, B. Zhang, K. Banger, S. Pan, R. He, and Z. Xue, Climate extremes are dominating seasonal and interannual variations in carbon export from the Mississippi River Basin, (2015) Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 29, DOI:10.1002/ 2014GB005068.

· Ren, W., H. Q. Tian, B. Tao, Y. Huang, and S. F. Pan (2012), China's crop productivity and soil carbon storage as influenced by multifactor global change, Global Change Biology, 18(9), 2945-2957, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02741.x.

· Ren, W., H. Q. Tian, B. Tao, A. Chappelka, G. Sun, C. Q. Lu, M. L. Liu, G. S. Chen, and X. F. Xu (2011), Impacts of tropospheric ozone and climate change on net primary productivity and net carbon exchange of China's forest ecosystems, Global Ecology and Biogeography, 20(3), 391-406, DOI10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00606.x.

· Ren, W., H. Q. Tian, X. F. Xu, M. L. Liu, C. Q. Lu, G. S. Chen, J. Melillo, J. Reilly, and J. Y. Liu (2011), Spatial and temporal patterns of CO2 and CH4 fluxes in China's croplands in response to multifactor environmental changes, Tellus B, 63(2), 222-240, DOI 10.1111/j.1600-0889.2010.00522.x.

· Tian, H., X. Xu, M. Liu, W. Ren, C. Zhang, G. Chen, and C. Lu (2010), Spatial and temporal patterns of CH4 and N2O fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems of North America during 1979-2008: application of a global biogeochemistry model, Biogeosciences, 7(9): 2673-2694, DOI:10.5194/bg-7-2673-2010

· Ren, W., H. Tian, M. Liu, C. Zhang, G. Chen, S. Pan, B. Felzer, and X. Xu (2007), Effects of tropospheric ozone pollution on net primary productivity and carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems of China, Journal of Geophysical Research- Atmosphere, 112(D22), DOI: 10.1029/2007jd008521