Univerisity of Kentucky

College of Agriculture,
Food and Environment

Ren Lab


We study changes in ecosystem structure, function, and services as well as underlying mechanisms in the context of multiple global changes (e.g., climate, land use and land cover, atmospheric composition, disturbances, and air pollution) by using an integrated system approach, a combination of numerical models, remote sensing/GIS, and field observations and measurements. Our research is driven by scientific questions such as: 

• How do climate change and anthropogenic activities influence tempo-spatial variations in terrestrial biogeochemical cycles (e.g., carbon, water, nitrogen, and phosphorus)?  

• How do intensified human activities affect the ecosystem service provision (e.g., food, fiber, timber, water, and energy) in the context of climate change? 

• How can we ensure regional food production, enhance soil carbon sequestration, and improve water/nutrients use efficiency while minimizing associated adverse environmental effects (e.g., water deterioration, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions) through conservation management practices?  

Answering these questions requires a better understanding of the complex interactions and feedbacks of climate-human-ecosystem that is built on the interdisciplinary, collaborative, and integrated research programs. 

Lab mission 

The mission of our lab is to provide a scientific basis for achieving sustainable management of natural resources and building climate-resilient agricultural systems.