Dr. Di Tian joined the Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences at Auburn University in August 16, 2016. He is also a faculty member in the Climate, Human and Earth System Sciences (CHESS) Cluster  and an adjunct faculty in the Department of Biosystems Engineering. He did a two year Post-Doctoral training in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University prior to Auburn. He graduated from the University of Florida with a PhD degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering. His research generally falls in the areas of agricultural climatology, land surface hydrology, and data analytics. He serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.


2014   Ph.D., Agricultural & Biological Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
2010   M.S., Land Resources Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China
2005   B.E., Land Resources Management, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China

Professional Experience

2016 – Present Assistant Professor, Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, Auburn University, AL
2014 – 2016 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, NJ

Honors and Awards

2011 – Present Member, Gamma Sigma Delta, Agricultural Honor Society
2011 – Present Member, Tau Beta Pi, Engineering Honor Society
2010 – 2014 Graduate Alumni Award, University of Florida

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
American Agronomy Society
American Geophysical Union
American Meteorological Society


ENVI 1010, Introduction to Environmental Science (Guest Lecture), Auburn University
CSES/ENVI 7600, Agroclimatology (Instructor), Auburn University
ABE 6254, Simulation of Agricultural Watershed System (Teaching Assistant), University of Florida

Research SUMMARY

My research connects climatological and hydrological processes, agricultural and natural systems, and planning and management. I am interested in developing innovative methods and tools to support sustainable water and agronomic management. I employ statistical and process-based models, weather/climate forecasts and reanalysis, data assimilation products, as well as satellite and field measurements for these studies. My current research generally includes three primary topics: 1) Use of weather and seasonal climate forecasts for process-based agronomic and hydrologic modeling applications; 2) Data-driven methods for agronomic and water quantity/quality management; 3) Assessing impacts of climate variability and change on crop yields and water resources.

Selected Publications

  • Tian, D., E. F. Wood, and X. Yuan. 2017. CFSv2-based sub-seasonal precipitation and temperature forecast skill over the contiguous United States. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences,  21, 1477-1490.
  • Tian, D., M. Pan, L. Jia, G. Vincci, and E. F. Wood. 2016. Assessing GFDL High-Resolution Climate Model Water and Energy Budgets from AMIP simulations over Africa. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmosphere, 121, 8444–8459.
  • Estes, L. D., T. Searchinger, M. Spiegel, D. Tian, S. Sichinga, M. Mwale, L. Kehoe, T. Kuemmerle, A. Berven, N. Chaney, J. Sheffield, E. F. Wood, and K. K. Caylor. 2016. Reconciling agriculture, carbon and biodiversity in a savannah transformation frontier. Philosophical Transactions of Royal Society B, 371(1703).
  • Tian, D., C. J. Martinez, and T. Asefa. 2016. Improving short-term urban water demand forecasts with reforecast analog ensembles. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000632, 04016008.
  • Tian, D., S. Asseng, C. J. Martinez, V. Misra D. Cammarano, and B. Ortiz. 2015. Does decadal climate variation influence wheat and maize production in the southeast USA? Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 204, 1–9.
  • Tian, D., C. J. Martinez, W. D. Graham, and S. Hwang. 2014. Statistical downscaling multi-model forecasts for seasonal precipitation and surface temperature over southeastern United States. Journal of Climate, 27, 8384–8411.
  • Tian, D. and C. J. Martinez. 2014. The GEFS-based daily reference evapotranspiration (ETo) forecast and its implication for water management in the southeastern United States. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 15, 1152–1165.
  • Tian, D., C. J. Martinez, and W. D. Graham. 2014. Seasonal prediction of regional reference evapotranspiration (ETo) based on Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2). Journal of Hydrometeorology, 15, 1166–1188.
  • Tian, D. and C. J. Martinez. 2012. Comparison of two analog-based downscaling methods for regional reference evapotranspiration forecasts. Journal of Hydrology, 475(2012), 350-364.
  • Tian, D. and C. J. Martinez. 2012. Forecasting reference evapotranspiration using retrospective forecast analogs in the southeastern United States. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 13, 1874-1892.

Graduate students: Opportunities for PhD and MS students are available periodically. If you are interested in the most up to date opportunities, please contact Dr. Tian.

Postdoc Fellows: candidates who have a strong expertise in scientific computing (e.g. R, Matlab, or Python), data analysis, applied statistics, crop modeling, and/or hydrological modeling, and are highly encouraged to apply.

Visiting scholar or student positions are always available. Self-supported individuals will be given a prior consideration.