SUN, Zhigang (Ph.D., Professor)

Center for Agro-ecosystem Studies 

Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, CAS

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS   

Address: 11A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100101, China   

Phone: 86-10-6488-9523   


Research Areas

  1. Multi-scale observation, modelling, and evaluation on agroecosystem 
  2. Diagnosis and optimization for regional agroecosystem 
  3. Response and adaptation of agroecosystem to climate change
  4. UAV and applications in agriculture
  5. Remote sensing & big data and applications in agriculture 
  6. Optimization of agricultural system and regional sustainable development


  1. Sep 2004–Mar 2008, University of Tsukuba, Environmental Modelling and Remote Sensing · Ph.D., Japan · Tsukuba
  2. Sep 2001–Jul 2004, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Science, Ecology · Master, China · Beijing
  3. Sep 1997–Jul 2001, China Agricultural University, Agrometeorology · Bacholer, China · Beijing 


Work Experience
  1. ​Jul 2014–present, Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences · Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research · Center for Agro-ecosystem Studies, China · Beijing 
  2. Apr 2011–Jun 2014, Associate Researcher, National Institute for Environmental Studies · Center for Regional Environmental Research, Japan · Tsukuba 
  3. Jul 2009–Mar 2011, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Connecticut · Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, USA · Storrs 
  4. Apr 2008–Jun 2009, Postdoctoral Researcher, National Institute for Environmental Studies · Asian Environment Research Group, Japan · Tsukuba 
  5. Sep 2004–Mar 2008, Research Assistant, National Institute for Environmental Studies · Asian Environment Research Group, Japan · Tsukuba

Teaching Experience

1. Biogeography and Macrosystem Ecology, From 2016

2. Ecological Informatics and Ecosystem Modelling, From 2016



43. Sun, Z., et al. (2021). Does actual cropland water consumption change with evaporation potential in the Lower Yellow River?, Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment.
42.Li, Y., Sun, Z.*, et al., (2021). Spatial distribution and driving factors determining local food and feed self‐sufficiency in the eastern regions of China, Food and Energy Security.
41. Zhu, W., Sun, Z.*, et al. (2021). Optimization of multi-source UAV RS agro-monitoring schemes designed for field-scale crop phenotyping, Precision Agriculture.
40. Zhu, K., Sun, Z.*, et al. (2021). Relating Hyperspectral Vegetation Indices with Soil Salinity at Different Depths for the Diagnosis of Winter Wheat Salt Stress, Remote Sensing.
39. Zhu, W., Sun, Z.*, et al. (2020). Estimating leaf chlorophyll content of crops via optimal unmanned aerial vehicle hyperspectral data at multi-scales, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture.
38. Zhu, K., Sun, Z.*, et al. (2020). ​Remotely sensed canopy resistance model for analyzing the stomatal behavior of environmentally-stressed winter wheat, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
37. Dong, W., et al., Sun, Z.* (2020). Potential Evapotranspiration Reduction and Its Influence on Crop Yield in the North China Plain in 1961–2014, Advances in Meteorology.
36. Zhu, W., Sun, Z.*, et al. (2019). Estimating Maize Above-Ground Biomass Using 3D Point Clouds of Multi-Source Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Data at Multi-Spatial Scales, Remote Sensin.
35. Zhu, W., Sun, Z.*, et al. (2019). Improving Field-Scale Wheat LAI Retrieval Based on UAV Remote-Sensing Observations and Optimized VI-LUTs, Remote Sensing.
34. Sun, Z.*, et al. (2019). A new global dataset of phase synchronization of temperature and precipitation: Its climatology and contribution to global vegetation productivity, Geoscience Data Journal.

33. Ren, F., Zhang, X., Liu, J., Sun, N., Sun, Z., Wu, L., and Xu, M. (2018). A synthetic analysis of livestock manure substitution effects on organic carbon changes in China's arable topsoil. Catena, 171, 1-10.

32. Liang, S., Li, Y., Zhang, X., Sun, Z., and et al. (2018). Response of crop yield and nitrogen use efficiency for wheat-maize cropping system to future climate change in northern China, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 262, 310-321.

31. Dong, W., et al., Sun, Z.*, and Pan, X. (2018). Asymmetric Ridge–Furrow and Film Cover Improves Plant Morphological Traits and Light Utilization in Rain-Fed Maize, Journal of Meteorological Research, DOI: 10.1007/s13351-018-8024-7.

30. Sun, Z.*, Ouyang, Z., and et al. (2018). Recent rebound in observational large-pan evaporation driven by heat wave and droughts by the Lower Yellow River, Journal of Hydrology, 565, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.08.014.
29. Li, S., Sun, Z.*, Tan, M., Guo, L., and Zhang, X. (2018). Changing patterns in farming–pastoral ecotones in China between 1990 and 2010, Ecological Indicators, 89, 110-117.

28. Zhu, W., Li, S., Zhang, X., Li, Y., and Sun, Z.* (2018). Estimation of winter wheat yield using optimal vegetation indices from unmanned aerial vehicle remote sensing. Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering, 34, 78-86.

27. Zhang, X., Sun, Z.*, and et al. (2018). Simulating greenhouse gas emissions and stocks of carbon and nitrogen in soil from a long-term no-till system in the North China Plain, Soil & Tillage Research, 178, 32-40.

26. Guo, L., Nishimura, T., Imoto, H., and Sun, Z*. (2018). Macropores regulate CO2 behavior in an andisol soil. Paddy and Water Environment, 16(3), 1-6.

25. Han, D., Wiesmeier, M., Conant, R., Kuhnel, A., Sun, Z., and et al. (2017). Large soil organic carbon increase due to improved agronomic management in the North China Plain from 1980s to 2010s. Global Change Biology, 24 (3), DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13898.

24. Dong, W., et al., and Sun, Z. (2017). Ridge and furrow systems with film cover increase maize yields and mitigate climate risks of cold and drought stress in continental climates. Field Crops Research, 207, 71-78.

23. Guo, L., Sun, Z*, Ouyang, Z., Han, D., and Li, F. (2017).  A comparison of soil quality evaluation methods for Fluvisol along the lower Yellow River. Catena, 152, 135-143.

22. Guo, L., Nishimura, T., Imoto, H., and Sun, Z*. (2016). Carbon Mineralization Associated with Soil Aggregates as Affected by Short-Term Tillage. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 7(2), 101-106.

21. Li, S., Sun, Z., Tan, M., and Li, X. (2016). Effects of rural–urban migration on vegetation greenness in fragile areas: A case study of Inner Mongolia in China. Journal of Geographical Sciences, DOI: 10.1007/s11442-016-1270-7.

20  Han, D., Sun, Z., and et al. (2016). Changes and controlling factors of cropland soil organic carbon in North China Plain over a 30-year period. Plant and Soil, DOI: 10.1007/s11104-016-2803-7.

19. Guo, L., Nishimura, T., Imoto, H., and Sun, Z*. (2016) Evaluation of gas diffusivity models for no-tilled and tilled volcanic ash soils. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, DOI:10.1080/03650340.2016.1145791.

18. Sun, Z., Wang, Q., Batkhishig, O., and Ouyang, Z. (2016). Relationship between Evapotranspiration and Land Surface Temperature under Energy- and Water-Limited Conditions in Dry and Cold Climates. Advances in Meteorology, 6, 1-9.

17. Guo, L., Nishimura, T., Imoto, H., and Sun, Z*. (2015). Applicability of soil column incubation experiments to measure CO2 efflux. International Agrophysics, 29(4), 405-413.

16. Ge, X., Chen, Q., Sun, Z., He, C., Li, T., and Ouyang, Z. (2015). Nitrogen and Straw Applications Increase Population Size of Bacillus and Pseudomonas spp. in Greenhouse Soil. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 6(5), 293-301.

15. Sun, Z., Wang Q., Xiao, Q., Batkhishig, O., and Watanabe, M. (2015). Diverse Responses of Remotely Sensed Grassland Phenology to Interannual Climate Variability over Frozen Ground Regions in Mongolia. Remote Sensing, 7(1), 360-377.

14. Sun, Z., Gebremichael, M., and Wang, Q. (2013). Evaluation of empirical remote sensing-based equations for estimating soil heat flux. Journal of Meteorological Society of Japan, 91(5), 627-638.

13. Sun, Z., Gebremichael, M., Wang, Q., Wang, J., Sammis, T.W., and Nickless, A. (2013). Evaluation of clear-sky incoming radiation estimating equations typically used in remote sensing evapotranspiration algorithms. Remote Sensing, 5(10), 4735-4752, DOI:10.3390/rs5104735.

12. Chen, B., Ouyang, Z., Sun, Z., Wu, L., and Li, F. (2013). Evaluation on the potential of improving border irrigation performance through border dimensions optimization: a case study on the irrigation districts along the lower Yellow River. Irrigation Science, 31(4), 715-728, DOI:10.1007/s00271-012-0338-0.

11. Xiao, W., Sun, Z.*, Wang, Q., and Yang, Y. (2013). Evaluating MODIS phenology product for rotating croplands through ground observations.  Journal of Applied Remote Sensing,7(1), DOI:10.1117/1.JRS.7.073562.

10. Sun, Z., Wang, Q., Matsushita, B., Fukushima, T., Ouyang, Z, Watanabe, M., and Gebremichael, M. (2013). Further evaluation of the Sim-ReSET model for ET estimation driven by only satellite inputs. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 58(5), 994-1012,DOI:10.1080/02626667.2013.791026.

9.  Sun, Z., Wang, Q., Ouyang, Z., and Yang, Y. (2012). Evaluation of a complementary based model for mapping land surface evapotranspiration. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 9, 1-33.

8.  Sun, Z.,Gebremichael, M., and et al. (2012). Estimation of daily evapotranspiration over Africa using MODIS/Terra and SEVIRI/MSG data. Atmospheric Research, 112, 35-44.

7.  Sun, Z. and Gebremichael, M. (2012). Estimating African Daily Evapotranspiration using MODIS and MSG data. Proceedings of Remote Sensing and Hydrology 2010 symposium held at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA, September 2010, IAHS Publ., 352: 440-443.

6.  Sun, Z., Wang, Q., Matsushita, B., Fukushima, T., Ouyang Z., Watanabe, M., and Gebremichael, M. (2011). Evaluation of the VI-Ts method for estimating land surface moisture index and air temperature using ASTER and MODIS data in the North China plain. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 32(22), 7257-7278.

5.  Sun, Z., Gebremichael, M., Ardö, J., and de Bruin, H. A. R. (2011). Mapping daily evapotranspiration and dryness index in the East African highlands using MODIS and SEVIRI data. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 15, 163-170.

4.  Sun, Z., Wang, Q., Matsushita, B., Fukushima, T., Ouyang, Z., and Watanabe, M. (2009). Development of a simple remote sensing evapotranspiration model (Sim-ReSET): algorithm and model test. Journal of Hydrology, 376 (3-4), 476-485.

3.  Sun, Z., Wang, Q., Matsushita, B., Fukushima, T., Ouyang, Z., and Watanabe, M. (2008). A new method to define the VI-Ts diagram using subpixel vegetation and soil information: a case study over a semiarid agricultural region in the North China Plain. Sensors, 8, 6260-6279.

2.  Sun, Z., Wang, Q., Ouyang, Z., Watanabe, M., Matsushita, B., and Fukushima, T. (2007). Evaluation of MOD16 algorithm using MODIS and ground observational data in winter wheat field in North China Plain. Hydrological Processes, 21, 1196-1206.

1.  Sun, Z., Wang, Q., Ouyang, Z., and Watanabe, M. (2004). Validation of the feasibility of MOD16 algorithm for estimating crop field vapor flux in North China Plain. Acta Geographica Sinica, 59 (1), 49-55.