Dr Jiren Xu
- Research Associate (Interdisciplinary Studies)
Dr Jiren Xu joined the University of Glasgow’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies as Research Associate in August 2019. Currently, He is mainly working on two UKRI funded projects titled "River basins as 'living laboratories' for achieving sustainable development goals across national and sub-national scales" and "Social and environmental impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnamese provinces bordering China and Laos following border closure".
Jiren has completed PhD (2019) in Physical Geography from the University of Leeds where he specialised in global peatland and water resources. Also, he has achieved the MSc (2015) and BEng (2012) in Land Resources Management from China University of Mining and Technology.
As an interdisciplinary background physical geographer specialising in understanding the impact of land management, climate change and socio-economic policy on landscape transitions, environmental risk, and ecosystem services by combining GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis, system dynamics model and participatory approaches. Particularly, Jiren has produced the high-quality global peatland map - PEATMAP, which has become the most popular global peatland map and been cited as the only GIS shapefile dataset of the global peatland distribution map by Wikipedia. The open-access PEATMAP has been widely used in the research of climate change, fire risk, flooding resilience, and water security. He also undertook the first study to understand the importance of peatlands in global and regional drinking water supply, and how the land management on peatlands impact the global and regional water resilience based on the global scale spatial analysis of peatland cover, reservoirs and dams, hydro-geomorphology, and the population. The research published in Nature Sustainability has been widely reported in the media (e.g. The Times, Yorkshire Post, PhysOrg.com, EurekAlert!).
- Empirical: Environmental Change, Biogeochemical and Hydrological Modelling, Hydro-meteorological Hazards, Land/water Contamination and Remediation, Land Use Change and Management, Water Security, Peatland (Carbon-rich Wetland), Carbon Cycle, Climate Change (Impacts and Adaptation), Ecosystem Service, Sustainable Development Goals.
- Methodology: GIS, Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis, Geo-visualizations, Machine Learning, Advanced Statistics, Process-based Biogeochemical and Hydrological Modelling, Participatory Approaches (Stakeholders Interview, Focus Group Discussion, Questionnaires).
- Geographical Focus: United Kingdom, China, Vietnam, Mongolia
Listed here are grants I have participated in since joining the School of Interdisciplinary Studies in 2019.
Ongoing projects (chronologically by end date):
- Nature-based Solutions for reducing flood risk and achieving net zero in the River Nith Catchment (2021). I am the PI on this project. Funding by College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow.
- Social and environmental impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnamese provinces bordering China and Laos following border closure (2020-2022). I am the researcher Co-I on this project which includes the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow, Vietnam National University - CRES, and the Vietnam National University of Agriculture. This project is funded by UK Research and Innovation through the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund (EP/V043218/1).
- A blueprint for the equitable, resilient and ecologically sustainable development of Asia’s deltas (2020). I am the Co-I on this project. Funding by the University of Sydney - University of Glasgow Partnership Collaboration Awards.
- Introduction to Environmental Science (DUMF1007), University of Glasgow, Guest Lecture (2021)
- Environmental Policy and Management (DUMF4040), University of Glasgow, Guest Lectures and Practicals (2020)
- Understanding Environmental Change (DUMF5116), University of Glasgow, Guest Lecture (2020)
- Introduction to Environmental Science (DUMF1007), University of Glasgow, Guest Lecture (2020)
- Energy: Options for Sustainability (DUMF2019), University of Glasgow, Field class (2020)
- Introduction to Global Environmental Issues (DUMF1008), University of Glasgow, Guest Lecture (2019)
- Environmental Policy and Management (DUMF4040), University of Glasgow, Field class (2019)
Professional societies and initiative
- 2021: member, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment
- 2020: member, FAO Peatlands and Climate Change Mitigation Group
- 2020: member, British Society for Geomorphology
- 2020: member, British Ecological Society Peatlands Research Group
- 2020: member, Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative (GAMI)
- 2019: member, American Geophysical Union
- 2017: European Geosciences Union
Journal reviewer for selected journals
- Computers and Electronics in Agriculture (Outstanding Reviewer)
- Climate Risk Management
- Land Use Policy
- Ecological Engineering
- Acta Ecologica Sinica
Research featured in media
- The Times & The Sunday Times Precious peatlands are a vital source of water
PhysOrg.com Peatland contributions to UK water security
EurekAlert! Peatland contributions to UK water security
- Terra Daily Peatland contributions to UK water security
- International Peatland Society Where can peatlands be found?
American Geographical Society UBIQUE Map of the Week: PEATMAP