New Earth Sciences Faculty at IUPUI Offer Expertise in Water and Climate Change

Release Date: 
Aug 30 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) The School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) proudly announces the appointment of two assistant professors to the Department of Earth Sciences.

Broxton Bird, Ph.D., comes to IUPUI from the Ohio State University, where he served as a postdoctoral fellow in earth sciences and paleoclimatology. Lixin Wang, Ph.D., most recently served as a vice chancellor research fellow at the University of New South Wales in Australia and brings to IUPUI expertise in ecohydrology gained from diverse climates across the world.

“The appointment of these faculty membersreinforces the department’s commitment to becoming a true innovator in using the tools of the earth scientist to better understand the impact of environmental issues on all aspects of our life,” said Kevin Mandernack, Ph.D., chair of the earth sciences department.

Broxton BirdBroxton Bird, Ph.D.

Bird’s research expertise involves the relationship between climate change and water resources in various climates.

He served as a postdoctoral fellow with the Byrd Polar Research Center at the Ohio State University since 2009. While there, he studied hydroclimates of the Tibetan Plateau as well as the Himalayas. He has done field research in Asia, South and North America, Antarctica, Indonesia and Iceland.

Bird has earned research grants from the National Science Foundation as well as the Geological Society of America, Paleolimnology Division. He has been published in a variety of scholarly journals, such as the Boreas, the Journal of Paleolimnology and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“I am a firm believer that place-based field investigations coupled with laboratory experiences are essential components for any geoscience education,” Bird said. “Field experiences provide opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge as well as personally engage with scientificinvestigation and discovery.”

Bird earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.S. from California State University and a B.A. from Hamilton College in New York.

Lixin Wang, Ph.D.

Lixin WangPrior to his research fellowship in Australia, Wang spent three years as a researcher in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University.

Wang’s expertise is in isotope biogeochemistry, and he has focused much of his research on how dryland ecosystems respond to climatic change. He has researched climates in several global locations, including the United States, Australia, Africa and Asia.

“My research addresses the relationships between rainfall variability, soil biogeochemistry and plant adaptation responses in dryland ecosystems,” Wang said. “In the future, I expect to approach the interactions of climatic change, water and soil biogeochemical cycles in various ecosystems.”

His research has appeared in Science, Agricultural and Forest MeteorologyHydrological ProcessesPlant and Soil, the Journal of Geophysical Research and other scholarly publications. He also serves as an associate editor of Geophysical Research Letters.

Wang said he “enjoys being an educator and scientist at the same time” and has mentored several students in research efforts. His past teaching and research awards include the Maury Prize and the Award for Excellence in Scholarship in the Sciences and Engineering from the University of Virginia. 

Wang earned his Ph.D. in environmental sciencesfrom the University of Virginia. He also earned a M.S. in biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a B.S. in biology from HebeiUniversity in China.


The School of Science is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service in the biological, physical, behavioral and mathematical sciences. The School is dedicated to being a leading resource for interdisciplinary research andscience education in support of Indiana's effort to expand and diversify its economy.