Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Lixin Wang Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences


Post-doctoral, Princeton University (2008-2011), University of New South Wales (2011-2012)
Ph.D. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, 2008
M.S. Biology, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 2004
B.S. Biology, Hebei University, China, 2001

Professional Affiliations

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), Member (2005-present)
The Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (2006-present)


Associate Editor Geophysical Research Letters (2011-2014)
Consulting Editor Journal of Arid Environments (2012-present)
Lead Guest Editor of special issue for HESS (Hydrology and Earth System Sciences) entitled “Water, climate, and vegetation: ecohydrology in a changing world” (2011-2012)
International Reviewer Panel African Journal of Ecology (2007-present)

Current Research

Water cycles and biogeochemical cycles are connected at multiple temporal and spatial scales, and are connected from both economic and scientific point of view. Anthropogenic activities constantly create or interrupt connectivity between water cycles and biogeochemical cycles and raise the needs to better understand such connectivity. My general research interests are studying spatial and temporal patterns of water and nitrogen availability, how vegetation adapts to and affects such patterns, and how future climate/land use changes affect vegetation-resources interactions. I use a variety of research tools, including analyses based on stable isotopes, manipulative experiments, field observations, geostatistical methods, greenhouse experiments and process-based modeling to tackle these questions.

Select Publications

 Wang, L. S. Good, K. Caylor and L. Cernusak. 2012. Direct quantification of leaf transpiration isotopic compositionAgricultural and Forest Meteorology 154-155: 127-135 doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2011.10.018.

 Wang, L. C. Zou, F. O’Donnell, S. Good, T. Franz, G.R. Milller, K. K. Caylor, J.M. Cable, B. Bond. 2012. Characterizing ecohydrological and biogeochemical connectivity across multiple scales: a new conceptual frameworkEcohydrology 5: 221-233

 Wang, L. and S. Macko. 2011. Constrained preferences in nitrogen uptake across plant species and environmentsPlant Cell Environment34: 525-534

 Zhao, L., H. Xiao, J. Zhou, L. Wang,* G Cheng, M. Zhou, L. Yin, and M. McCabe. 2011. Detailed assessment of isotope ratio infrared spectroscopy and isotope ratio mass spectrometry for the stable isotope analysis of plant and soil watersRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry. 25 (20): 3071-3082. *Corresponding author

 Wang, L., K. K. Caylor, J. Camilo Villegas, G. A. Barron-Gafford, D. D. Breshears, and T. E. Huxman. 2010. Partitioning evapotranspiration across gradients of woody plant cover: assessment of a stable isotope techniqueGeophysical Research Letters 37, L09401, doi:10.1029/2010GL043228

 Wang, L., P. D’Odorico, L. Ries, K. Caylor and S. Macko. 2010. Combined effects of soil moisture and nitrogen availability variations on grass productivity in African savannasPlant and Soil 328: 95-108

 Wang, J., H. Epstein, and L. Wang. 2010. Soil CO2 flux and its controlling factors during secondary succession. Journal of Geophysical Research 115, G02005, doi:10.1029/2009JG001084. (“Most Popular” during the week of publication)

 Wang, L., P. D’Odorico, L. Ries and S. Macko. 2010. Patterns and implications of plant-soil δ13C and δ15N values in African savanna ecosystemsQuaternary Research 73: 77-83.

 Wang, L., G. Okin, K. Caylor and S. Macko. 2009. Spatial heterogeneity and sources of soil carbon in southern African savannasGeoderma 149: 402-408. (“Top 25 Hottest Articles” during January-March 2009 )

 Wang, L., P. D’Odorico, S. Manzoni, A. Porporato and S. Macko. 2009. Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in southern African savannas: the effect of vegetation-induced patch-scale heterogeneities and large scale rainfall gradients. Climatic Change 94: 63-76.

 Wang, L., K. Caylor and D. Dragoni. 2009. On the calibration of continuous, high-precision δ18O and δ2H measurements using an off-axis integrated cavity output spectrometerRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 23: 530-536.

 Ravi, S., P. D’Odorico, L. Wang, S.L. Collins, C. White, G. S. Okin and S. Macko. 2009. Post-fire resource redistribution in desert grasslands: a possible negative feedback on land degradationEcosystems 12: 434-444.

 Wang, L., P. D’Odorico, G. Okin and S. Macko. 2009. Isotopic composition and anion chemistry of soil profiles along the Kalahari TransectJournal of Arid Environments 73: 480-486.

 Wang, L., P. D’Odorico. 2008. The limits of water pumpsScience 321: 36-37. PDF

 Wang, L. 2008. Lost in transliterationScience 320: 745. PDF

 Okin, G. S., N. Mladenov, L. Wang, D. Cassel, K.K. Caylor, S. Ringrose, S. Macko. 2008. Spatial patterns of soil nutrients in two Southern African savannas. Journal of Geophysical Research 113, G02011, doi:10.1029/2007JG000584.

 Wang, L., P. L. Shaner, and S. Macko. 2007. Foliar δ15N patterns along successional gradients at plant community and species levelsGeophysical Research Letters, 34, L16403, doi:10.1029/2007GL030722.

 Wang, L., G. S. Okin, J. Wang, H. Epstein and S. A. Macko. 2007. Predicting leaf and canopy 15N compositions from reflectance spectraGeophysical Research Letters, 34, L02401, doi:10.1029/2006GL028506.