Rong Fu’s research aims at understanding the role of the atmospheric hydrological cycle and its interaction with earth’s surface in determining the stability of the Earth’s climate at global and regional scales. Her research in recent decades has been focused on the mechanisms that control the rainfall seasonality and variability over Amazonian and Pan-American monsoon regions, and how changes of global climate, local vegetation and biomass burning, and oceanic decadal variability have influenced these processes in recent past and will influence rainfall seasonality and droughts in future, and also on long-range transport of water vapor and biomass generated pollutants to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere over the global tropics and Asian monsoon/Tibetan Plateau.
Her research is among the earliest to observationally uncover significant roles of tropical rainforests in determining rainfall seasonality over Amazonia and Tibetan Plateau in determining water vapor transport to global stratosphere; She has B.S in Geophysics from Peking University (1984), Ph.D in Atmospheric Sciences from Columbia University in New York City (1991), did post-doctoral research at the University of California, Los Angles (1991-1993), was a visiting scientist fellow at Princeton University (1994), Assistant Professor at University of Arizona (1994-1999), Associate Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology (1999-2008) and Professor (2008-) and Associate Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences (2011-) at the University of Texas at Austin.
She received a NSF CAREER Award (1995), a NASA EOS New Investigator Award (1996) and AGU Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Geophysical Research Letter (2006), andNASA Group Achievement Award (2007); She has published 61 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, with 11 in AGU journals; She is an associate editor of “Anthopogence” (Elsevier), was on the National Research Council, Committee on “Challenges and Opportunities in Earth Surface Processes” (2007-2009), AGU Meeting Committee (2010-2012), The External Science Advisory Committee of the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii (2011-2015), US CLIVAR Phenomena, Observations & Synthesis Panel (2007 – 2010), University Cooperation for Atmospheric Research membership committee (2004-2006), NASA Earth System Scholar Network Technical committee (2004-2005). She was a contributing author for the Stratospheric Processes And their Role in Climate Water Vapor Assessment of the World Climate Research Program (1999), the NASA Earth Observing System Science Plan (1997) and 1995 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report; A selected list of review panels she has participated in includes NASA Carbon Cycle Science program (2004), Cloud and Aerosol Program (2006), Atmospheric Composition Program (2011), NASA and NOAA Model, Analysis and Prediction Programs (2008, 2010), NSF CAREER (1999) and Science and Technology Center (2012), NASA New Investigator Program (2002), and NOAA Cooperative Institute for Climate Science (2006).