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Kaiyu Guan

Associate Professor


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmenal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am also a Blue Waters Professor with a joint appointment with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). I am a computational environmental scientist studying underlying processes of vegetation-hydrology interactions (i.e. ecohydrology, water-ecosystem-food nexus) for natural and agricultural ecosystems. My current research has a particular emphasis on the impacts of hydro-climate change on vegetation dynamics and crop productivity in tropical and temperate regions.The goal of my research is to increase our society’s resilience and adaptability to maintain sustainability of ecosystem services, food security and water resources under the influence of climate change and anthropogenic drivers (e.g. land use change, increased population and food demands), which directly or indirectly impacts the livelihood and wellbeing of billions of humans.

More information can be found at:

I have plans to recruit graduate students and postdocs with full supports in the coming years in the area of "crop remote sensing and modeling." Thus, if you are interested in these opportunities, please contact me with your CV.

Research Description

Dr. Guan provides solutions for real-life problems, such as large-scale crop monitoring and forecasting, water management and sustainability, and global food security. He uses satellite data, computational models, field work, and machine learning approaches to address how climate and human practices affect crop productivity, water resource availability, and ecosystem functioning.


  • PhD, Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, 2013
  • B.S. Geography, Geoinformatics, Nanjing University, 2008

Additional Campus Affiliations

Office of Research Fellow, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor, Computer Science
Director, Agroecology Sustainability Center, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment
Associate Professor, Center for Digital Agriculture, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)
Associate Professor, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

Recent Publications

Jiang, C., Guan, K., Huang, Y., & Jong, M. (2024). A vehicle imaging approach to acquire ground truth data for upscaling to satellite data: A case study for estimating harvesting dates. Remote Sensing of Environment, 300, Article 113894.

Liu, L., Zhou, W., Guan, K., Peng, B., Xu, S., Tang, J., Zhu, Q., Till, J., Jia, X., Jiang, C., Wang, S., Qin, Z., Kong, H., Grant, R., Mezbahuddin, S., Kumar, V., & Jin, Z. (2024). Knowledge-guided machine learning can improve carbon cycle quantification in agroecosystems. Nature communications, 15(1), Article 357.

Wu, G., Guan, K., Ainsworth, E. A., Martin, D. G., Kimm, H., & Yang, X. (2024). Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence captures the effects of elevated ozone on canopy structure and acceleration of senescence in soybean. Journal of experimental botany, 75(1), 350-363.

Burroughs, C. H., Montes, C. M., Moller, C. A., Mitchell, N. G., Michael, A. M., Peng, B., Kimm, H., Pederson, T. L., Lipka, A. E., Bernacchi, C. J., Guan, K., & Ainsworth, E. A. (2023). Reductions in Leaf Area Index, Pod Production, Seed Size and Harvest Index Drive Yield Loss to High Temperatures in Soybean. Journal of experimental botany, 74(5), 1629–1641. Article erac503.

Deines, J. M., Guan, K., Lopez, B., Zhou, Q., White, C. S., Wang, S., & Lobell, D. B. (2023). Recent cover crop adoption is associated with small maize and soybean yield losses in the United States. Global change biology, 29(3), 794-807.

View all publications on Illinois Experts