Auburn University professor receives international science award

AUBURN – Hanqin Tian, Alumni Professor with Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, recently received the 2008 Global Change Science Prize for his groundbreaking work as an ecosystem scientist.

Tian was honored April 10 by the Ye DuZheng Global Change Science Prize Committee at the Chinese Academy of Sciences for his achievements in the field of global change science.

The prize committee cited Tian’s breakthrough achievement in quantifying the global and regional carbon budget and its underlying mechanisms when recognizing him with the award.

Through his research, Tian also examines ecosystem processes and exchanges of energy, water, carbon and nitrogen that occur at the interfaces of the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere. For a decade, he has researched the interactions between climate changes and the global carbon cycle, which he believes is one of the most important issues facing humankind in the 21st century.

Tian, whose teaching emphasis is ecology and forest biology, has been recognized as a leading scientist in the fields of ecology, biogeochemistry and global change. His research has covered a range of topics including studies of biogeochemical and hydrological cycles in response to multifactor global changes in climate, atmospheric composition, land use and land cover across South America, North America, Asia and the world as a whole. In addition, Tian was among the early scientists who documented how El Niño affects tropical ecosystem dynamics and the global carbon cycle.

Tian’s work has been published in prestigious journals such as Nature, Science, Global Change Biology, Global Biogeochemical Cycles and the Journal of Geophysical Research. His research has also been included in assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change for the United States of America.

The Global Change Science Prize is considered one of the highest recognitions in this field and was established by Ye Duzheng, an academician, former vice president at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and founder of China’s atmospheric science and global change research initiative.

Tian shares the award with Zhengtang Guo, a professor at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Both will receive a certificate and monetary prize.

Contact: Katie Wilder, (334) 844-9999 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (

Hanqin Tian

Hanqin Tian