Professional summary

Research Interests

Dr. Hu is an Associated Professor and Associate Director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Arizona (UA), Associate Professor in the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research at UA, and Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Hu’s research broadly addresses how plants respond to changing climate by focusing on plant carbon-water relations. She has worked around the world in a range of ecosystems, from grasslands in Tibet, to forest in the western U.S., to the cloud forests of the Galapagos Islands. More recently, her research focuses on the importance of the North American Monsoon (NAM) system in alleviating forest water stress during mid-summer, and assesses how changes in the NAM over the last 100 years has affected forest productivity. Her research suggests that since the start of the “mega-drought” across the western U.S. in the early 2000’s, many trees have now entered a new climate state, with increasing drought frequencies testing their ability to survive. 

Dr. Hu is also passionate about teaching and has taught extensively, ranging from introductory undergraduate courses to graduate level courses. She has taught Principles of Life, Ecological Responses to Climate Change, Plant Physiological Ecology, Watershed Hydrology, Sustainable Earth, and Stable Isotopes in Ecology. 

Dr. Hu received her B.A. from University of California Berkeley, her Ph.D. from University of Colorado Boulder, and two postdocs at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and University of Sydney. In her spare time, she loves to travel with her husband and two kids, eating good food and finding new adventures.