Dongyang joined the SPECIAL group as a graduate research assistant after completing her MRes degree in Ecosystem and Environmental Change from Imperial College London. During her stay in SPECIAL group, she examined the relationship between vegetation and bioclimatic variables based on surface pollen and climate data using quantitative approaches and mathematic models. Her research interest involves climate models, palaeoclimate and ecology.
Her representative work here focused on reconstructing climate and vegetation changes in semi-arid Spain from the Last Interglacial (~130,000 yr BP) to the recent times and improving the pollen-based paleoclimate reconstruction method. She used Weighted Averaging Partial Least-Squares regression to derive quantitative reconstructions of winter and summer temperature regimes from the extended European surface pollen sample data set, covering the whole Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. She also reconstructed a moisture index, taking account of the effect of low CO2 on water use efficiency. Meanwhile, she used Generalized Additive Models to present the distribution of 195 most important European pollen taxa, providing a visual way to examine the climate space of taxa to aid in paleoclimate reconstructions.
After her work in SPECIAL group, Dongyang will be a Ph.D. student in Climatology at the University of Delaware, starting from Fall 2019. The research of her Ph.D. study is a continuing focus on “climate” but will pay more attention to modern climate and the interactions between human activities, economics and the climate.