Lixin Wang Ph.D.

Associate Professor

SL 118M
(317) 274-7764
Research Areas:
Geochemistry | Hydrology | Soils


Water cycles and biogeochemical cycles are connected at multiple temporal and spatial scales, and are connected from both economic and scientific point of view. Anthropogenic activities constantly create or interrupt connectivity between water cycles and biogeochemical cycles and raise the needs to better understand such connectivity. My general research interests are studying spatial and temporal patterns of water and nitrogen availability, how vegetation adapts to and affects such patterns, and how future climate/land use changes affect vegetation-resources interactions. I use a variety of research tools, including analyses based on stable isotopes, manipulative experiments, field observations, geostatistical methods, greenhouse experiments and process-based modeling to tackle these questions.

Research Frontiers Trailblazer Award

Lixin Wang is a recipient of the 2020 Research Frontiers Trailblazer Award. The award recognizes outstanding IUPUI researchers who show promise in becoming nationally and internationally known for their research and creative activity.



  • Post-doctoral, Princeton University (2008-2011), University of New South Wales (2011-2012)
  • Ph.D. University of Virginia, 2008
  • M.S.  University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 2004
  • B.S.  Hebei University, China, 2001

Publications & Professional Activity

†Jiao, W., L. Wang*, W. Smith, Q. Chang, H. Wang, P. D’Odorico. 2021. Observed increasing water constraint on vegetation growth over the last three decades.Nature Communications 12: 3777  †PhD student author,  *corresponding author

†Jiao, W., L. Wang*, M. McCabe. 2021. Multi-sensor remote sensing for drought characterization: current status, opportunities and a roadmap for the future.Remote Sensing of Environment 256:112313 †PhD student author,  *corresponding author

†Adhikari, B., L. Wang*. 2020. The potential contribution of soil moisture to fog formation in the Namib Desert. Journal of Hydrology 591: 125326 †MS student author,  *corresponding author

Wang, L., P. D'Odorico. 2019. Water limitations to large-scale desert agroforestry projects for carbon sequestration. PNASdoi/10.1073/pnas.1917692116

Wang, L., K. Kaseke, S. Ravi, W. Jiao, R. Mushi, T. Shuuya and G. Maggs-Kolling 2019. Convergent vegetation fog and dew water use in the Namib Desert. Ecohydrology

†Lanning, M., L. Wang, T. Scanlon, M. Vadeboncoeur, M. Adams, H. Epstein, D. Druckenbrod. 2019. Intensified vegetation water use under acid deposition. Science Advances 5(7): eaav5168  †PhD student author,  *corresponding author

†Tian, C., L. Wang*, F. Tian, S. Zhao and W. Jiao. 2019. Spatial and temporal variations of tap water 17O-excess in China. Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta 260:1-11.  †Postdoc author,  *corresponding author

†Daryanto, S., B. Fu*, L. Wang*, P. Jacinthe, W. Zhao. 2018. Quantitative synthesis on the ecosystem services of cover crops. Earth-Science Reviews 185:357-373 †Postdoc author,  *corresponding author

Craine, J., A. Almore, L. Wang, et al. 2018. Isotopic evidence for oligotrophication of terrestrial ecosystems. Nature Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0694-0  

†Kaseke, K., Wang, L*., Seely, M. 2017. Non-rainfall water origins and formation mechanisms. Science Advances 3(3): e1603131. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1603131 †PhD student author,  *corresponding author

Novick, K., D. Ficklin, P. Stoy, C. Williams, G. Bohrer, AC. Oishi, S. Papuga, P. Blanken, A. Noormets, B. Sulman, R. Scott, L. Wang, and R. Phillips. 2016. The increasing importance of atmospheric demand for ecosystem water and carbon fluxes. Nature Climate Change 6: 1023-1027.  doi:10.1038/nclimate3114.

Wang, L., S. Good and K. Caylor. 2014. Global synthesis of vegetation control on evapotranspiration partitioning. Geophysical Research Letters 41 (19): 6753–6757

Wang, L., P. D’Odorio, JP Evans, et al. 2012. Dryland ecohydrology and climate change: critical issues and technical advances. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 16:2585-2603.

Wang, L. S. Good, K. Caylor and L. Cernusak. 2012. Direct quantification of leaf transpiration isotopic composition. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 154/155: 127-135.

Wang, L. and S. Macko. 2011. Constrained preferences in nitrogen uptake across plant species and environmentsPlant Cell Environment 34: 525-534

Wang, L. and P. D’Odorico. 2008. The limits of water pumps (Letters). Science 321:36-37. Doi: 10.1126/science.321.5885.36c

Wang, L. 2008. Lost in transliteration (Letters). Science 320:745. doi: 10.1126/science.320. 5877.745a.