Meet our new assistant professor

Lu Zhou: new staff member at IMAU

Despite the winter chill of last December, I’ve been warmly welcomed as assistant professor into a new family at IMAU. Here, I’m surrounded by climate specialists and fellow ice enthusiasts - people who share my fascination for the frozen wonders of our world. My work over the years has primarily focused on the study of sea ice, encompassing observations, remote sensing, and modeling. I’m excited to bring together a team not just passionate about sea ice but also eager to connect the dots between the ice on the land, oceans, and in the atmosphere. My mission is to uncover the hidden processes causing changes in the sea ice of the Arctic and Antarctic.  Using remote sensing technology, I aim to track the changes in sea ice over many years, shedding light on how human activities are influencing our environment in these remote, icy regions. And I’m particularly thrilled about two creative paths ahead: (1) Integrating the latest machine learning techniques to overcome data scarcity in the polar regions and bridge the gap between the few in-situ measurements and the vast array of remote sensing observations, and (2) Diving deep into the recent fall in sea ice cover in the Arctic and Antarctic, aiming to untangle the complex dance that is the interaction between atmosphere, snow, ice, and ocean. My goal is to piece together a detailed picture of how sea ice is changing, exploring everything from the changes observed since satellites first started watching the Earth to the impacts of extreme weather events and the influence of the ocean’s warmth.

I’m also buzzing with excitement about meeting students in the upcoming “Remote Sensing of the Earth System” course. We’ll explore satellite remote sensing in a hands-on way, studying real-world problems through research projects. These projects will help students see for themselves how satellites give us a clear picture of global changes like ice loss, sea levels rising, and increasing temperatures - direct evidence of how our climate is changing.

I’m eager to collaborate with my dear Ice and Climate colleagues and other IMAU research groups. Together, we can make meaningful contributions to protect our planet from the looming challenges of the future.

Lu Zhou