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Hongkai Gao

Hongkai Gao

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation

Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation
Arizona State University
PO Box 875402
Tempe, AZ 85287-5402


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation


Hongkai Gao is currently a Professor at East China Normal University. Hangkai was previously a postdoctoral research associate in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. He was born in 1984 in China and got his Master’s degree in cold region hydrology from the Chinese of Academy of Sciences in 2011. In 2015, he got his PhD in hydrology from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

He joined in Professor John Sabo’s laboratory at Arizona State University in August of 2015. His research interests are on catchment hydrology, hydrological modelling, snow and glacier hydrology, land surface modelling, and ecohydrology. He found 1) climate controls the root zone storage capacity in catchment scale; 2) accounting for topography and vegetation information improves model transferability; 3) co-evolution of topography, vegetation and soil is beneficial to simplified catchment hydrological simulation.


  • PhD, Hyrdology, Delft University of Technology, 2015
  • MS, Hydrology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2011

Journal Articles


Gao, H., J. L. Sabo, X. Chen, Z. Liu, Z. Yang, Z. Ren and M. Liu. 2018. Landscape heterogeneity and hydrological processes: A review of landscape-based hydrological models. Landscape Ecology 33(9):1461-1480. DOI: 10.1007/s10980-018-0690-4. (link )

Mao, D., Z. Wang, H. Yang, H. Li, J. R. Thompson, L. Li, K. Song, B. Chen, H. Gao and J. Wu. 2018. Impacts of climate change on Tibetan lakes: Patterns and processes. Remote Sensing 10(3):358. DOI: 10.3390/rs10030358. (link )


Ren, Z., H. Gao and J. J. Elser. 2017. Longitudinal variation of microbial communities in benthic biofilms and association with hydrological and physicochemical conditions in glacier-fed streams. Freshwater Science 36(3):479-490. DOI: 10.1086/693133. (link )

Ren, Z., H. Gao, J. J. Elser and Q. Zhao. 2017. Microbial functional genes elucidate environmental drivers of biofilm metabolism in glacier-fed streams. Scientific Reports 7(Art. 12668):. DOI: :10.1038/s41598-017-13086-9. (link )

Book Chapters


Ruddell, B. L., H. Gao, O. Pala, R. Rushforth and J. Sabo. 2020. Infrastructure. Pp. 259-295 In: Saundry, P. and B. L. Ruddell eds., The Food-Energy-Water Nexus. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-29914-9_10. ISBN: 978-3-030-29914-9. (link )