Ling LI, Ph.D.

Eco-Environmental Research Laboratory




Ling LI, Ph.D.

Eco-Environmental Research Laboratory




"Westlake University is such a unique quest. Not only a group of scientists and engineers but also support staff with shared dream and ambition are working together diligently to build it from scratch. The future can be seen in the work now! I am proud of being part of it!"


Professor Li was born in the Libo county of Guizhou Province in 1968. He graduated from Tsinghua University with a Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental) degree in 1988, and received his PhD from the University of Western Australia in 1998. Between 1997 and 1998, he held a position of Lecturer in School of Engineering and Technology at Deakin University, Australia. In 1999, he moved to the University of Edinburgh (U.K.) as a Lecturer in School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In 2002, he took a position of Senior Lecturer in School of Engineering at the University of Queensland, Australia and was promoted to Professor directly in 2005. In 2018, he joined Westlake University as Chair Professor in Environmental Hydrology and will lead the establishment of Centre for Environmental Research.


Professor Li’s principal research interests lie in mathematical modelling of complex environmental systems. His works address fundamental aspects of ocean-land interactions and have contributed to the development of many emerging concepts and research directions in this field. He developed the first theoretical model of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) that incorporates oscillating groundwater flow and circulation driven by tides and waves. The ocean-land interface is a critical zone of the earth system. Coastal wetlands, for example, play important roles in moderating green-house gas emission and protecting the coastal zone from impacts of sea level rise. Professor Li’s research has improved significantly our understanding of complex eco-environmental system at the ocean-land interface. He was awarded an Early Career Researcher Award by Australian Research Council, National Natural Science Award of China (2nd Class), Natural Science Award of Ministry of Education of China (1st Class) and National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars from National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Professor Li’s research interests also cover broadly the areas of eco-hydrology, multi-scale multiphase porous media flow and transport processes with hydro-mechanical coupling, eco-environmental system modelling, environmental pollution and control, impact of major engineering projects on the environment and global changes.

Professor Li has led a number of major scientific research programs, including major projects of the Australian National Groundwater Research Centre and a “973” project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. He has published over 200 research papers in international journals. He is currently a co-editor of Water Science and Engineering and a member of the editorial board of Advances in Water Resources. 


Representative Publications

1. Shen, C. J., C. M. Zhang, P. Xin, P., J. Kong and L. Li, 2018. Salt dynamics in coastal marshes: Formation of hypersaline zones. Water Resources Research, 54, 3259–3276. doi: 10.1029/2017WR022021.

2. M Aminpour, SA Galindo-Torres, A Scheuermann, L Li, 2018. Pore-Scale Behavior of Darcy Flow in Static and Dynamic Porous Media. Physical Review Applied, 9(6), 064025. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevApplied.9.064025.

3. SA Galindo-Torres, T Molebatsi, X-Z Kong, A Scheuermann, D Bringemeier, L Li, 2015. Scaling solutions for connectivity and conductivity of continuous random networks. Physical Review E, 92, 041001(R), doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.92.041001.

4. Xin, P., L.-R. Yuan, L. Li and D. A. Barry, 2011. Tidally driven multi-scale pore water flow in a creek-marsh system. Water Resources Research, 47, W07534, doi: 10.1029/2010WR010110.

5. Kuan, W. K., G. Jin, P. Xin, C. Robinson, B. Gibbes and L. Li, 2012. Tidal influence on seawater intrusion in unconfined coastal aquifers. Water Resources Research, 48, W02502, doi: 10.1029/ 2011WR010678.

6. Robinson, C., L. Li and D. A. Barry, 2007. Effect of tidal forcing on a subterranean estuary. Advances in Water Resources, 30, 851-865, doi: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2006.07.006.

7. Robinson, C., B. Gibbes and L. Li, 2006. Driving mechanisms for groundwater flow and salt transport in a subterranean estuary. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L03402, doi: 10.1029/2005GL025247.

8. Chen, J. S., L. Li, J. Y. Wang, D. A. Barry, X. F. Sheng, W. Z. Gu, X. Zhao and L. Chen, 2004. Groundwater maintains dune landscape. Nature, 432, 459-460, doi: 10.1038/432459a.

9. Li, L., D. A. Barry, F. Stagnitti, J.-Y. Parlange and D. S. Jeng, 2000. Beach water table fluctuations due to spring-neap tides: Moving boundary effects. Advances in Water Resources, 23, 817-824, doi: 10.1016/S0309-1708(00)00017-8.

10. Li, L., D. A. Barry, F. Stagnitti and J.-Y. Parlange, 1999. Submarine groundwater discharge and associated chemical input to a coastal sea. Water Resources Research, 35, 3253-3259, doi: 10.1029/ 1999WR900189.

Further information about Prof Li’s published work can be found at the following web sites

Researcher ID:   

Google Scholar:   


Contact Information

The Centre for Environmental Research at Westlake University has a number of vacant PI (Principal Investigator) positions in Environmental Science and Engineering, and related fields. We are seeking talented researchers to fill these positions. If you are interested, please contact Professor Li via emails to the above address.

There are also various positions (PhD studentships, postdoctoral and research fellowships, research assistants, laboratory manager) available within Professor Li’s group. If you are interested, please contact him directly.