Yichao Rui

Yichao Rui is a Research Associate in the Ruark Climate Change Laboratory.

Born and raised in China, Yichao spent 7 years in Australia before coming to the United States. Yichao holds PhD degrees from Chinese Academy of Sciences and Griffith University (Australia), on Microbial Ecology and Soil Science. From 2013 to 2017, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the University of Western Australia on the project funded by Australian Federal Government (“Maintaining Soil Organic Matter to Support Grain Production Systems in Western Australia”).

Yichao has a strong interest as well as extensive research experience in microbial ecology and biogeochemistry in various ecosystems including grasslands, forests and agricultural systems in cold (alpine), semi-arid (Mediterranean) and subtropical regions. He is particularly interested in the soil-plant-microbe interaction under climate change and different management practices. Much of his work tries to link the small-scale processes in soil or rhizosphere to larger-scale responses in greenhouse gas emissions and soil health and resilience.

While at UW-Madison, Yichao has been working on “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Dairy Production Systems of the Great Lakes Region.” This will combine innovative experimental approaches (molecular work and fieldwork) and big data analysis. Research will identify management practices that lead to improved nitrogen fertilizer use in the Midwest.


Ph.D. Soil Science, 2013, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Ph.D. Microbial Ecology, 2011, Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
B.S. Biological Sciences, 2006, Nankai Univ., Tianjin, China


2016, Outstanding Reviewer Award, Journal of Soils and Sediments
2015, Best Oral Presentation Award, 3rd International Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture for Subtropical Regions
2012, Scott Piper Best Student Publication Award, Griffith University
2012, Postgraduate Publication Award, Environmental Futures Centre, Griffith University

Selected Publications

Zhong, L., F.Y. Li, Y. Wang, X. Zhou, S. Zhou, X. Gong, Y. Bai, and Y. Rui. 2018. Mixed grazing and clipping is beneficial to ecosystem recovery but may increase potential N2O emissions in a semi-arid grassland. Soil Biol. Biochem. (In Press).

Rui, Y., D.V. Murphy, X. Wang, and F.C. Hoyle. 2016. Microbial respiration, but not biomass, responded linearly to increasing light fraction organic matter input: Consequences for carbon sequestration. Scientific Reports. doi:10.1038/srep35496.

Creamer, C.A., D.L. Jones, J.A. Baldock, Y. Rui, D.V. Murphy, F.C. Hoyle, and M. Farrell. 2016. Is the fate of glucose-derived carbon more strongly driven by nutrient availability, soil texture, or microbial biomass size? Soil Biol. Biochem. 103:201-212.

Rui, Y., Y. Wang, C. Chen, X. Zhou, S. Wang, Z. Xu, J. Duan, X. Kang, S. Lu, and C. Luo. 2012. Warming and grazing increased mineralization of organic P in an alpine meadow of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Plant Soil 357:73-87.

Wang, S., J. Duan, G. Xu, Y. Wang, Z. Zhang, Y. Rui, C. Luo, and X. Zhao. 2012. Effects of warming and grazing on soil N availability, species composition and ANPP in alpine meadow. Ecology 93:2365–2376.

Rui, Y., S. Wang, Z. Xu, Y. Wang, C. Chen, X. Zhou, X. Kang, S. Lu, Y. Hu, Q. Lin, and C. Luo. 2011. Warming and grazing affect soil labile carbon and nitrogen pools differently in an alpine meadow of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau in China.  J. Soils Sediments 11(6):903-914.