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Lan Zhao

Lan Zhao's Profile Photo

Senior Research Scientist

Lan Zhao is a Research Scientist in the Scientific Solutions Group in RCAC. She has more than twenty years of experience in software engineering and geospatial data management. She has served as software architect and technical lead in multiple cyberinfrastructure projects funded by NSF, NSDA, DOE, and NIH across multiple disciplines including hydrology, climate science, agricultural economics, secure manufacturing, clinical psychology, cyber-training, ecology, isotopic modeling, agricultural and biological engineering, and pharmaceutical science. She also serves as XSEDE ECSS (Extended Collaborative Support Services) consultant in several science gateway projects ranging from using biomechanical imaging modeling to detect tissue deformation to running hydrologic watershed models on XSEDE in support of classroom users. Some of her recent work includes developing scalable and sustainable cyberinfrastructure for streaming senor and device data, scientific model coupling, and interactive online learning and advanced training. Before joining Purdue, she has developed software in the Windows Media Division in Microsoft Corporation and interned in Cadence Design Systems Inc working on logic design software.


  • B.S., Biology, University of Science and Technology of China
  • M.S., Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • M.S., Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Grants and Awards

  • Kansas State University: Climate Impacts on Agricultural Markets: Using AgMIP Projections for Economic Models, (PI, $9360, 2021-2023)
  • NIH: A Generalized Framework and Flexible Software Environment for Power Analysis, (CoPI, $3.7M, 2018-2023)
  • NSF: Collaborative Research: ABI Development: ORIGIN: Origin Inference from Geospatial Isotope Networks, (CoPI, $412,326, 2016-2021)
  • NSF: Enabling End-to-End Geospatial Data Modeling Workflows via INPort: The Isotope Networks Portal, (CoPI, $831573, 2008-2013)
  • NSF: CEO:P--C4E4: Cyberinfrastructure for End-to-End Environmental Explorations (CoPI, 2006-2011)
  • Seed for Success (Excellence in Research) award, Purdue University, 2019
  • 20th Annual Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence (U2U team), January 2018
  • Purdue College of Agriculture 2015 TEAM award
  • Best Paper Award, “Developing an integrated end-to-end TeraGrid climate modeling environment”, science gateway track, TG’11


  • Reviewer for cyberinfrastructure-related conferences and journals, including Journal of Grid Computing, Grid Computing Environments workshop, Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience, PEARC, Gateways and TeraGrid.
  • XSEDE ECSS (Extended Collaborative Support Services) consultant for science gateway projects.

Selected Publications

  • V.S.G. Vunnava, J. Shin, L. Zhao, and S. Singh. PIOT-Hub - A collaborative cloud tool for generation of physical input–output tables using mechanistic engineering models. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 07 October 2021,
  • J. Woo, L. Zhao and G. Bowen. Streamlining Geospatial Data Processing for Isotopic Landscape Modeling. Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience. 33(2), April 2021.
  • R. Kalyanam, L. Zhao, C. X. Song, V. Merwade, J. Jin, U. Baldos, J. Smith. GeoEDF: An Extensible Geospatial Data Framework for FAIR Science. In Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC ’20), July 27–31, 2020. ACM, New York, NY, USA.
  • J. Shin, L. Zhao, C.X. Song, R. Kalyanam, and J. Jin. SACI - A Cloud Based Real-Time Sensor Data Management and Analysis Platform. Gateways 2020 conference, October 19-21, 2020.
  • L. Zhao, C. X. Song, L. Biehl, V. Merwade, M. Huber, J. Liu, U. Baldos, and I.Shunko. 2020. Building a Gateway Infrastructure for Interactive Cyber Training and Workforce Development. In Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC ’20), July 27–31, 2020. ACM.
  • Kalyanam, R., Zhao, L., Song, C.X., Biehl, L., Kearney, D., Kim, I.L., Shin, J., Villoria, N. and Merwade, V. 2018, October. MyGeoHub - A Sustainable and Evolving Geospatial Science Gateway. Future Generation Computing Systems (FGCS), special issue on science gateways.
  • Matei, S., Kalyanam, R., Zhao, L. and Song, C., 2018. Social media modeling of human behavior in natural emergencies. In Proceedings of the Practice and Experience on Advanced Research Computing (pp. 1-8).
  • Villoria, N.B., Elliott, J., Müller, C., Shin, J., Zhao, L. and Song, C.X. Web-based download, visualization, and aggregation of future temperature and precipitation during the growing season of major crops. SoftwareX, November 2017.
  • Biehl, L.L., Zhao, L., Song, C.X. and Panza, C.G. Cyberinfrastructure for the Collaborative Development of U2U Decision Support Tools. Journal of Climate Risk Management, 2016.
  • Villoria, NB, Elliott, J, Müller, C, Shin, J, Zhao, L, and Song, C., 2016, January. Rapid aggregation of global gridded crop model outputs to facilitate cross-disciplinary analysis of climate change impacts in agriculture. Environmental Modelling & Software. 75, pp.193-201.
  • Rajib, M.A., Merwade, V., Kim, I.L., Zhao, L., Song, C. and Zhe, S., 2016, January. SWATShare–A web platform for collaborative research and education through online sharing, simulation and visualization of SWAT models. Environmental Modelling & Software, 75, pp. 498-512.
  • Kalyanam, R., L. Zhao, C.X. Song, Y. L. Wong, J. Lee and N. Villoria. “iData: A Community Geospatial Data Sharing Environment to Support Data-driven Science”, in Proceedings of Conference on Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, San Diego, CA, July 2013.
  • Kristof, P., B. Benes, C.X. Song, and L. Zhao. A system for large-scale visualization of streaming Doppler data. In Proceedings of 2013 IEEE International Conference on Big Data, pages 33-40, Silicon Valley, CA, October 6-9, 2013.
  • Zhao, L., C.X. Song, C. Thompson, H. Zhang, M. Lakshminarayanan, C. DeLuca, S. Murphy, K. Saint, D. Middleton, N. Wilhelmi, E. Nienhouse and M. Burek. "Developing an integrated end-to-end TeraGrid climate modeling environment", TeraGrid Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, July 2012.