Dr. Zheng-hua Li is a research scientist in NASA Marshall Noble Gas Research Laboratory. Li’s science interests focus on isotope geochemistry including noble gas geochronology and climate change. He has been serving as principal investigators for the projects funded by NSF and DOJ. His ongoing research projects include reconstruction of Pleistocene-Holocene climate variability in the southern Appalachian region, isotopic and elemental analysis of the William Bass Donated Skeletal Collection and other modern donated collections, extraction of tropical cyclone records using tree-ring oxygen and hydrogen isotopes, and stable isotope ecology of black bears. In addition, Li is currently involved in building a next-generation planetary noble gas geochronology laboratory and in-situ K-Ar planetary dating project funded by NASA.


Li, Zheng-Hua, Nicole Labbé, Steven G. Driese, Henri D. Grissino-Mayer. 2011. Micro-scale analysis of tree-ring d18O and d13C on α-cellulose spline reveals high-resolution intra-annual climate variability and tropical cyclone activity. Chemical Geology 284: 138–147.

Driese, S.G., Zheng-Hua Li, L.D. McKay. 2008.  Evidence for multiple, episodic, mid-Holocene Hypsithermal recorded in two soil profiles along an alluvial floodplain catena, southeastern Tennessee, USA, Quaternary Research, Volume 69, Pages 276-291.

Driese, S.G., K.H. Orvis, S. P. Horn, Zheng-Hua Li, D.S. Jennings. 2007. Paleosol evidence for Quaternary uplift and for climate and ecosystem changes in the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Volume 248, Pages 1-23.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Steven W. Leavitt, Claudia I. Mora, Rong-Mo Liu. 2005. Influence of earlywood-latewood size and isotope differences on long-term tree-ring d13C trends. Chemical Geology, Volume 216, Issues 3-4, Pages 191-201.

Driese, S.G., Zheng-Hua Li, Sally P. Horn. 2005. Late Pleistocene and Holocene climate and geomorphic histories as interpreted from a 23,000 14C yr B.P. paleosol and floodplain soils, southeastern West Virginia, USA. Quaternary Research. Volume 63, Pages 136-149.

Driese, S.G., G.M. Ashley, Zheng-Hua Li, V.C. Hover, B. Owen. 2004. Possible Late Holocene equatorial palaeoclimate record based upon soils spanning the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, Loboi Plain, Kenya. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Volume 213, Issues 3-4, Pages 231-250.

Teunissen van Manen, Jennapher, Lisa I. Muller, Zheng-Hua Li, Arnold Saxton, Michael R. Pelton, 2011. Using stable isotopes to assess longitudinal diet patterns of black bears in great smoky mountains national park. The 20th Eastern black Bear Workshop, Knoxville, Tennessee. Abstract  with Program.

Herrmann, Zheng-Hua Li, Weinand D, and Soto M, 2011. Isotopic and Elemental Analysis of the William Bass Donated Skeletal Collection and Other Modern Donated Collections.  “Did Colonel Mustard Really Kill Miss Scarlet in the Library with the Lead Pipe?” Identifying Clues Through NIJ Research.  Grantee symposium organized by the National Institute of Justice, Chicago, Illinois.

Herrmann NP, Zheng-Hua Li, and Soto M, 2010. Isotopic evaluation of modern human remains from the University of Tennessee William M. Bass Donated Collection. Poster presented at the Seventy-Nine Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Stinchcomb, Gary, Aislyn Trendell, Steve Driese, Lee Nordt, Zheng-Hua Li. 2009. Floodplain Soil Geomorphology at the Williams Creek Section, Axtell, TX: Implications for Late Holocene Fluvial Dynamics and Paleoclimate. Submitted to Soil Survey and Lad Resource Workshop, Texas A&M University. Abstract with Programs.

Grote, T., E. Straffin, Zheng-Hua Li, and J. Beauchamp. 2008. Late Holocene floodplain reconstruction along lower Woodcock Creek, Ohio River headwaters, Northwestern Pennsylvania. Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium (Abstract with Program).

Li, Zheng-Hua, S. G. Driese, et al. 2006a. Speleothem isotope records of paleoclimate variability, Raccoon Mountain Cave, East Tennessee, USA. the Geological Society of America (Southeastern Section), Abstract with Program 38(3): 26.

Li, Zheng-Hua, S.G. Driese, et al. 2006b. Two different carbon sources for speleothem formation in Raccoon Mountain Cave, East Tennessee. Geological Society of America (Philadelphia), Abstract with Programs 38(7): 25.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Claudia I Mora, Huayu Lu. 2002. Precipitation triggering of abrupt climate events: Evidence from cyclic nodule depositions in Chinese Loess. American Geophysical Union annual meeting, Fall, Denver. (Abstract with program).

Li, Zheng-Hua, Claudia I Mora, Huayu Lu. 2001. C3/C4 vegetation response to atmospheric CO2 levels during the last 150ka BP: Stable carbon isotopic evidence from soil carbonate. In: History of Atmospheric CO2 and the Impacts on Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems, 2001, Utah.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Claudia I Mora, Sue Wang. 2001. Holocene high resolution cold events recorded by d13C of soil organic matter from a climate sensitive zone in the Chinese loess plateau: A hint of La Nina? In: History of Atmospheric CO2 and the Impacts on Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems, 2001, Utah.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Claudia I Mora, 2000. Seasonal signals of the East Asia Monsoon recorded by carbon isotopes of tree-rings, China. American Geophysical Union annual meeting (Abstract with program).

Li, Zheng-Hua, Claudia I Mora, Allan R Chivas, Zhisheng An, Rongmo Liu. 2000. Impact of the East Asia monsoon on carbonate in Chinese loess-paleosol sequences: Stable isotopic evidence. Geological Society of America annual meeting (Abstract with program), Page A257.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Rong-Mo Liu, Zhi-Sheng An and Xiang-Ding Wu. 1996, Climatic implication of seasonal d13C in tree rings from Huangling of Shaanxi province, Chinese Science Bulletin, Vol.41, No4, 326-329.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Rong-Mo Liu, Zhi-Sheng An, Xiang-Ding Wu and Yu Liu. 1994, Stable carbon evidence from tree ring in Huangling of Shaanxi province, China for the increase in atmospheric CO2 in the past century. Chinese Science Bulletin, Vol.39, No.23, 2172-2174.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Rong-Mo Liu, Zhi-Sheng An, Xiang-Ding Wu, and Yu Liu, 1995. Annual variations of d13C in tree rings from Huanglin of Shaanxi province and their climatic implication. Scientia Geologica Sinica (Supplementary Issue (1)), 161-167.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Rong-Mo Liu, Zhi-Sheng An, Jie Zhou, Xiao-Ye Zhang. 1996. Developments of Quaternary Geochemistry. In Geochemistry: History, Today and Future (Ed. OuYang Zhiyauan). Atomic Press, 213-223.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Tong-Mo Dai and Zhi-Ping Pu. 1995a. Characteristics of 36Ar released in feldspars and coexisting minerals from different geological background and their geological implications. Geochemistry. No.3., 45-52.

Li, Zheng-Hua, Tong-Mo Dai, Hua-Ning Qiu. 1995b. The release of 40Ar (40Ar*+40ArE) and 39Ar in 40Ar/39Ar samples and its chronological implication. Scientia Geologica Sinica, Vol.30, No.1, 40-46.


Zheng-hua Li, PhD


ZP13 / NSSTC 2223

320 Sparkman Dr.

Huntsville AL 35805

Phone: (256) 961-7655

Fax: (256) 961-7215

Zheng-Hua.Li at nasa dot gov


PhD, Quaternary Geology, Nanjing University, 1995

MS, Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1990

BS, Geology, East China Institute of Technology, 1987

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