Zhiming Kuang

Zhiming Kuang

  • Gordon McKay Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Science
  • Faculty Associate, Harvard University Center for the Environment


The main goal of my current research is to better understand and simulate how tropical convection interacts with the large-scale flow.

This interaction is key to the tropical circulation, particularly the rainfall distribution and its variability. These are important issues to society. Variations in the Asian monsoon rain, for example, can bring droughts or floods and affect the lives of billions of people.

Despite its well appreciated importance, our understanding of how tropical convection interacts with the large-scale flow remains poor; so is our ability to simulate this interaction. In our research, we use novel high-resolution numerical model experiments, together with observational data analysis, to guide development of theoretical models.

We are keen in applying our results to improve predictions—for example, those of the Asian monsoon and the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Besides the meteorological implications of tropical convection, I'm also interested in its role in global chemistry.

Contact Information

Office:Geological Museum 455
Office Phone:(617) 495-2354
Office Fax(617) 495-7660

Primary Teaching Area

Positions & Employment

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences/Harvard Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • 2010-Present: Associate Professor
  • 2005-2010: Assistant Professor
California Institute of Technology
  • 2004-2005: Research Scientist
University of Washington
  • 2003-2004: NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • 2000: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Fellow
California Institute of Technology
  • 1996-2000: Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant


  • NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2002
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Fellowship, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2000
  • Li Ming Scholarship, California Institute of Technology, 1998