School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Xiaofeng Li

Research Associate


I'm a researcher loving and enjoying climate reasearch. I'm currently working as a research associate funded by INTENSE project since 2015 July.

Although computing from the data and simulating in the numerical models are my general ways of exploring the climate and weather, my favorite way of "understanding" them, i.e. the wether and climate, at somewhere else is still by traveling there to "feel it in person". 

I worked in Fairbanks, Alaska, USA from a spring to summer, where I experienced the real polar climate and the Polar Day, and saw the fast heavy snow occurs and disappears just like the behaviors of heavy rainfall in my hometown. Then, I traveled to Perth, Western Australia and worked there for a whole year, where I experienced the tropical and Mediterranean climate there, saw how the coastal rainfalls and the hot waves from inland desert are competing to each other, and enjoyed the beautiful beaches and islands by the way. I also worked in Beijing, China for a couple of years, where I experienced both the Polar and the Tropical climate in a single place. Warm moist tropical atmosphere comes in summer, and dry cold polar atmosphere controls in winter, which make Beijing a place with huge differences between its four seasons. Now, I'm working in Newcastle, UK, where is facing the strong westerly jet blowing from the Atlantic. I'm enjoying the windy but mild year-round climate here, especially when it is accompanied with the incredibly fast changing weathers from day to day. 

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."  — Wernher von Braun 

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”  — Mark Twain

Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. — Stephen Hawking


  • Ph.D (July 2009), National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100029, China 


  • Research Associate (July 2015-present), School of Engineering (Previous name was “School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences”), Newcastle University (NCL), Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom
  • Assistant Scientist (Jun. 2009-June 2015), National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100029, China
  • Visiting Scientist (Mar. 2010-Jun. 2010), International Arctic Research Center (IARC), University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks 757340, Alaska, USA
  • Visiting Scientist (Nov. 2011- Oct. 2012), CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics, Leeuwin Centre, Floreat 6014, WA, Australia.

 Research interests

  • Global rainfall extremes and Hydrological Cycle
  • Global Monsoon and Thermodynamics
  • Polar Climate and Climate Dynamics
  • Tropical Air-sea Interaction
  • Regional Climate Change
  • Numerical Modeling
  • Tibetan Climate

 Professional Memberships and Services

  • Co-Chair, Heat-waves, An International Commission on Dynamical Meteorology (ICDM) workshop 2012 on "Dynamics and predictability of high-impact weather and climate events", August 6-9, 2012, Kunming, China.
  • Life Member, American Geophysical Union (AGU) (2011-).
  • Life Member, European Geosciences Union (EGU)(2015-)
  • Reviewer for Journal of Climate, Climate Dynamics, Geophysical Research Letters, Environmental Research Letters, and Scientific Reports. 
  • Reviewer for book proposal of ELSEVIER.

Selected Funded Research Projects

  • Xiao-Feng Li (PI). Impacts of Sub-monthly Northern Hemisphere Annular Mode to Wintertime Circulations over China. ¥210,000.00. 2010-2012, National Science Foundation of China.
  • Xiao-Feng Li (Co-I). Influence of the thermal forcing between the Tibet Plateau-South Asia and the Indian Ocean on the inter-annual and inter-decadal variation of the outbreaks of the Asian Monsoon. Sub-project of the "Influence of the Tibetan and Indian-Pacific on inter-annual and inter-decadal variation of the Asia monsoon system". Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Project. ¥180,000.00. 2009-2012, Science Foundation of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
  • Xiao-Feng Li (Co-I). Numerical modeling and prediction theory of the Asian air-land-sea coupling system. Sub-project of the "Mechanism of air-sea interaction in Asia and its role in global climate change". 600,000.00. 2010-2014, Ministry of Science of Technology China.

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Xiao-Feng Li , J. Yu, Y. Li and Hayley J. Fowler. Explaining recent wetting and cooling over Northern Australia: the importance of oceans under a warming climate, Plenary Speaker, CliMathNet Conference 2016, 5th – 8th July, Newman Collaborative Lecture Theatre, Peter Chalk Centre, University of Exeter, United Kingdom.(Invited Planetary Talk)
  • Xiao-Feng Li, J. Li, and X. Zhang. Fluctuations of Northern Hemisphere Zonal-Mean Circulation: Phase Transition and Stratosphere-Troposphere Interactions, J-M04: Stratosphere-Troposphere-Ocean coupling in weather and climate, IUGG 2011, XXV General Assembly, June 28-July 7, 2011, Melbourne, Australia. (Oral Presentation)
  • Xiao-Feng Li and J. LiFluctuations of Northern Hemisphere Zonal-Mean Circulation: Phase Transition and Stratosphere-Troposphere Interactions, Pan-Pacific Climate/Weather Collaboration Meeting (PPCWCM), Sep. 8-10, 2009, Alaska, USA. (Invited Talk) 

Joint Supervisions

  • Muaz Zaim. Sep. 2016-Aug. 2017. Master's Degree. Thesis tittle: Climate Change Impacts in the Hindu-Kush Karakoram Himalaya. School of Civil Engineering and Geoscience, Newcastle University.
  • Qinqin Kong, Sep. 2016-Aug. 2017. Exchanging Ph.D student from Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Concurrent drought and heatwaves in eastern China. School of Civil Engineering and Geoscience, Newcastle University.
  • Yafei Li, Sep. 2017-present. Exchanging Ph.D student from Beijing Normal University, China. Rainfall extremes in Midwest Asia. School of Engineering, Newcastle University.