Lei Zou

Lei Zou

Assistant Professor

GIS, social media data mining, spatial data science, disaster resilience, sustainability


  (979) 458-1803

  CSA 203D


Dr. Lei Zou’s research interest is mining geospatial Big Data to analyze, model, and manage human-environment interactions. During the past few years, he has participated in a number of research projects funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), USGS, Louisiana Sea Grant, and Netherlands RAAK Public Grant. Increasingly frequent natural hazards and global environmental changes have posted huge challenges to the sustainability of human communities. Meanwhile, human behaviors are also changing the landscape and ecology of planet earth. Understanding the impacts and feedbacks between human and natural systems is the key to build sustainable futures for both systems. To build disaster resilience and long-term sustainability, his research focus on:

  • location-based social media data mining for smart emergency management;
  • web harvesting and Deep Learning for geospatial data collection and analysis;
  • coupled natural-human system modeling for population dynamics, land loss and urban growth;
  • assessment models of community resilience to natural hazards.

I am recruiting graduate students (M.S. or Ph.D.) as well as visiting scholars/students. If you are interested in working with me on GIScience, geospatial data mining, disaster resilience, and coupled natural-human system modeling, please send me an email (lzou@tamu.edu). Every self-motivated student is extremely welcome to join my group. If you have great passion in academia, you will have the opportunity to participate in many research projects. If you are fascinated about cutting-edge GIScience technologies, you will have the resources and support to train your skills, access devices, and attend technical workshops. Through customized training plan for each student, my goal is to help you realize your career goals!

Selected Publications

  • Zou, L., Lam, N.S.N. and Cai, H. 2019. A framework for analyzing and visualizing Twitter use patterns during natural hazards. US National Report (US National Committee for the International Cartographic Association) (July 2019), https://cartogis.org/usnc-ica/us-national-report/.
  • Chen, X., Zou, L. and Zhao, B. 2019. Detecting climate change deniers on Twitter using a deep neural network. In ACM 11th International Conference on Machine Learning and Computing (ICMLC). 204-210.
  • Bushra, N., Rohli, R.V., Lam, N.S.N., Zou, L., Mostafiz, R.B. and Mihunov, V. 2019. The relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index and drought indices in the south-central United States. Natural Hazards. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-019-03569-5.
  • Kirby, R., Reams, M.A., Lam, N.S.N., Zou, L., Dekker, G. and Fundter D.Q.P. 2019. Assessing social vulnerability to flood hazards in the Dutch Province of Zeeland. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science. DOI: 10.1007/s13753-019-0222-0
  • Li, R., Leifer, D., Schoof, J., Zou, L. and Crowe, J. 2019. Social media for understanding social perception of energy: challenges and opportunities. Energy Research & Social Science, 56:101217.
  • Lam, N.S.N, Xu, Y.J., Pace, R.K., Liu, K.B., Qiang, Y., Narra, S., Bianchette, T.A., Cai, H., Zou, L., Li, K., Joshi, S. and Mihunov, V. 2019. Collaboration across Boundaries: Reflections on Studying the Sustainability of the Mississippi River Delta as a Coupled Natural-Human System in Across Boundaries for Interdisciplinary Environmental Systems Science: Experiences Around the World (eds: Stephen Prez and Palgrave Macmillion).
  • Zou, L., Lam, N.S.N., Shams, S., Cai, H., Meyer, M.A., Yang, S., Lee, K., Park, S.J. and Reams, M.A. 2018. Social and geographical disparities of disaster resilience during Hurricane Harvey. International Journal of Digital Earth. DOI: 10.1080/17538947.2018.1545878
  • Zou, L., Lam, N.S.N., Cai, H. and Qiang, Y. 2018. Mining Twitter data for improved understanding of disaster resilience. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 108(5):1422-1441.
  • Lam, N.S.N., Cheng, W.J., Zou, L., and Cai, H. 2018. Effects of Landscape Fragmentation on Land Loss. Remote Sensing of Environment, 209:253-262.
  • Cai, H., Lam, N.S.N., Zou, L. and Qiang Y. 2018. Modeling the dynamics of community resilience to coastal hazards using a Bayesian network. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 108(5):1260-1279.
  • Mihunov, V., Lam, N.S.N., Zou, L., Rohli, R.V., Bushra, N., Reams, M.A., and Argote, J.E. 2018. Community resilience to drought hazard in South-central United States. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 108(3):739-755.
  • Cai, H. Lam, N.S.N., Qiang, Y., *Zou, L., Correll, R. and Mihunov, V. 2018. A synthesis of disaster resilience measurement methods and indices. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 31:844-855 (*Corresponding author).
  • Lam, N.S.N., Qiang, Y., Li, K., Cai, H., Zou, L., and Mihunov, V. 2018. Extending Resilience Assessment to Dynamic System Modeling: Perspectives on Human Dynamics and Climate Change Research. Journal of Coastal Research, SI85:1401-1405.
  • Lam, N.S.N., Xu, Y.J., Liu, K.B., Dismukes, D.E., Reams, M.A., Pace, R.K., Qiang, Y., Narra S., Li, K., Bianchette, T., Cai, H., Zou, L. and Mihunov, V. Understanding the Mississippi River Delta as a coupled natural-human system: research methods, challenges, and prospects. Water, 10(8):1054.
  • Qiang, Y., Lam, N.S.N., Cai, H. and Zou, L. Changes in exposure to flood hazards in the United States.Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 107(6):1-19.
  • Cai, H., Lam, N.S.N., Zou, L., Qiang, Y. and Li, K. 2016. Assessing community resilience to coastal hazards in the Lower Mississippi River Basin.Water, 8(2):46.
  • Rohli, R.V., Bushra, N., Lam, N.S.N., Zou, L., Mihunov, V., Reams, M.A. and Argote, J.E. 2016. Drought indices as drought predictors in the south-central USA.Natural Hazards, 83(3):1567-1582.
  • Shen, Q., Li, J., Zhang, B., Wu, Y., Zou, L. and Wu T. 2016. Analyzing spectral characteristics of water involving in-situ multi-angle polarized reflectance and extraction of water-leaving radiance. Spectroscopy and Spectral Analysis, 36(10):3269-3273.
  • Zou, L., Kent, J., Lam, N.S.N., Cai, H., Qiang, Y. and Li, K. 2015. Evaluating land subsidence rates and their implications for land loss in the Lower Mississippi River Basin.Water, 8(1):10.
  • Li, K., Lam, N.S.N., Qiang, Y., Zou, L. and Cai, H. 2015. A cyberinfrastructure for community resilience assessment and visualization.Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 42(sup1):34-39.
  • Zhang, F., Zhang, B., Li, J., Shen, Q., Wu, Y., Wang, G., Zou, L. and Wang, S. 2014. Validation of a synthetic chlorophyll index for remote estimates of chlorophyll-a in a turbid hypereutrophic lake.International Journal of Remote Sensing, 35(1):289-305.
  • Zou, L., Zhang, B., Li, J., Shen, Q., Zhang, F. and Wang, G.L. 2014. A study on retrieval algorithm of black water aggregation in Taihu Lake based on HJ-1 satellite images. InIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 17(1):012100.
  • Zou, L., Zhang, B., Li, J., Song, Y., Shen, Q. and Li, L. 2012, July. A comparative analysis of the transmittance method between using integrating sphere and filter holders for measuring light absorption by aquatic particles. InGeoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2012 IEEE International. 2567-2570.
  • Li, J., Zhang, B., Shen, Q., Zou, L. and Li, L., 2012, July. Monitoring water quality of Lake Taihu from HJ-CCD data using empirical models. InGeoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), 2012 IEEE International. 812-815.


Ph.D., Environmental Science, Louisiana State University

M.S., Geographic Information Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences

B.E., Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, Wuhan University


2019 ICA Scholarship, International Cartographic Association.

2018 CC&E Outstanding Student Dissertation Award, College of Coast & Environment, Louisiana State University.

2018 Dr. Joseph Martinez Memorial Award, College of Coast & Environment, Louisiana State University.

2017 Spring/Summer Dissertation Year Assistantship Grant, Louisiana State University.

2016 Graduate Dean’s Summer Research Stipend Grant, Louisiana State University.

Update My Profile