Xiaoli Dong is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. Their research is on ecological spatial pattern formation and coupled landscape evolution and evolution of plants that modify landscape topography (i.e., geo-evo feedbacks). The primary approach Dr. Dong uses is numerical models combined with empirical data. Currently, Dr. Dong is working on regular patterns of stromatolites in Antarctic lakes, pattern formation of coral reef and biocrust-vegetation system in drylands. A new direction that they are currently developing is to understand landscape and evolutionary consequences of geo-evolutionary feedbacks—plants modify the evolution of landscape topography and landscape topography feeds back to affect the evolution of plants.