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Meet PLOS Climate Academic Editor Xander Wang

We spoke with PLOS Climate Academic Editor Xander Wang, Associate Professor in the School of Climate Change and Adaptation at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada.

How did you end up in your field of work?

I finished my bachelor and master’s degrees in computer science. After several internships with IT companies, I realized that I wanted to utilize my knowledge and skills in computer science to help protect our environment. So I decided to pursue a PhD in Environmental Systems Engineering with a focus on climate modeling and climate change impact assessment. After my PhD, I worked as a research scientist studying the challenges for high-resolution climate projection, flood prediction, and climate change impact assessment and adaptation. I am now working as a university faculty member to continue my interdisciplinary research on climate change.

Could you tell us about the areas of research where you’re currently active?

My research spans a variety of areas, including but not limited to: regional climate modeling, climate downscaling, hydrological modeling and flooding risk analysis, energy systems modeling under climate change, climate change impact assessment and adaptation, GIS, spatial modeling and analysis, and big data analysis and visualization.

What do you see as the most pressing research priorities in climate science and in climate action?

I think the most pressing research priorities in climate change is how to turn the symbolic climate emergency declarations into real actions. Apparently, many people around the world have become aware of the Earth’s changing climate and its potential consequences. However, there is an urgent need for us to make feasible plans and take real actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Why did you decide to join PLOS Climate’s editorial board?

Addressing climate change requires a multidisciplinary approach, which means that any journals focusing on climate change should advocate interdisciplinary research. PLOS Climate is certainly one of these journals and I am very glad to join the editorial board to promote interdisciplinary research on climate change.

Why do you see Open Access and Open Science as important?

There are many benefits to promoting Open Access and Open Science, such as removing unnecessary barriers to accessing the scientific literature, reducing duplication in scientific publication, and advancing science and technology through a more transparent and rigorous process.

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