Dr. Tu's research interests in space plasma physics are focused in the quantitative analysis and numerical modeling of energetic particles in space. She has developed and implemented various physics-based models to simulate the dynamics of relativistic particles in the Earth's radiation belts. Earth's radiation belts, also known as the Van Allen Radiation Belts, have important space weather applications since they present a hazardous radiative environment for spacecraft operating within. Dr. Tu's research emphasis has been on the physical quantification of the source, loss, and transport rates of radiation belt particles, which directly contributes to the principal goal of the $686 million NASA Van Allen Probes Mission that was launched in August 2012.

Work experience
Assistant Professor, West Virginia University

​2015 - present


Postdoctoral Research Associate, Los Alamos National Laboratory

​2012 - 2015


Postdoctoral Research Associate, LASP, University of Colorado at Boulder

​2011 - 2012


Graduate Research Assistant, LASP, University of Colorado at Boulder

​2006 - 2011


Undergraduate Research Assistant, Peking University, China

​2004 - 2006

Research Interests

Energetic Particles in Space

(radiation belts, ring current, etc.)

Wave Particle Interactions

Particle Acceleration&Losses

Space Weather


Numerical Simulations

(e.g., diffusion-type code, test particle simulation, MHD)

Theoretical Plasma Physics

Data Processing

Spectral Analysis

University of Colorado at Boulder, Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Ph.D. in Aug 2011


University of Colorado at Boulder, Aerospace Engineering Sciences

​M.S. in May 2008


Peking University, Geophysics

​B.S. in July 2006

For my project entitled “Understanding and Modeling the Mysterious Dropout of Radiation Belt Electrons” in 2018

Young Scientist Award

Awarded by the Union Radio-Scientifique Internationale (URSI) general assembly in 2018

“Editor’s Choice” of AGU Space Weather Journal

Four first-authored papers by Dr. Tu have been selected as “Editor’s Choice” of Space Weather Journal in years of 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Outstanding Poster Award at the 2014 LANL Postdoc Research Day

Top 10 of 106 presentations in 2014


Outstanding Student Paper Award at the 2011 Fall AGU Meeting

Top 3% of 450 presentations in 2011


Excellent Graduate of Beijing, Committee of Education, Beijing

Top 2 of 100 in Geophysics Department, 2006

Member At-Large on the NSF GEM Steering Committee
Co-Chair for the NSF GEM Focus Group
2014-2018, Focus group on “Quantitative Assessment of Radiation Belt Modeling”
Convener for Sessions at the AGU Meetings
2013 Spring AGU, 2014-2018 Fall AGU
External Reviewer and Panelist for NASA and NSF Review Panels



Reviewer for Peer-reviewed Journals
Including: Journal of Geophysical Research – Space Physics, Geophysical Research Letters, Advances in Space Research, Annales Geophysicae, and AGU Monograph