I graduated from Jinan University, Guangzhou, China, specializing in biotechnology. During my undergraduate years, I joined the National Research Center of Hydrobiology, where I worked on the Undergraduate Science and Technology Innovation Project, supported by the National Science Foundation of China. Under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Ning Xu, I examined the effect of six different nitrogen sources on the growth of Phaeocystis globosa, a representative harmful algal species in the southeastern coastal waters of China, and further analyzed growth dynamic characteristics of dissolved nitrogen uptake by P. globosa. I discovered that the growth of P. globosa varied significantly with different N-sources, and exhibited an obvious concentration gradient effect, thus providing further evidence to clarify the mechanism of the occurrence of harmful algal blooms (HABs). It’s my first time to touch the charming world of the algae!

In my junior year, I joined Prof. Xufang Liang’s lab, and worked on my undergraduate thesis “Evolution Analysis of five Lipid-metabolism associated Genes in Grass Carp”. I found it so intriguing to work on the molecular and phylogenetic stuff! To combine my interest with algae and phylogenetics, I enrolled in the Plant Biology Graduate Program in the University of Texas at Austin, under the supervision of Prof. Ed Theriot, a strong diatom expert. In my PhD years, I will be working on the very tiny centric diatom Cyclotella, using the phylogenetic approach to clarify its evolutionary history, and further using the molecular technique to explore its potential in biofuel production. Life is amazing, the world of diatom is even more amazing, enjoy diatom, enjoy life!

Species contributed

Stephanodiscus niagarae