Our faculty members are specialized in marine science, with research topics ranging from microbial and plankton ecology in the coastal waters of Hong Kong, marine biotechnology (bioactive compounds), marine molecular ecology, ocean circulation and biogeochemical cycling, to molecular adaptation and ecogenomics of deep sea environment of different oceans.
The primary study sites include the estuarine environment of the Pearl River, the coastal bays of Hong Kong, and the deep sea (including the South China Sea). The three focal areas are:
- Marine ecology
- Ocean technology
With the integration of population genomics analyses and physical ocean modeling data, Professor Peiyuan Qian's research team has unlocked for the first time the demographic history, genetic structure, and population connectivity of deep-sea animals such as deep-sea limpet widely distributed in deep-sea vent and seep ecosystems in the Northwest Pacific.
The research team led by Professor Qinglu Zeng investigated how cyanophages use light-dependent and light-independent adsorption strategies to adapt to the natural light-dark cycle, facilitating future work to understand the interaction of cyanophages and cyanobacteria and its influence on marine carbon cycling.
Professor Ding He's group is committed to integrating molecular fingerprint data (mainly based on the state-of-the-art ultra-high-resolution mass spectrometry) from different natural environments around the world, such as rivers, lakes, reservoirs, soils, and especially oceans, and constructing a molecular fingerprint “big database” for decoding the complex biogeochemical cycling.
In collaboration with researchers from Florida State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and California State University, Northridge, recent outputs from this work have demonstrated how differences in internal-wave exposure across coral reef depths may support cryptic diversity in the reef coral Pocillopora spp.