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Associate Professor


Assistant Professor. Ph.D from the University of Hong Kong. Her research focus on utilizing new generation sequencing technology coupled with advanced bioinformatic big data mining to investigate the community structure and functionality of various microbiomes.  The research areas she currently working on  mainly  include: biological wastewater / waste sludge treatment;  environmental dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and the microbial effect in nature material cycles.  Dr. XIA had published more than 20 high quality research papers in prestigious scientific journals in environmental microbiology  and ecology field like The ISME Journal, Environmental Microbiology, Biotechnology for Biofuels, Environmental Science & Technology, etc. Additioanlly, she had served as the Young Ambassador of Hong Kong region for American Society for Microbiology (ASM) , and the General Secretary for the Postgraduate Student Association (PGSA) of the University of Hong Kong.

2008-2012: Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2004-2008: B.Eng., Environmental Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, China

Employment History
2024.06-present: Associate Professor, School of Environmental Science & Engineering, South University of Science and Technology of China

2017.10-2024.05: Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Science & Engineering, South University of Science and Technology of China
2013-2016: Post-doctoral Fellow, Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong


Awards and Honors
2013-2016: Young Ambassador of Hong Kong, American Society for Microbiology
2010: Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong
2008: Excellent graduate of Dalian City

Editorial Boards
2014-present: Associate Editor, Frontiers in Energy Research


Research Interests
1) High-throughput sequencing-based environmental Metagenomics and Metatranscriptomics
2) Microbial process in bioenergy refinery
3) Microbial Ecology in biological wastewater treatment process
4) Trace tracking and biodegradation of emerging environmental pollutants


Scientific Publications:
[1] Yu Xia†, An-Dong Li†, Yu Deng, Xiao-Tao Jiang, Li-Guan Li and Tong Zhang*. 2017. MinION nanopore sequencing enables correlation between resistome phenotype and genotype of coliform bacteria in municipal sewage. Frontiers in Microbiology. In press
[2] Yulin Wang, Liping Ma, Yanping Mao, Xiaotao Jiang, Yu Xia, Ke Yu, Bing Li, Tong Zhang*. 2017. Comammox in drinking water systems. Water Research. 116:332-341.
[3] Jian-Qiang Su†, Yu Xia† (Co-first author), Huai-Ying Yao, Ya-Ying Li, Xin-Li An, Brajesh K. Singh, Tong Zhang*, Yong-Guan Zhu*. 2016. Metagenomic assembly unravel microbial response to redox fluctuation in acid sulfate soil. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 105:244-252.
[4] Li-Guan Li†, Yu Xia† (Co-first author), Tong Zhang*. 2016. Co-occurrence of antibiotic and metal resistance genes revealed in complete genome collection. The ISME Journal. 11(3):651-662.
[5] Chao Yang†, Yu Xia† (Co-first author), Hong Qu, An-Dong Li, Ruihua Liu, Yubo Wang, Tong Zhang*. 2016. Discovery of new cellulases from the metagenome by a metagenomics-guided strategy. Biotechnology for Biofuels. 9: 138
[6] Yu Xia, Yubo Wang, Yi Wang, Francis Y.L. Chin, Tong Zhang*. 2016. Cellular adhesiveness and cellulolytic capacity in Anaerolineae revealed by omics-based genome interpretation. Biotechnology for Biofuels. 9:111.
[7] Liping Ma, Yu Xia, Bing Li, Ying Yang, Liguan Li, James Tiedje, Tong Zhang*. 2016. Metagenomic assembly reveals hosts of antibiotic resistance genes and the shared resistome in pig, chicken and human feces. Environmental Science & Technology. 50:420-427.
[8] Feng Ju, Yubo Wang, Frankie T.K. Lau, W.C. Fung, Danping Huang, Yu Xia, Tong Zhang*. 2016. Anaerobic digestion of chemically enhanced primary treatment (CEPT) sludge and the microbial community structure. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 100:8975-8982.
[9] Yu Xia, Francis Y.L. Chin, Yuanqing Chao, Tong Zhang*. 2015. Phylogeny-structured carbohydrate metabolism across microbiomes collected from different units of wastewater treatment process Biotechnology for Biofuels. 8:1-12.
[10] Yu Xia, Yubo Wang, Herbert H.P. Fang, Tao Jin, Huanzhi Zhong, Tong Zhang*. 2015. Thermophilic microbial cellulose decomposition and methanogenesis pathways recharacterized by metatranscriptomic and metagenomic analysis. Scientific Reports. 4: 6708.
[11] Yubo Wang, Yu Xia, Feng Ju, Tong Zhang*. 2015. Metagenome approaches revealed a biological prospect for improvement on mesophilic cellulose degradation. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 99:10871-10879.
[12] Yanping Mao, Yu Xia, Zhiping Wang, Tong Zhang*. 2014. Reconstructing a Thauera genome from a hydrogenotrophic-denitrifying consortium using metagenomic sequence data. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 98: 6885-6895.
[13] Feng Ju, Yu Xia, Feng Guo, Zhiping Wang, and Tong Zhang*. 2014. Taxonomic relatedness shapes bacterial assembly in activated sludge of globally distributed wastewater treatment plants. Environmental Microbiology. 16: 2421-2432.
[14] Ying Yang, Ke Yu, Yu Xia, Frankie T.K. Lau, Daniel T.W. Tang, Wingcheong Fung, Herbert H.P. Fang, Tong Zhang*. 2014. Metagenomic analysis of sludge from full-scale anaerobic digesters operated in municipal wastewater treatment plants. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 98(12): 1-10.
[15] Yanping Mao, Ke Yu, Yu Xia, Yuanqing Chao, Tong Zhang*. 2014. Genome reconstruction and gene expression of 'Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis' Clade IB performing biological phosphorus removal. Environmental Science & Technology. 48:10363-71.
[16] Zhiping Wang, Feng Guo, Yanping Mao, Yu Xia, Tong Zhang*. 2014. Metabolic characteristics of a glycogen accumulating organism in Defluviicoccus cluster II revealed by comparative genomics. Microbial Ecology. 68:716-728.
[17] Yu Xia, Herbert H.P. Fang, and Tong Zhang*. 2013. Recent Studies on Thermophilic anaerobic bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass. RSC Advances. 3:15528-15542.
[18] Yu Xia, Feng Ju, Herbert H. P. Fang, and Tong Zhang*. 2013. Mining of novel thermo-stable cellulolytic genes from a thermophilic cellulose-degrading consortium by metagenomics. PLoS ONE. 8: e53779.
[19] Yanping Mao, Yu Xia, Tong Zhang*. 2013. Characterization of Thauera-dominated hydrogen-oxidizing autotrophic denitrifying microbial communities by using high-throughput sequencing. Bioresource Technology. 128:703-710.
[20] Feng Ju, Feng Guo, Lin Ye, Yu Xia, and Tong Zhang*. 2013. Metagenomic analysis on seasonal microbial variations of activated sludge from a full-Scale wastewater treatment plant over 4 years. Environmental Microbiology Reports 5(5):80-89.
[21] Yu Xia, Lin Cai, Tong Zhang*, and Herbert H.P. Fang. 2012. Effects of substrate loading and co-substrates on thermophilic anaerobic conversion of microcrystalline cellulose and microbial communities revealed using high-throughput sequencing. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 37: 13652-13659.
[22] Yu Xia, Tong Zhang*, and Herbert H.P. Fang. 2012. Thermophilic anaerobic degradation of microcrystalline cellulose using mixed culture enriched from anaerobic digestion sludge. Procedia Environmental Sciences. 12: 3-8.