Currently, I am a postdoctoral research scientist in Tal Korem’s lab at Columbia University. I received my Ph.D. in microbiology at Cornell University advised by Martin Wiedmann and was a PhD exchange student at MIT advised by Otto Cordero. I obtained my M.S. in environmental science at Peking University where I started out my academic journey.

My research interests span microbial evolution, microbial ecology, food microbiology, human microbiome, and environmental microbiology. In particular, I like playing “hide-and-seek” games with microbes. After chasing them down in different environments at local to nationwide scales, I study what and how evolutionary and ecological processes shape the microbial diversity. Diving in the ocean of ATGC, I look for genetic markers that contribute to the adaptation of microbes to the environment. My research involves a combination of field sampling, microbial isolation, high-throughput sequencing, population genomics, and ecological analysis. I enjoy photography, tennis, piano, ukulele, and cooking when I am not engaged in academic pursuits.


  • Dec. 2021: Another new Listeria species found in our nationwide soil sampling campaign!
  • Dec. 2021: Our work about the associations between cervicovaginal microbiota and metabolomic features is out on Sci Rep!
  • Nov. 2021: Our work on the microdiversity of the vaginal microbiome in preterm birth was highlighted at MVIF!
  • Jul. 2021: Thrilled to share our large-scale Listeria study recently published on Nat Microbiol! Through a massive soil sampling campaign across the US collecting Listeria isolates, we developed a nationwide genomic atlas of soil-dwelling Listeria and demonstrated that microbial genomic variation is the result of adaption.
  • Jun. 2021: Presented our work on the microdiversity of the vaginal microbiome in preterm birth at World Microbe Forum!
  • Jun. 2021: Honored to give an invited talk at International Young Scholar Forum hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University! Shared my insights into food safety and human health from a perspective of microbial eco-evolutionary dynamics.
  • Jun. 2021: New preprint about the interaction between the vaginal metabolome and preterm birth is out!
  • May 2021: Check out the five new Listeria species that we discovered from soil and agricultural water!
  • Jan. 2021: Our E. coli ecology paper is published on Appl Environ Microbiol!
  • Nov. 2020: First review paper as a co-corresponding author is live on MRS Advances!
  • Oct. 2020: Honored to be invited as a topic editor for Frontiers in Water. Please consider submitting your research to our Research Topic Functional Diversity of Aquatic Microorganisms and Their Roles in Water Quality!
  • Oct. 2020: New preprint about the distribution of soil E. coli is out!
  • Sep. 2020: Started my postdoctoral journey at Columbia Univerrsity!
  • Aug. 2020: Presented our work about the biogeography of Listeria at MEEvirtual!
  • Jul. 2020: Successfully defended my Ph.D. dissertation!

Contact Columbia University Irving Medical Center