Professor LUO Haiwei


(Office): Marine Science Laboratory
(Lab): Marine Science Laboratory

People LHW


(Office):(852) 3943 6121
(Lab): (852) 3943 6774

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Lab Website



2010 Ph.D (Molecular Evolution), University of South Carolina
2008 MSc (Marine Microbiology), University of South Carolina
2004 BSc (Environmental Science), Xiamen University


  • 2021.1  Associate Professor, School of Life Sciences, CUHK
  • 2015.1-2020.12  Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, CUHK
  • 2010-2014  Postdoctorial Research Associate, University of Georgia

Research Interests

  • Microbial evolution and ecology, genomics, bioinformatics

Representative Publications

  • X. Chu, S. Li, S. Wang, D. Luo, H. Luo*. 2020. Gene loss through pseudogenization contributes to the ecological diversification of a generalist Roseobacter lineage. The ISME Journal (in press)
  • X. Wang, Y. Zhang, M. Ren, T. Xia, X. Chu, C. Liu, X. Lin, Y. Huang, Z. Chen, A. Yan, H. Luo*. 2020. Cryptic speciation of a pelagic Roseobacter population varying at a few thousand nucleotide sites. The ISME Journal (in press)
  • M. Ren, X. Feng, Y. Huang, H. Wang, Z. Hu, S. Clingenpeel, B.K. Swan, M.M. Fonseca, D. Posada, R. Stepanauskas, J.T. Hollibaugh, P.G. Foster, T. Woyke, H. Luo*. 2019. Phylogenomics suggests oxygen availability as a driving force in Thaumarchaeota evolution. The ISME Journal 13 (9):2150-2161
  • F.L. Hellweger*, Y. Huang, H. Luo*. 2018. Carbon limitation drives GC content evolution of a marine bacterium in an individual-based genome-scale model. The ISME Journal 12 (5):1180-1187
  • H. Luo*, Y. Huang, R. Stepanauskas, and J. Tang. 2017. Excess of non-conservative amino acid changes in marine bacterioplankton lineages with reduced genomes. Nature Microbiology 2:17091
  • Y. Sun, K.E. Powell, W. Sung, M. Lynch, M.A. Moran, and H. Luo*. 2017. Spontaneous mutations of a model heterotrophic marine bacterium. The ISME Journal 11(7):1713-1718
  • H. Luo*, L. Thompson, U. Stingl, and A.L. Hughes. 2015. Selection maintains low genomic GC content in marine SAR11 lineages. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32 (10): 2738-2748
  • H. Luo*. 2015. Evolutionary origin of a streamlined marine bacterioplankton lineage. The ISME Journal 9(6):1423-1433
  • H. Luo*, B.B. Tolar, B.K. Swan, C.L. Zhang, R. Stepanauskas, M.A. Moran, and J.T. Hollibaugh*. 2014. Single cell genomics shedding light on marine Thaumarchaeota diversification. The ISME Journal 8: 732-736
  • H. Luo, B.K. Swan, R. Stepanauskas, A.L. Hughes, and M.A. Moran*. 2014. Evolutionary analysis of a streamlined lineage of surface ocean Roseobacters. The ISME Journal 8:1428-1439

Research Grants

  • 01/2021-12/2023. Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund (GRF), “Reconstructing the evolutionary history of flavobacteria” (14110820), PI, HK$1,131,260
  • 01/2021-12/2022. the Open Collaborative Research Fund (OCRF), Hong Kong Branch of the Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory, “A correlated evolutionary history between the deep sea animals and their associated microbial lineages”, PI, HK$700,000
  • 03/2019-09/2022. 深圳市科技創新委員會 (Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Commission), 基礎研究學科佈局項目, “深圳海域造礁石珊瑚共生細菌基因組學研究 (Genomic study of stony coral symbiotic bacteria in Shenzhen coastal waters)” (基20180279), PI, RMB¥3,000,000
  • 07/2018-12/2021. 國家重點研發計劃 (National Key R&D Program of China), “海斗深渊环境特征与生命演化过程 (Environmental features and biological evolution in hadopelagic waters)” (2018YFC0309800), co-I, RMB¥1,453,600 (my allocation)
  • 01/2018-12/2020. Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund (GRF), “Roseobacter genome content diversification in a heterogeneous ocean” (14163917), PI, HK$848,714
  • 01/2018-12/2021. National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), “Evolution of anaerobic metabolic genes in marine Roseobacters” (41776129), PI, RMB¥680,000
  • 06/2017-05/2025. UGC-AoE, “Center for genomic studies on plant-environment interaction for sustainable agriculture and food security”, co-PI, HK$1,000,000 (my allocation in the first four years)
  • 06/2017-11/2019. Hong Kong Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF), “Genomic analysis of coral associated bacteria in Hong Kong waters” (15/2016), PI, HK$998,673
  • 01/2016-12/2019. National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), “Genomic diversity of marine planktonic Roseobacters and the underlying ecological and evolutionary mechanisms” (41576141), PI, RMB¥816,000
  • 01/2016-12/2018. Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) Early Career Scheme (ECS), “Metabolism and evolution of uncultivated members of a generalist marine bacterial lineage” (24101015), PI, HK$1,067,343


  • 2017. Young Researcher Award, CUHK

Professional Activities

  • Editorship
    • Editorial Board member, The ISME Journal, 05/2020+
    • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Microbiology, 09/2017+
    • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Marine Science, 08/2017+
  • Panel Member
    • National Natural Science Foundation of China, 2017-2019
  • Research Proposal Review
    • Member of "ESF College of Expert Reviewers" for European Science Foundation, 05/2020+
    • The European Science Foundation (ESF) 2019+
    • The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) 2018
    • The UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Council (BBSRC) 2018
    • The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) 2013, 2015
    • The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) 2017+
  • Manuscript Review (selected)
    • Science
    • Nature Microbiology
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    • Science Advances
    • Elife
    • The ISMEJournal
    • Genome Biology
    • Molecular Biology and Evolution
    • Environmental Microbiology
    • mBio