Professor LUO Haiwei


(Office): Rm 102A, Marine Science Laboratory
(Lab): Rm 102, 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


  • 2022.8 - pres Director, Simon F.S. Li Marine Science Laboratory, CUHK
  • 2021.1 - pres  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 population genomics, phylogenomics, data science

Representative Publications

  • H. Zhang, F.L. Hellweger, and H. Luo. 2024. Genome reduction occurred in early Prochlorococcus with an unusually low effective population size. The ISME Journal (in press)
  • T. Liao, S. Wang, E.E. Stüeken, and H. Luo. 2022. Phylogenomic evidence for the origin of obligately anaerobic Anammox bacteria around the Great Oxidation Event. Molecular Biology and Evolution 39(8): msac170
  • X. Chu, X. Wang, L.S. Cheung, X. Feng, P. Ang, S.Y. Lee, S.A. Crowe, and H. Luo. 2022. Coastal transient niches shape the microdiversity pattern of a bacterioplankton population with reduced genomes. mBio 13(4): e00571-22
  • Z. Chen, X. Wang, Y. Song, Q. Zeng, Y. Zhang, and H. Luo. 2022. Prochlorococcus have low global mutation rate and small effective population size. Nature Ecology & Evolution 6(2): 183-194
  • X. Feng, X. Chu, Y. Qian, M.W. Henson, V.C. Lanclos, F. Qin, S. Barnes, Y. Zhao, J.C. Thrash, and H. Luo. 2021. Mechanisms driving genome reduction of a novel Roseobacter lineage. The ISME Journal 15(12): 3576-3586
  • S. Wang and H. Luo. 2021. Dating Alphaproteobacteria evolution with eukaryotic fossils. Nature Communications 12: 3324
  • D. Luo, X. Wang, X. Feng, M. Tian, S. Wang, S-L. Tang, P. Ang, A. Yan, and H. Luo. 2021. Population differentiation of Rhodobacteraceae along coral compartments. The ISME Journal 15(11): 3286-3302
  • J. Tao, S. Wang, T. Liao, and H. Luo. 2021. Evolutionary origin and ecological implication of a unique nif island in free-living Bradyrhizobium lineages. The ISME Journal 15(11): 3195-3206
  • J. Gu, X. Wang, X. Ma, Y. Sun, X. Xiao, and H. Luo. 2021. Unexpectedly high mutation rate of a deep-sea hyperthermophilic anaerobic archaeon. The ISME Journal 15(6): 1862-1869
  • X. Chu, S. Li, S. Wang, D. Luo, and H. Luo. 2021. Gene loss through pseudogenization contributes to the ecological diversification of a generalist Roseobacter lineage. The ISME Journal 15 (2): 489-502

Research Grants

  • 01/2024-12/2026. General Research Fund, “Understanding biological nitrogen cycle evolution through new molecular clock approaches” (14107823), PI, HK$1,374,820
  • 01/2023-12/2024. General Research Fund, “Timing the bacterial tree of life based on host-bacteria co-evolution” (14116922), PI, HK$1,081,749
  • 01/2023-06/2024. Marine Conservation Enhancement Fund, “Population genomics of coral-associated denitrifying bacteria along nitrate gradients in Hong Kong waters” (MCEF21101), PI, HK$790,650
  • 01/2021-12/2023. General Research Fund, “Reconstructing the evolutionary history of flavobacteria” (14110820), PI, HK$1,131,260
  • 01/2018-12/2020. General Research Fund, “Roseobacter genome content diversification in a heterogeneous ocean” (14163917), PI, HK$848,714
  • 06/2017-11/2019. Hong Kong Environment and Conservation Fund, “Genomic analysis of coral associated bacteria in Hong Kong waters” (15/2016), PI, HK$998,673
  • 01/2016-12/2018. Early Career Scheme, “Metabolism and evolution of uncultivated members of a generalist marine bacterial lineage” (24101015), PI, HK$1,067,343


  • 2017. Young Researcher Award, CUHK
  • 2022. CUHK Research Excellence Award

Professional Activities

  • Book
    • Editor, Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 2569, Environmental Microbial Evolution: Methods and Protocols, 2022, Humana Press
  • Journal Editorship
    • Editorial Board member, The ISME Journal, 05/2020 - pres
    • Associate Editor, Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal, 05/2023 - pres