Xiao Liu (刘潇)             

Faculty advisors: Dr. Naomi M. Levine , Dr. Burton H. Jones

Email: liu284@usc.edu; Office: AHF M229 (Tel: 213-740-3675), 3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA, 90089 


Ph.D. Ocean Sciences, The University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA (expected December 2016)

M.S.  Marine Biology, The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), College of William and Mary, VA, USA (2011)

B.S.  Biological Sciences, The Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China (2008) 

Research Interests

My research involves addressing the impacts of predicted climate changes on planktonic ecosystems and carbon export in the ocean using both satellite remote sensing and numerical ecosystem modeling approaches. I am particularly interested in understanding the climate-physical-ecosystem interactions at the meso- and submesoscale.   Read More... 

Selected Publications

Liu, X. and N. M. Levine, 2016. Enhancement of phytoplankton chlorophyll by submesoscale frontal dynamics in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Geophys. Res. Lett. 43, 1651–1659. Link

Liu, X.*, Smith Jr., W.O., Tang, K.W., Doan, N.H., Nguyen, N.L., 2015. Theoretical size controls of the giant Phaeocystis globosa colonies. Ocean Sci. J. 50, 283-289. Link

Smith, W.O., Liu, X., Tang, K.W., Doan, N.H., Nguyen, N.L., DeLizo, L.M., Wang, X.D., 2012. Giantism and its role in the harmful algal bloom species Phaeocystis globosa. Deep-Sea Res. II 101, 95-106. Link

Liu, X.*, Smith Jr., W.O., 2012. Physiochemical controls on phytoplankton distribution in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. J. Mar. Syst. 94. 135-144. Link

Smith, W.O., Asper, V.L., Tozzi, S., Liu, X., Stammerjohn, S.E., 2011. Surface layer variability in the Ross Sea, Antarctica as assessed by continuous fluorescence measurements. Prog. Oceanogr. 88, 28-45. Link

(*: as corresponding author)



  2014-17 NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship (NESSF, 3 years)

  2013-14 Awards for Outstanding Teaching (3 times; BISC120L, BISC220L), Univ. of Southern California

  2012 Wrigley Summer Fellowship, Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies

  2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting Student Travel Award, AGU/ASLO

  2011-12 College Merit Graduate Fellowship, Univ. of Southern California

Certifications and Skills

•  Glider operations (Webb Slocum and SeaGlider); Ocean optical instrumentation; satellite remote sensing; Ecosystem modeling; Phytoplankton culturing; Pigment analysis; Microscopy.

•  Matlab, IDL, R, C++, Linux commands.

•  Open Water SCUBA Diver Certification 2014.


  • Xiao Liu
  • University of Southern California
  • 3616 Trousdale Parkway, AHF B30
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089