Xiao Liu

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

Email: liu284@usc.edu; Office: AHF M229, 3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA, 90089 


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

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

Research Interests

Ocean bio-optics; ocean color remote sensing; climate change and ecosystem responses; carbon cycling; phytoplankton ecology and physiology.   Read More... 

Selected Peer-reviewed Publications

•  Liu, X., Smith Jr., W.O., Tang, K.W. et al. Theoretical Size Controls of the Giant Phaeocystis globosa Colonies. Ocean Sciences Journal (accepted with minor revision).

•  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 Research II 101, 95-106. [PDF]

•  Liu, X., Smith Jr., W.O., 2012. Physiochemical controls on phytoplankton distribution in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. Journal of Marine Systems, 94. 135-144. [PDF]

•  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. Progress in Oceanography, 88, 28-45. [PDF]

Selected Honors

  2014-15 NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF)

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

  2012 Wrigley Summer Fellowship, Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies

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


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

•  Microsoft Office, R, Matlab, IDL, Linux commands.


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