Jiying Li's lab

Aquatic Biogeochem @HKUST

Welcome to our website. We study biogeochemistry in lakes and oceans.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

We have positions open for PhD students and postdoc!

ORCID iD icon0000-0003-1677-6922

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About Us

We study the physical, biological, and chemical-driven exchange and transformation of elements in a diverse range of aquatic ecosystems including lakes, estuaries, coastal and deep oceans. We focus on the cycles of life-supporting elements including carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and redox metals, using field and laboratory data coupled with numerical modeling. We seek to understand the mechanistic controls of biogeochemical cycling and their climate and environmental implications.

Research Themes

- Sediment biogeochemistry and benthic-pelagic coupling

Sediments receive materials from the water column. In sediments, materials undergo biogeochemical transformations that determine the fates of vital elements. Some materials/elements recycle back into the water column to support biological activities; some escape the system as gases and enter the atmosphere; some are buried into the deep sediments and leave the biosphere (enter the longer geological cycle). These processes regulate functioning of the aquatic ecosystems and impact local and global biogeochemical cycles. We are interested in quantifying these processes and understanding their controls and impacts. We seek answers to questions such as:

  1. how do sediments affect the chemistry and ecology of the water,
  2. how do sediment processes contribute to regional and global geochemical cycles in the long term,
  3. and how can we use sediments to quantitatively reconstruct the past and predict the future biogeochemical conditions and trends.

- Biological and geochemical interactions

Life conveys energy and elements and shapes the chemistry of aquatic systems; biological activities, at the same time, are controled by geochemistry, especially the availability of life-supporting elements. We are interested in these interactions. Our present interests include

  1. phosphorus storage mechanisms in phytoplankton linked to nutrient variability
  2. geochemical dynamics under the impacts of drastic changes in ecology such as species invasion.
  3. dynamic production and fluxes of greenhouse gases nitrous oxides in intertidal zones.

See here for specific projects