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Xia Luo

    Luo's current research revolves around understanding mathematical modeling of microbiological systems in the environment. Her research interests include developing kinetics and thermodynamics models which explain microbial physiology and the interaction of toxic chemicals with microbial community, biofilm models that describe interactions and functions of microorganisms in a community, and aquatic microorganism community responses to change of water quality. Luo's research is driven by finding the connectionsbetween the heavy metal removal efficiency and the microbial community structure. Her overall target is contributing on biofilms remediation technology. 

Education Background

·       08/2010-01/2016   Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Lehigh University, PA, US

                               Dissertation: Characterization of Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst

                                                     attachment to environmental biofilm surfaces

                              Advisor: Dr. Kristen L. Jellison

                             Co-advisor: Dr. Sabrina Jedlicka

·       09/2005-07/2009  B.Sc. in Environmental Science from Qingdao University of Science

                             & Technology, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China

Professional Experience
10/2016-Present       Assistant Professor in Yunnan University

08/2010-12/2015     Research Assistant in Lehigh University

o   Biomimetic Biofilm Surfaces for in-situ Detection of Waterborne Contaminants

§  Characterization of biofilm surfaces to identify kinetic mechanisms and specific parameters necessary for Cryptosporidium adhesion via both biological and materials science analytical tools

§  Localization of Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst by immunolabeling technique

o   Assessing Performance of Biofilm Sampling Approaches

§  Evaluating the similarity of biofilm grows in rotating annular bioreactor and water distribution systems of two utilities (Department of Water and Sewer Resources in Bethlehem, PA, USA & Golden state Water Company in California, CA, USA)

§  Comparing the recovery of two bacterial indicators (E. coli, Mycobacterium smegmatis) from the reactor biofilms sampled by bead beating, scraping, sonication, and stomaching.

§  Identifying whether biofilms sampled from more easily accessible locations in the distribution system can represent biofilms growing in water mains.

§  Providing utilities with optimum protocols for sampling biofilms from surface with the best possible recovery of biofilm-associated microorganisms.

§  Establishing clear biofilm sampling guidelines

§  Evaluating the interaction of bacteria with biofilm

o   Investigation into the Effects of Manufacturing Variables on the Microbiological Efficiency of Ceramic Pot Filter Material

§  Evaluated the influence of production variables (burn-out material, burn-out material processing, filter mixture ratio as well as clay)on flow rate, microbiological removal efficiency (LRV & Percentage of removal), pH and porosity

§  Provided recommendation for consistent production and quality control for filter manufacturing

08/2012-05/2015     Teaching Assistant in Lehigh University

o   Assisted in teaching 1 undergraduate course sizes of up to 80 students for two years (i.e., 2014 - 2015). Topic: Introduction to Environmental Engineering

o   Assisted in teaching 2 graduate level courses ranging in size from 30 - 40 students. Topics included: Modeling Flow and Contaminant Transport in Water, and Water & Wastewater Treatment Facilities

o   Assisted in teaching Introduction to Engineering Practice for the Southeast University (SEU) faculty members from China for 4 years. Topic: Safe Drinking Water for Developing Countries

o   Prepared course materials including laboratory experiments and homework

o   Led weekly laboratory for groups of 20 - 30 students

o   Supervised students in homework, graded exams and weekly quizzes

Research Interests
(1)Waterborne pathogen removal for water and wastewater treatment
(2)Biofiltration and biofilm systems for drinking water treatment, disinfection, and drinking water distribution systems
(3)Fate and transport of antibiotic resistant bacteria and toxic chemicals in surface environment and watershed


[1]Luo, X., Jedlicka, S., & Jellison, K. (2017). Pseudo-second-order calcium-mediated Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst attachment to environmental biofilms.Applied and Environmental Microbiology,83(1), e02339-16. (IF = 3.823)

[2]Luo, X., Jellison, K. L., Huynh, K., & Widmer, G. (2015). Impact of Bioreactor Environment and Recovery Method on the Profile of Bacterial Populations from Water Distribution Systems.PloS one,10(7), e0133427. (IF = 3.70)

[3]Rayner, J.,Luo, X., Schubert, J., Lennon, P., Jellison, K., & Lantagne, D. (2016). The effects of input materials on ceramic water filter efficacy for household drinking water treatment.Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, ws2016176.

[4]Luo, X., Jedlicka S., & Jellison, K. L. (Accepted). Role of Wall Shear Stress on Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst Adhesion Kinetics to Environmental Biofilms. Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Awards and Recognition

01/2014        The Dean’s Scholarship of Lehigh University

06/2013        The Pennsylvania Water Environment Association (PWEA) StudentResearch Award
06/2012        The P.C. Rossin Doctoral Fellowship of Lehigh University
07/2009        Excellent Graduation Design of Qingdao University of Science andTechnology
Academic Conference and Activities

[1]Luo, X., Jedlicka S., & Jellison, K. L., (2015). Role of shear stress on Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst attachment to environmental biofilms. New England Graduate Student Water Symposium annual conference, MA, US.

[2]Luo, X., Huynh, K., Widmer, G., & Jellison, K. L., (2014). Comparing the Performance of Four Sampling Approaches for Recovering Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium smegmatis from Drinking Water Biofilms. The Pennsylvania Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) annual conference, PA, US.

[3]Luo, X., Jellison, K. L., & Widmer, G. (2013). Evaluation of Formation and Recovery of Biofilms in Drinking Water Distribution Systems. Pennsylvania Water Environment Association (PWEA) annual conference, PA, US.

Student Supervision
Xinyi Xiang (Class of 2016)
Professional Service
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