Dr. Zhou is a George Lynn Cross Research Professor and Presidential Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, and School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Institute for Environmental Genomics. Dr. Zhou is an international leader in genomics-enabled microbial environmental sciences. He is known for his pioneering advances in developing both cutting-edge experimental and computational metagenomic technologies to address frontier environmental, engineering and ecological questions. He has pioneered the elucidation and modeling of microbial feedback mechanisms in response to anthropogenic pollution, climate change, and environmental gradients. He has also made major contributions to microbial ecology theories with respect to microbial distribution, succession, and assembly mechanisms. His seminal work has been instrumental to the revolution of microbial ecology over the past two decades.
Dr. Zhou’s outstanding achievements in genomics-enabled microbial environmental science are recognized internationally as a top 0.1% globally highly cited researcher by all three major complementary metrics. Dr. Zhou’s science leadership is also demonstrated by his professional service. He is a Senior Editor for The ISME Journal (a prime microbial ecology journal), and former Senior Editor for mBio and formal Editor for Applied and Environmental Microbiology. He has been a US Ambassador to the International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME) since 2004. He was a Member of ASM’s Environmental Microbiology Committee, a Committee member for Microbiomes of the Built Environment by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). He is an Honorary Director for the Chinese Association of Microbial Ecology (CAME) – a major professional organization for microbial ecology in China. To honor his contributions, CAME established an award under his name in 2017 to recognize Outstanding Microbial Ecologists.
In recognition of his achievements in research, Dr. Zhou has received a number of prestigious awards, such as the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the President of the United States (2001), The Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for Biological and Environmental Research in 2014, an R&D 100 Award in 2009 as one of 100 most innovative scientific and technological breakthroughs, and the 2019 ASM Award for Environmental Research for recognizing an outstanding scientist with distinguished research achievements in microbial ecology and environmental microbiology. He is also a Fellow of the Ecological Society of Ecology (ESA), the American Academy of Microbiology (ASM), International Water Association (IWA), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).