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Institute for Environmental Genomics

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Jizhong Zhou, Director, Institute for Environmental Genomics

Professor, Dept. Microbiology and Plant Biology

phone: 405.325.6073
Research Summary (pdf)

Brief Introduction (pdf)

Brief Introduction, bullets (pdf)

One page description (pdf)

Biography (pdf)

Detailed CV (pdf)
Publication Highlights
Five significant publications (pdf)
Fifteen significant publications (pdf)
Selected publications (pdf)
1993, Ph.D. Molecular Biology, Washington State University
1984, M.S. Mathematical Ecology, Hunan Agricultural University, China
1981, B.S. Plant Pathology and Entomology
 Journal Editor
2017-Present, Senior Editor, ISME Journal 
2019-Present, Associate Editor for Microbiome 
2014-2020, Section Editor, Microbial Ecology and Evolution, BMC Microbiology
2009-2019, Senior Editor, mBio®, ASM flagship journal
2003-2013, Editor, Applied and Environmental Microbiology

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).

Selected Publications  
A. Climate Change Biology  
Yuan et al. 2021. Climate Warming Enhances Microbial Network Complexity and Stability. Nature Climate Change, in press  
Gao et al. 2021. Stimulation of soil respiration by elevated CO2 is enhanced under nitrogen limitation in a decade-long grassland study, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.,  
Guo et al. 2020. Gene-informed decomposition model predicts lower soil carbon loss due to persistent microbial adaptation to warming. Nature Communications. 11, 4897. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-18706-z.  
Guo et al. 2019. Climate warming accelerates temporal scaling of grassland soil microbial biodiversity. Nature Ecol & Evol., 3, 612–61.  
Guo et al. 2018. Climate Warming Leads to Divergent Succession of Grassland Microbial Communities. Nature Climate Change. 8:813-818.  
Xue et al. 2016. Tundra soil carbon is vulnerable to rapid microbial decomposition under climate warming. Nature Climate Change, 6: 595-600 (top 1% highly cited)  
Zhou et al. 2012. Microbial Mediation of Carbon Cycle Feedbacks to Climate Warming. Nature Climate Change, 2:106-110. (top 1% highly cited)  
Deyshet al. 1998. Isolation of acidophilic methane-oxidizing bacteria from northern peat wetlands. Science, 282: 281-284.  
B. Environmental remediation  
Wu, et al. 2019. Global diversity and biogeography of bacterial communities in wastewater treatment plants. Nature Microbiology, 4:1183–1195. (top 1% highly cited)  
Zhou et al. 2014. Stochasticity, Succession and Environmental Perturbations in a Fluidic Ecosystem. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 111: E836-E845. (top 1% highly cited)  
Hazen et al. 2010. Deep-sea oil plume enriches Indigenous oil-degrading bacteria. Science, 330: 204-208. (top 1% highly cited).  
Xu et al. 2010. Responses of microbial community functional structures to pilot-scale uranium in situ bioremediation. ISME J  4:1060-1070.  
Liu et al. 2003. Transcriptome dynamics of Deinococcus radiodurans recovering from ionizing radiation. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci, 100: 4191-4196.  
Liu et al. 1997. Thermophilic Fe(III)-reducing bacteria from the deep subsurface: The evolutionary implications. Science 277: 1106-1109.  
C. Theoretical Ecology   
Buzzard et al. 2019. Continental scale structuring of forest and soil diversity via functional traits. Nature Ecol. & Evol., 3, 1298–1308  
Zhou and Ning. 2017. Stochastic Community Assembly: Does It Matter in Microbial Ecology? Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, 81:e00002-17 (top 1% highly cited)  
Zhou et al.  2016. Temperature mediates continental-scale diversity of microbes in forest soils. Nature Communication, 7:12083, doi:10.1038/ncomms12083 (top 1% highly cited)  
Zhou et al. 2013. Stochastic assembly leads to alternative communities with distinct functions. mBio, 4: e00584-12  
Zhou et al. 2008. Spatial Scaling of Functional Gene Diversity across Various Microbial Taxa. Proc Nat. Acad. Sci. 105: 7768-7773.  
D. Experimental genomic techlogies   
Zhou et al. 2015. High-Throughput Metagenomic Technologies for Complex Microbial Community Analysis: Open and Closed Formats. mBio 6:e02288-14 (top 1% highly cited).  
Zhou et al. 2011. Reproducibility and Quantitation of Amplicon Sequencing-Based Detection. ISME J, 5:1303-1313 (top 1% highly cited).  
Zhou et al. 2013. Random Sampling Process Leads to Overestimation of β-Diversity of Microbial Communities. mBio 4: e00324-13.  
He et al. 2007. GeoChip: A comprehensive microarray for investigating biogeochemical, ecological, and environmental processes. ISME J, 1: 67-77 (Among the 5 top-cited papers for the first 10 years of ISME J).   
Zhou et al. 1996. DNA recovery from soils of diverse composition. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 62: 316-322 (>3,500 citations) (Among the 20 most cited papers in AEM history, since 2008)  
E. Computational genomic technologies   
Ning et al. 2020. A quantitative framework reveals ecological drivers of grassland soil microbial community assembly in response to warming. Nature Communication, 11:4717.  
Ning et al. 2019. A General Framework for Quantitatively Assessing Ecological Stochasticity. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 116: 16893-16898.  
Deng et al. 2016. Network succession reveals the importance of competition in response to emulsified vegetable oil amendment for uranium bioremediation. Environ. Microbiol., 18: 205-218; (top 1% highly cited).  
Deng, Y., Y. Jiang, Y. Yang, Z. He, F. Luo, and J.-Z. Zhou. 2012. Molecular Ecological Network Analyses. BMC Bioinformatics, 13:113 (top 1% highly cited)  
Zhou J., Deng Y., Luo F., He Z., Yang Y. 2011. Phylogenetic molecular ecological network of soil microbial communities in response to elevated CO2. mBio 2:e00122-11. (top 1% highly cited)  
Zhou et al. 2010. Functional Molecular Ecological Networks. mBio 1:e00169-10  
2020, Fellow, International Water Association 
2019, ASM Award for Environmental Research
2018-2020, Highly Cited Researcher by Web of Science 
2019, World’s most cited researcher (99.8% percentile) across all science & engineering fields
2019, Most highly cited researcher (H-index > 100) according to their Google Scholar Citations
2018, Fellow of the Ecological Society of America
2015, The Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award
2014, George Lynn Cross Research Professor
2009, R&D 100 Award for GeoChip development
2008, Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2007-present, Honorary Director, Chinese Association of Microbial Ecology (CAME)
2005, Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
2001, Presidential Early Career Award
1996, Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Award, DOE