Dr. Fengjie LIU


GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research

Düsternbrooker Weg 20
24105 Kiel, Germany

E-mail: fliu@geomar.de

Research Interests

Research focuses on the impacts of human activities (e.g., environmental pollution, climate change) on ecosystem functioning and environmental health, and particularly interested in the development and application of novel technologies and an interdisciplinary approach including Physics, Chemistry and Biology to solve questions in these areas.

Current grants focus on toxicity, limitation and nutrition of metals in aquatic microorganisms such as phytoplankton.

Opportunities at both graduate and post-doc levels: If you would like to discuss a potential application to work with me, please write to me by email. In addition to Germany and the UK (where I am working), many countries have schemes to support these.  


Research Career

2021—now   GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany (50%); University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom (50%).

2018—2020  Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom

2014—2017  Institut national de la Recherche scientifique - Eau Terre Environnement, Québec, Canada

2009—2013  Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China

Membership in Professional Societies

Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO)

Society of Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology (SETAC)

Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE)


Liu F*, Tan QG, Dominik W, Crémazy A, Fortin C, Campbell PGC. 2020. Unravelling metal speciation in the microenvironment surrounding phytoplankton cells to improve predictions of metal bioavailability. Environmental Science & Technology, 54(13):8177–8185.

Zhou L*, Liu F, Liu Q, Fortin C, Tan Y*, Huang L, Campbell PGC. 2021. Aluminum increases net carbon fixation by marine diatoms and decreases their decomposition: Evidence for the Iron–Aluminum Hypothesis. Limnology & Oceanography, DOI: 10.1002/lno.11784

Liu F*, Tan QG, Fortin C, Campbell PGC. 2019. Why does cysteine enhance metal uptake by phytoplankton in seawater but not in fresh water? Environmental Science & Technology, 53(11):6511-6519.

Zhang Y*, Takahashi Y, Hong SP, Liu F, Bednarska J, Goff PS, Novak P, Shevchuk A, Gopal S, Barozzi I, Magnani L, Sakai H, Suguru Y, Fujii T, Erofeev A, Gorelkin P, Majouga A, Weiss DJ, Edwards C, Ivanov AP, Klenerman D, Sviderskaya EV, Edel JB, Korchev Y*. 2019. High-resolution label-free 3D mapping of extracellular pH of single living cells. Nature Communications, 10(1):1-9.

Kirby ME*, Bullen JC, Hanif MD, Heiba HF, Liu F, Northover GHR, Resongles E, Weiss DJ. 2019. Determining the effect of pH on iron oxidation kinetics in aquatic environments: Exploring a fundamental chemical reaction to grasp the significant ecosystem implications of iron bioavailability. Journal of Chemical Education, 97(1):215–220.

Kim Tiam S*, Lavoie I, Liu F, Hamilton PB, Fortin C. 2019. Diatom deformities and tolerance to cadmium contamination in four species. Environments, 6:102. (Featured paper)

Liu F, Fortin C, Campbell PGC*. 2018. Chemical conditions in the boundary layer surrounding phytoplankton cells modify cadmium bioavailability. Environmental Science & Technology, 52(14): 7988-7995.

Liu F, Fortin C, Campbell PGC*. 2017. Can freshwater phytoplankton access cadmium bound to low-molecular-weight thiols? Limnology & Oceanography, 62:2604-2615.

Sánchez-Marín P*, Liu F, Chen Z, Fortin C, Campbell PGC. 2018. Microalgal-driven pH changes in the boundary layer lead to apparent increases in Pb internalization by a unicellular alga in the presence of citrate. Limnology & Oceanography. 63:1328-1339.

Liu Q, Zhou L, Liu F, Tan Y, Huang L, Fortin C, Campbell PGC*. 2018. Uptake and subcellular distribution of aluminum in a marine diatom. Ecotoxicology & Environmental Safety. 169:85-92.

Aharchaou I, Rosabal M, Liu F, Battaglia E, Vignati DAL, Fortin C*. 2017. Bioaccumulation and subcellular partitioning of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in the freshwater green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Aquatic Toxicology, 182:49-57.

Liu F, Wang WX*, 2015. Linking trace element variations with macronutrients and major cations in marine mussels Mytilus edulis and Perna viridis. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 34:2041-2050.

Peng X, Liu F, Wang WX*. 2016. Organ-specific accumulation, transportation and elimination of methylmercury and inorganic mercury in a low Hg accumulating fish. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 35:2074-2083.

Liu F, Wang WX*, 2014. Differential influences of Cu and Zn chronic exposure on Cd and Hg bioaccumulation in an estuarine oyster. Aquatic Toxicology, 148: 204-210.

Liu F, Wang WX*, 2013. Facilitated bioaccumulation of cadmium and copper in the oyster Crassostrea hongkongensis solely exposed to zinc. Environmental Science & Technology, 47(3): 1670-1677.

Rainbow PS*, Liu F, Wang WX, 2015. Metal accumulation and toxicity: The critical accumulated concentration of metabolically available zinc in an oyster model. Aquatic Toxicology, 162: 102-108.

Liu F, Rainbow PS, Wang WX*, 2013. Inter-site differences of zinc susceptibility of the oyster Crassostrea hongkongensis. Aquatic Toxicology, 132/133: 26-33.

Yu XJ, Pan K, Liu F, Yan Y, Wang WX*, 2013. Spatial variation and subcellular binding of metals in oysters from a large estuary in China. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 70: 274-280.

Liu F, Wang WX*, 2012. Proteome pattern in oysters as a diagnostic tool for metal pollution. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 132/133: 26-33.

Liu F, Wang DZ, Wang WX*, 2012. Cadmium-induced changes in trace element bioaccumulation and proteomics perspective in four marine bivalves. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 31: 1292-1300.

Liu F, Wang WX*, 2011. Metallothionein-like proteins turnover, Cd and Zn biokinetics in the dietary Cd-exposed scallop Chlamys nobilis. Aquatic Toxicology, 105: 361-368.

Liu F, Wang WX*, 2011. Differential roles of metallothionein-like proteins in cadmium uptake and elimination by the scallop Chlamys nobilis. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, 30(3): 738-746.

Liu F, Tang Y, Du R, Yang H, Wu Q, Qiu R*, 2010. Root foraging for zinc and cadmium requirement in the Zn/Cd hyperaccumulator plant Sedum alfredii. Plant & Soil, 327(1-2):365-375.

Peng X, Liu F, Wang WX, Ye Z*. 2011. Reducing total mercury and methylmercury accumulation in rice grains through water management and deliberate selection of rice cultivars. Environmental Pollution, 162: 202-208.

Peng X, Wang M, Liu F, Ye Z*. 2010. Arsenic contamination, uptake and metabolism in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Acta Ecologica Sinica, 30(17):4782-4791.

Qiu R*, Liu F, Wan Y, Tang Y, Hu P, Brewer EP, Li Y. 2008. Phytoremediation on nickel-contaminated soils by hyperaccumulators Alyssum corsicum and Alyssum murale. China Environmental Science. 28(11):1026-1031.

Tang YT, Guan LJ, Qiu RL*, Ying RR, Liu F, Hu PJ. 2010. Antioxidative defense to cadmium in hyperaccumulator Picris divaricata V. Acta Ecol Sin. 30(2):324-332.

Hu P, Qiu R*, Senthikumar P, Jiang D, Chen Z, Tang Y, Liu F. 2009. Tolerance, accumulation and distribution of Zn and Cd in hyperaccumulator Potentilla griffithii. Environmental & Experimental Botany, 66(2):317-325.

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