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Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr. Steven Xu obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Natural Science from Jinan University, and PhD from City University of Hong Kong in 2002, 2005, and 2010 respectively. He started his academic career in the tertiary education sector at this university in 2010. He served as the Programme Leader of Applied Science and Environmental Studies and is currently serving as the Head of the Department of Applied Science. He received the President’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2014.


Research interests

  • Marine and freshwater pollution
  • Aquatic physiology
  • Environmental toxicology
  • Microalgal ecophysiology
  • Mangrove ecology


BSc [Jinan University], MSc [Jinan University], PhD [CityU]



Research Grants

  • 09/2023, Oxidative activity of mangrove leaf phenolics and their inhibition on growth and physiology of harmful algal species, and the underlying molecular mechanism. RGC FDS, HKD 1,028,200, PI.
  • 04/2023, Facilities for Aquaculture Research in Metropolitan Aqua (FARM Aqua): for research and development of aquaculture in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), HKMU Research Impact Fund, HKD HKD 997,920. PI.
  • 02/2022, Interdisciplinary Research Development on Smart City, RGC, HKD 5,326,800. Co-I.
  • 01/2022, Set-up of the Metropolitan Algal Repository and Supply (MARS): for conservation, research and commercial development in coastal environment of Greater Bay Area (GBA), HKMU, HKD 999,948. Co-I.
  • 12/2021, Growth inhibition mechanism of mangrove leaf on harmful algal species in coastal water based on ecotoxicological approaches, HKMU, HKD 150,000. PI.
  • 09/2021, Strengthen the capability and capacity for cutting-edge coastal wetland research, HKMU, HKD 3,110,205. Co-I.
  • 09/2021, Monitoring of the Impact of the Upgrade Project of the Yuen Long Wastewater Treatment Works on the Antibiotics Concentration and the Microbial Community in the Shan Pui River and the Mai Po Nature Reserve (Phase 1 – Baseline Establishment), Environment and Conservation Fund, HKD 450,000. PI.
  • 12/2020, Allelopathic Effect of Mangrove Plants on Harmful Algal Bloom Causative Microalgae, OUHK, HKD 150,000. PI.
  • 01/2020, University Research Facilities for Basic and Applied Coastal Wetland Research in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, RGC, HKD 9,302,438. Team member.
  • 01/2020, Investigation on the biodiversity, abundance and association of epiphytic microalgae on pneumatophores of mangrove and their molecular responses to different environmental variation, OUHK, HKD 150,000. Co-I.
  • 02/2019, Establishment of Algal Culture Collection Library from Mangrove Wetland Ecosystems in China: Relationships between Microalgal Biodiversity and Water Quality, OUHK, HKD 546,180, Co-I.
  • 01/2019, Seasonal Succession of Microalgae and Their Relationship with Environmental Factors in the Sources of Hong Kong Drinking Water, RGC, HKD 882,150, PI.
  • 01/2019, Molecular Responses of Fish Gills Experimentally Exposed to Ichthyotoxic Dinoflagellate Karenia mikimotoi, RGC, HKD 699,523. Co-I.
  • 01/2019, Development of NGS platform for Molecular Phylogenetics Analysis of Microbial Population in the Futian National Nature Reserve, OUHK, HKD 210,600. Co-I.
  • 06/2013, Assessing the Biofuel Production Potential of Dinoflagellates Isolated from Hong Kong Coastal Waters, OUHK, HKD 499,208. PI.
  • 06/2011, Isolation and Cultivation of Microalgae from Local Coastal Waters for Both Wastewater Treatment and Biofuel Production, OUHK, HKD 398,534.4. Co-PI.


  • Member, Hong Kong Proteomic Society
  • Member, Association on Harmful Algal Blooms in the South China Sea

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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