Xiaofeng Xu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Biology Department
San Diego State University
Tel: 619-594-2279
E-mail: xxu@sdsu.edu

Xiaofeng Xu is a global change ecologist with a strong quantitative skill for ecological research. His major research interests are investigations of terrestrial biogeochemistry–climate feedback with a data-model integration approach. He is currently focusing on microbial macroecology and applications of ecological and evolutionary theories to understanding microbial contributions to carbon cycle and greenhouse gas flux in an Earth system modelling framework.

Research interest

  • Methane and nitrous oxide fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems
  • Model-data integration for soil microbial functions
  • Biogeochemistry in arid region
  • Land surface modeling in the Earth System Modeling framework


Ph.D.   Forest Biology and Ecology   Dec. 2010        Auburn University                            U.S.A
M.S.    Environmental Sciences         Jun. 2004        Chinese Academy of Sciences         China
B.A.    Biotechnology                            Jun. 2000        Henan Normal University               China

Professional Experience

  • 2016 – Present Assistant Professor                            San Diego State University
  • 2014 – Dec. 2015 Assistant Professor                        University of Texas at El Paso
  • 2013 – May. 2018 Affiliate Assistant Professor        Auburn University
  • 2011 – Aug. 2014. Postdoctoral researcher                Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • 2010 – Aug. 2011. Postdoctoral fellow                        Auburn University
  • 2007 – Dec. 2010. Research assistant                        Auburn University
  • 2004 – Dec. 2006. Research assistant                       Chinese Academy of Sciences

Funded Research Grants

  • 9/2018 – 9/2022. DOE-ORNL. (PI). Data model integration for methane at the S1 bog and CH4 module incorporation into the E3SM.
  • 6/2018 – 11/2019. CSUPERB (PI), An earth system modeling framework for microbial community structure on litter decomposition.
  • 9/2017 – 8/2021. NSF (Co-PI) Methane at zero curtain.
  • 3/2016 – 12/2017. DOE-Oak Ridge National Laboratory (PI), Data-model integration for CH4 cycling in Arctic tundra and a temperature peatland ecosystems.
  • 6/2015-8/2015. University of Texas at El Paso, (PI), The Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives.
  • 10/2014 – 9/2017, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, (Co-PI, PI: M. Mayes), Predicting Climate Feedbacks from Microbial Function in Tropical Ecosystems.

Honors and Awards

  • 2022 —
  • 2020 — SDSU summer flexibility institute
  • 2018 — SDSU Early career faculty fellowship
  • 2017 — The Grants and Research Enterprise Writing (GREW) Fellowship ($3000)
  • 2014 – Ecological Society of America Asian Ecology Section Early Career Award
  • 2012 – Scholar of DISCCRS (Dissertation Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research) ($1300)
  • 2012 – Full funding to attend CESM (Community Earth System Model) Tutorial Workshop ($1000)
  • 2010 – Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad for 2010 ($5000)
  • 2010 – Auburn University Outstanding International Graduate Student
  • 2009 – Auburn University Outstanding Doctoral Graduate Student (Top Ten)
  • 2009 – Drummond Fellowship Award at Auburn University ($2500)

Professional services

Editorial Board

Associate Editor: Global Ecology and Biogeography (2015- )
Associate Editor: Ecosystem Health and Sustainability (2016-)
Review Board: Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (2012- )

Reviewer for papers

Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Australian Journal of Soil Research, Atmospheric Environment, Biogeosciences, Biology and Fertility of Soils, Ecological Engineering, Ecological Informatics, Ecological Modelling, Environmental Management, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Environmental Science and Technology, Geoderma, Geophysical Research Letters, Global Change Biology, Global Change Biology-Bioenergy, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Journal of American Water Resources Association, Journal of Environmental Science, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmosphere, Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeoscience, Journal of Hydrology, Journal of Mountain Science, Mitigation and Adaptation of Strategies for Global Change, Nature Communication, Nature Ecology & Evolution, New Phytologist, PlosOne, PNAS, Science of the Total Environment, Science Advance, Scientific Report, The Scientific World

 Expert Reviewer for Report

  • The 2013 National Climate Assessment Report
  • The 2013 IPCC wetland supplement
  • The Second Order Draft of the Working Group 1 Contribution to The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)

Proposal Review Panel

  • Michigan State University’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (2015)
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
  • NSERC (The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, 2013)
  • NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, 2015)
  • NASA Postdoctoral Program (2016)


see the publication list

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