Faculty Profile: Jiang, Sunny

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Faculty Information Lab Information (Packet Type, Course Title, & Department) Location
Jiang, Sunny
Lab Contact:
Sunny Jiang
(949) 824-5527
Department: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Research Description

Research in Dr. Jiang's lab focuses on the following three areas: 1) aquatic/marine microbial ecology, 2) water quality microbiology, 3) epidemiology of exposure to recreational waters. Her group uses molecular method to uncover the genomes and interaction of organisms in the environment. Over the past decade, her team has developed rapid and sensitive methods for detection and quantification of human virus contamination in aquatic samples. Their results have suggested that current coastal water standards do not adequately reflect the viral quality of recreational waters. Working together with environmental engineers, coastal physical oceanographers and remote sensing scientists, they have recently discovered that surf zone water quality is impacted by multiple factors including global climate changes, land use patterns and human activities. Working directly with the City of Newport Beach and Regional Water Quality Control Board, they have investigated the relationship between fecal indicator bacteria and human viruses in Newport Bay. The results showed that the occurrence of these two types of organisms is uncoupled largely due to the differences in the source and survival of each type. Another area of her research addresses human health risk from exposure to coastal waters. Her research group is currently developing web-based survey tools to understand the relationship between human health risk and coastal water quality. Sample projects in her lab include investigation the causes and decline of harmful algal blooms (red tides), detection of pathogens in water, epidemiological surveillance of recreational illnesses.

Requirements to Participate

Students should be prepared to develop independent projects. Students will be expected to participate in lab activities and meetings.

Time Commitment per Week


Faculty Means of Evaluation

Grades will be based on time committed to the project and the quality of research.