Leo1Xiaoteng Lu


Present position:


Research area:

Plankton ecology


+43 512507 50299

Research focus

  • My current PhD thesis focuses on Functional Ecology and Biodiversity of Planktonic Ciliates (supervised by Prof. Thomas Weisse). Planktonic ciliates display an enormous species diversity (SDiv) and functional diversity (FDiv) and are key elements of pelagic food webs. In aquatic ecology, relatively little use has been made of the specific advantages that the fast-growing ciliates offer, in particular for experimental work on functional ecology. My PhD work aims to link ciliate FDiv to major ecological drivers (i.e., bottom-up via food and temperature, top-down via predation and competition) and to evaluate the significance of individual functional traits (FTs) at the ecosystem level.

  • During my Master’s study, I focused on taxonomy, morphogenesis and phylogeny of marine hypotrichous ciliates. Supervised by Prof. Xiaozhong HU (OUC) and Prof. Chen Shao (Xi'an Jiaotong University), my master thesis was titled ‘Genera Revision of the Family Oxytrichidae and Taxonomy and Phylogeny of Four Hypotrichous Ciliates’. In the 2½ years as a master student in the Laboratory of Protozoology, Ocean University of China, I have made a systematical revision on all typical 18 frontal-ventral-transverse-cirri of the Oxytrichidae genera l., based on their morphology, infraciliature and dorsal morphogenetic patterns. Apart from that, the morphology, morphogenesis and molecular phylogeny of 4 hypotrichs collected from Qingdao coast, tributary of Yangtze River and saline-alkali soil of North China have been investigated, including 4 genera and 4 new species. This work has resulted in 4 papers with me as first author published in international protozoological journals (SCI, see publications). The taxonomic and phylogenetic expertise gained during my master’s study provides a solid basis for my ecological PhD work on freshwater ciliates.


  • Lu X., Gao Y., Weisse, T. (2021). Functional ecology of two contrasting freshwater ciliated protists in relation to temperature. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 68, e12823, https://doi.org/10.1111/jeu.12823.

  • Lu X., Wang Y., Al-Farraj S.A., El-Serehy H., Huang J., Shao C. (2020). The insights into the systematic relationship of Gastrostyla-affinitive genera, with report on a new saline soil ciliate genus and new species (Protozoa, Ciliophora). BMC Evol Biol 20:92 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-020-01659-8
  • Lu X., Huang J., Shao C., Berger H. (2018). Morphology, cell-division, and phylogeny of Schmidingerothrix elongata spec. nov. (Ciliophora, Hypotricha), and brief guide to hypotrichs with Gonostomum-like oral apparatus. Eur. J. Protistol. 62, 24-42. doi.10.1016/j.ejop.2017.11.001

  •  Lu, X., Huang, J., Shao, C., Al-Farraj, S. A., Gao, S. (2017). Morphology and morphogenesis of a novel saline soil hypotrichous ciliate, Gonostomum sinicum nov. spec.(Ciliophora, Hypotrichia, Gonostomatidae), including a report on the small subunit rDNA sequence. J. Eukaryot. Microbiol. 64, 632-646. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeu.12398

  •  Chen, X., Lu, X., Luo, X., Jiang, J., Shao, C., Al-Rasheid, K. A., Song, W., (2017). The diverse morphogenetic patterns in spirotrichs and philasterids: researches based on five-year-projects supported by IRCN-BC and NSFC. Eur. J. Protistol. 61, 439-452. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejop.2017.05.003

  • Dong, J., Lu, X., Shao, C., Huang, J. & Al-Rasheid, K. A. (2016). Morphology, morphogenesis and molecular phylogeny of a novel saline soil ciliate, Lamtostyla salina n. sp. (Ciliophora, Hypotricha). Eur. J. Protistol. 56:219-231. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejop.2016.09.005
  • Fan, Y., Lu, X., Huang, J., Hu, X., Warren, A. (2016). Redescription of two little-known urostyloid ciliates, Anteholosticha randani (Grolière, 1975) and A. antecirrata (Ciliophora, Urostylida). Eur. J. Protistol. 53, 96-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejop.2016.01.001
  • Shao, C., Lu, X., Ma, H. (2015). A general overview of the typical 18 frontal-ventral-transverse cirri Oxytrichidae sl. genera (Ciliophora, Hypotrichia). J. Ocean Univ. China 14, 522-532. DOI 10.1007/s11802-015-2482-7
  • Lu, X., Shao, C., Yu, Y., Warren, A., Huang, J. (2015). Reconsideration of the 'well-known' hypotrichous ciliate Pleurotricha curdsi (Shi et al., 2002) Gupta et al., 2003 (Ciliophora, Sporadotrichida), with notes on its morphology, morphogenesis and molecular phylogeny. Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 65, 3216-3225. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.000377
  • Lu, X., Gao, F., Shao, C., Hu, X., Warren, A. (2014). Morphology, morphogenesis and molecular phylogeny of a new marine ciliate, Trichototaxis marina n. sp. (Ciliophora, Urostylida). Eur. J. Protistol. 50, 524-537. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejop.2014.08.002
  • Conference presentations

    • Poster Lu, X., Bergkemper, V. & Weisse, T. (2017): ‘Live analysis of ciliate abundance and diversity with FlowCAM’, 15th International Congress of Protistology, Prague, Czech Republic, 30.07.-04.08.2017

    • Poster Lu, X. & Weisse, T. (2018): ‘Interactive effect of temperature and food on functional ecology of the peritrich ciliate Pelagovorticella natans’, 37th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Protozoology (DGP) in Cologne, Germany, 27.02.-02.03.2018.


  • Aktion Daniel Swarovski KG 2018 „Populationsdynamik der Ciliaten und ihre Rolle im Nahrungsnetz am Modell Pelagovorticella natans" Link


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