Luo, Elaine

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Center for Microbial Oceanography Research and Education
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
1950 East West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
Phone: (808) 956-0572
Fax: (808) 956-9225
Website: Google Scholar, Twitter

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D 2020 – Marine Biology, University of Hawaiʻi
  • B.Sc 2014 – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Specialist (eq. to double major), University of Toronto with High Distinction

Research Interests

Viruses are abundant and have strong potential to influence biogeochemical cycling and microbial diversity. In the oceans, viral-like particles are on average an order of magnitude more abundant than other life-forms, and as such, represent a vast reservoir of unexplored diversity. I use short- and long-read metagenomic approaches to explore viral diversity, genome content, population structure, and reproductive strategy across ocean habitats. These approaches have potential to unveil the diversity and dynamics of some of the most abundant yet understudied life-forms on the planet.

Current Research Projects

  • Viral diversity and dynamics in the open ocean
  • Diversity and origins of viruses on sinking particles in the open ocean’s abyss
  • Molecular inventory of DNA in viral particles in the open ocean
  • Diversity and prevalence of parasitic mobile genetic elements in viral particles

* co-first authors

Hackl T, Laurenceau R, Ankenbrand M, Bliem C, Cariani Z, Thomas E, Dooley K, Arellano A, Hogle S, Berube P, Leventhal G, Luo E, et al. In review. Novel integrative elements and genomic plasticity in ocean ecosystems.

Luo E, Eppley J, Romano A, Mende D, DeLong E. 2020. Virioplankton population dynamics and reproductive strategies in the oligotrophic open ocean water column. ISME Journal 14: 1304- 1315

Beaulaurier J,* Luo E*, Eppley J*, Den Uyl P, Dai X, Turner D, Pendelton M, Juul S, Harrington E, DeLong E. 2020. Assembly-free single-molecule sequencing recovers complete virus genomes from natural microbial communities. Genome Research 30(3): 437-446

Coenen A*, Hu S*, Luo E*, Muratore D*, Weitz J. 2020. A primer for microbiome time-series analysis. Frontiers in Genetics 11: 310

McMullen A*, Luo E*, Martinez-Hernandez F, Tominaga K, Ogata H, Yoshida T, DeLong E, Martinez-Garcia M. 2020. Diel cycling of the cosmopolitan abundant Pelagibacter virus 37-F6: one of the most abundant viruses on Earth. Environmental Microbiology Reports 12(2): 214-219

Luo E, Aylward FA, Mende DR, DeLong EF. 2017. Bacteriophage distributions and temporal variability in the ocean’s interior. mBio 8(6): 01903-17

Wheeler J, Luo E, Helfrich K, Anderson E, Starczak V, Mullineaux L. 2017. Light stimulates swimming behavior of larval eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in turbulent flow. Marine Ecology Progress Series 571: 109-120

Dutton EM, Luo E, Cembrowski A, Shore J, Frederickson M. 2016. Three’s a crowd: trade-offs between attracting pollinators and ant bodyguards with nectar rewards in Turnera. The American Naturalist 188(1): 38-51

Luo E, Ogilvie J, Thomson J. 2014. Stimulation of flower nectar replenishment by removal: A survey of eleven animal-pollinated plant species. Journal of Pollination Ecology 12(7): 52-62