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Research Assistant Professor

Kai Xiao

  • Brief Biography
  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Published Works

Dr. Kai XIAO graduated from China University of Geosciences (Beijing) in 2018 with a doctor of Philosophy. After that, he worked in Southern University of Science and Technology as a postdoctoral researcher. Now he is a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Science & Engineering in Southern University of Science and Technology. His main research fields include the subsurface hydrological process and its environment effects in coastal wetland. To date, as the first or corresponding author, he has published ten high-quality papers in Water Resources Research, Journal of Hydrology, Advance in Water Resources, Journal of Geophysical Research, Science of the Total Environment and other internationally renowned academic journals. He won the Visiting Scientist of the Belle W. Baruch Institute in 2018. He has led several research projects including the national natural science fund, postdoctoral science fund (first class) and visiting scientific fund in other research institutions.


Professional Experience
2020.6-Present: Research Assistant Professor, Southern University of Science and Technology,
2018.6-2020.5: Postdoctoral researcher, Southern University of Science and Technology
2018.7-2018.9: Visiting scholar, National Estuarine Research Reserve System Belle W. Baruch Institute, the USA.
2017.9-2018.3: Research Assistant, University of South Carolina, the USA.


1. China University of Geosciences-Beijing, Ph.D. 2015 to 2018, Hydrogeology
2. University of South Carolina, visiting Ph.D student, 2017-2018, Hydrogeology
3. China University of Geosciences-Beijing, M.S. 2012 to 2015, Environmental engineering
4. Henan Polytechnic University, B.A. 2008 to 2012, Hydrology


Synergistic Activities 
1. Reviewer for Water Resources Research; Journal of Hydrology; Hydrological Processes; Environmental Pollution; Science of the Total Environment; Estuaries and Coasts; Hydrogeology Journal; Journal of Coastal research; Geochemistry; Environmental Science and Pollution Research
2. Judge for the poster competition of Undergraduate Research in Hydrogeology Division in Geological Society of America, Seattle, USA, 2017.
3. Member of EGU, GSA and EAG


Honors or Awards
1. 2020 President’s Outstanding Postdoctoral Fellowship, Southern University of Science and Technology
2. 2018 Visiting Scientist Award, National Estuarine Research Reserve System Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences, SC, the USA.
3. 2018 First prize for poster exhibition in the international conference of sediment dynamics of estuaries and muddy coasts in Qingdao, China.
4. 2018 Outstanding doctoral thesis Award in China University of Geosciences-Beijing.
5. 2016 Best Poster Award, at the 24th Salt Water Intrusion Meeting and the 4th Asia-Pacific Coastal Aquifer Management Meeting (SWIM-APCAMM) in Cairns, Queensland, Australia in July 2016



Research Interests
1. Tidally-driven groundwater-surface water interactions;
2. Carbon/nitrogen source-sink process in coastal wetlands;
3. Ecologically monitoring projects in coastal wetlands;
4. Hydrologic processes and environmental effects of subterranean estuary/coastal bay;
5. Evaluation of coastal water quality;

Published Works
(1)Peer-reviewed journal papers

1. Xiao, K.*, Wilson, A.M., Li, H., Santos, I., Tamborski, J., Smith, E., Lang, S. Q., Zheng, C.M., Luo, X., Lu, M.Q., Correa, R.E., 2020. Large CO2 release and tidal flushing in salt marsh crab burrows reduce the potential for blue carbon sequestration. Limnology and Oceanography.
2. Feng, X.B., Xiao, K.*, Li, H.L., 2020. Tidal groundwater flow and its potential effect on the hydrochemical characteristics in a mud-sand layered aquifer in Daya Bay, China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 27:24438–24451. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-08809-x.
3. Xiao, K., Li, H.*, Xia, Y.*, Yang, J.Z., Wilson, A.M., Michael, H.A., Geng, X.L., Smith, E., Boufadel, M.C., Yuan, P., Wang, X.J., 2019. Effects of tidally-varying salinity on groundwater flow and salt transport: insights from modelling an idealized estuarine aquifer. Water Resources Research, 55, 9656-9672. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018WR024671.
4. Xiao, K., Wilson, A.M.*, Li, H., Ryan, C., 2019. Crab burrows as preferential flow conduits for groundwater flow and transport in salt marshes: a modeling study. Advances in Water Resources, 132, 103408. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2019.103408.
5. Xiao, K, Li, G., Li, H.*, Wang, X, Zhang, Y., Hu, W., Zhang, C., 2019. Combining hydrological investigations and radium isotopes to understand the environmental effect of groundwater discharge to a typical urbanized estuary in China. Science of the Total Environment, 695, 133872. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133872.
6. Xiao, K., Li, H.*, Shananan, M., Zhang, X., Wang, X., Zhang, Y., Zhang, X., Liu, H., 2019. Coastal water quality assessment and groundwater transport in a subtropical mangrove swamp in Daya Bay, China. Science of the Total Environment, 646, 1419-1432. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.394.
7. Xiao, K., Li, H.*, Song, D., Chen, Y., Wilson, A.M., Shananan, M., Li, G., and Huang, Y., 2018. Field measurement for investigating the dynamics of tidal prism during a spring-neap tidal cycle in Jiaozhou Bay. Journal of Coastal Research. https://doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-17-00121.1.
8. Xiao, K., Wu, J., Li, H.*, Hong, Y.*, Wilson, A.M., Jiao, J.J., and Shananan, M., 2018. Nitrogen fate in a subtropical mangrove swamp: Potential association with seawater-groundwater exchange. Science of the Total Environment, 635C, 586-597. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.143.
9. Zhang, Y., Li, H.*, Xiao, K.*, Wang, X., Lu, X., Zhang, M., An, A., Qu, W., Wan, L., Zheng, C., Wang, X. and Jiang, X., 2017. Improving Estimation of Submarine Groundwater Discharge Using Radium and Radon Tracers: Application in Jiaozhou Bay, China. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122, 8263-8277. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JC013237.
10. Xiao, K., Li, H.*, Wilson, A.M.*, Xia, Y., Wan, L., Zheng, C., Ma, Q., Wang, C., Wang, X. and Jiang, X., 2017. Tidal groundwater flow and its ecological effects in a brackish marsh at the mouth of a large sub-tropical river. Journal of Hydrology. 555, 198-212. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.10.025.
11. Lu, M.Q., Luo, X., Jiao, J.J., Li, H.L., Wang, X.J., Gao, J.Y., Zhang, X.L., Xiao, K., 2019. Nutrients and heavy metals mediate the distribution of microbial community in the marine sediments of the Bohai Sea, China. Environmental Pollution. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113069.
12. Wang, Q., Li, H.L., Zhang, Y., Wang, X.J., Zhang, C., Xiao, K., Qu, W.J., 2019. Evaluations of submarine groundwater discharge and associated heavy metal fluxes in Bohai Bay, China. Science of the Total Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133873.
13. Zhang, Y., Li, H.L., Wang, X.J., Wang, C.Y., Xiao, K., and Qu, W.J., 2018. Submarine groundwater discharge and chemical behavior of tracers in Laizhou Bay, China. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 189, 182-190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvrad.2018.04.002.
14. Wang, X., Li, H., Zheng, C., Yang, J., Zhang, Y., Zhang, M., Qi, Z., Xiao, K., Zhang, X., 2018. Submarine groundwater discharge as an important nutrient source influencing nutrient structure in coastal water of Daya Bay, China. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 225, 52-65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2018.01.029.
15. Zhang, X., Hu, B., Wang, P., Chen, J., Yang, L., Xiao, K., Zhang, X., 2018. Hydrogeochemical Evolution and Heavy Metal Contamination in Groundwater of a Reclaimed Land on Zhoushan Island. Water, 10(3), 316. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030316.
16. Zhang, Y., Li, H.L., Wang, X.J., Zheng, C.M., Wang, C.Y., Xiao, K., Wan, L., Wang, X.S. and Jiang, X.W., 2016. Estimation of submarine groundwater discharge and associated nutrient fluxes in eastern Laizhou Bay, China using 222Rn. Journal of Hydrology, 533, 103-113, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2015.11.027.
17. Wang, X., Li, H., Yang, J., Zheng, C., Zhang, Y., An, A., Zhang, M., Xiao, K., 2017. Nutrient inputs through submarine groundwater discharge in an embayment: a radon investigation in Daya Bay, China, Journal of Hydrology, 551, 784-792. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.02.036.
18. Li, G., Li, H., Wang, X., Qu, W., Zhang, Y., Xiao, K., Luo, M. and Zheng, C., 2018. Groundwater-surface water exchanges and associated nutrient fluxes in Dan’ao Estuary, Daya Bay, China. Continental Shelf Research. 166, 83-91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2018.06.014.
19. Wang, X.J., Fu, R.L., Li, H.L., Zhang, Y., Lu, M.Q., Xiao, K., Zhang, C.M., Xiong, Y., 2020. Heavy metal contamination in surface sediments: A comprehensive, large-scale evaluation for the Bohai Sea. Environmental Pollution. 260, 113986. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.113986.
20. Zhang, Y., Li, H.L., Guo, H.M., Wang, X.J., Zhang, M., Xiao, K., 2020. Improvement of evaluation of water age and submarine groundwater discharge: a case study in Daya Bay, China. Journal of Hydrology, 124775,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2020.124775. 
21. Luo, M.H., Li, H.L., Xiao, K., Huang, H., 2020. Purification evaluation of inorganic Nitrogen and phosphorus in different wetlands in Jiaozhou Bay and Daya Bay. Marine environmental Science. doi:10.12111/j.mes.20190213.
(2)Selected Conference Presentations
1. Xiao, K., Li, H.L., 2020. Impacts of crab burrow on exchange of inorganic and organic carbon across the interface of water column and sediments in salt marshes. EGU, Austria, Vienna. (Oral presentation)
2. Xiao, K., Li, G., Li, H.L., Wang, X.J., Zhang, Y., 2019. Environmental Implication of Nutrient Fluxes Associated with Submarine Groundwater Discharge to an Urbanized River in Daya Bay, China. Goldschmidt Abstracts, Barcelona, Spain. (Poster presentation)
3. Xiao, K., Wu, J.P., Li, H.L., Hong, Y.G., 2017. Seawater-groundwater exchange: potential association with nitrogen cycling processes in a mangrove swamp. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Seattle, America. https://doi.org/10.1130/abs/2017AM-298175. (Poster presentation)
4. Xiao, K. and Li, H.L., 2017. Hydrochemistry characteristics of intertidal porewater: a case study in a mangrove swamp in Daya Bay, China. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. https://doi.org/10.1130/abs/2017AM-296543. (Poster presentation)
5. Xiao, K, and Li, H.L., 2016. A preliminary study on influence of seawater-groundwater exchange on nutrient dynamics in a tidal mangrove swamp in Daya bay, China, The 24th Salt Water Intrusion Meeting and the 4th Asia-Pacific Coastal Aquifer Management Meeting, P56, Cairns, Queensland, Australia, 4th to 8th July, 2016. (Poster presentation)