XMUM Undergraduate Co-Authors Research Article Featured in Nature


The Research Management Center congratulates Gu Yifan, a fourth-year student from Marine Biotechnology Programme, China-ASEAN College of Marine Sciences, for co-authoring a research article featured in Nature Research Highlights (Volume 589 Issue 7843, 28 January 2021).

Gu Yifan

Titled “Large Plastic Debris Dumps: New Biodiversity Hot Spots Emerging on the Deep-Sea Floor”, the article was first published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters on 5 January 2021. 

With Dr. Song Xikun and Ms. Lyu Mingxin from XMU State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science as the co-first authors, this article is a joint work of researchers from Xiamen University, China Academy of Sciences, Northwest University, Zoologische Staatssammlung München and six other institutions.

(Source: https://www.nature.com)

Gu Yifan was one of the research members involved in the study of the plastic debris that had accumulated deep in a trench in the South China Sea. The analysis of the plastic pieces revealed that nearly 1,200 organisms comprising of 49 species were inhabiting the plastic pieces, suggesting that deep-sea marine plastic debris are functioning as new biodiversity hot spots for a variety of endemic marine organisms, which will potentially boost the marine food chain.

Below is the testimony from Yifan:

“I participated in this research through the ‘XMU at Sea’ project and the Undergraduate Summer Internship Scholarship Program offered by State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL), XMU. I collected samples with Dr. Song Xikun and participated in DNA extraction and PCR under the guidance of two seniors. Since I have been exposed to the all-in-English academic environment at Xiamen University Malaysia, I was also responsible for the language editing of the article. As an undergraduate student, I feel very lucky to participate in such a research project.

During the 1.5 years duration of the project, I have experienced the hardship of research and been impressed by the diligent research attitude of Dr. Song and seniors. The experience also broadened my horizon on scientific research: In the past, I knew only the hazards of plastic, but this project made me realize that it can also be an ‘oasis’ in the sea!”

Gu Yifan will pursue her master’s study at the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University.

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