Dr. Li Deng
Scientist/ Emmy Noether group leader

Phone: 3187-2563
Building/Room: 25/ 009


Head of the Emmy Noether group Viral Ecology

Research Interest

Viral ecology in the groundwater ecosystem, and human lung

Curriculum Vitae

  • 09/2016-present: Emmy Noether Group Leader. Institute of Virology, Institute of Groundwater Ecology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany. 
    Topic: Viral ecology in human health and environment
  • 09/2015-09/2016: Emmy Noether Research Group Leader, Institute of Groundwater Ecology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany.
    Topic: Viral ecology
  • 07/2015-09/2016: Maternity leave
  • 12/2011-08/2015: Senior postdoc at the Institute of Groundwater Ecology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany. Topic: Viral ecology in the groundwater system, and human lung. Supervisor: Dr. Christian Griebler
  • 4/2012-6/2013: maternity leave
  • 10/2008-10/2011: Postdoc at the Department of Ecology and Evolutional Biology, University of Arizona, USA.
    Topic: Environmental Virology, virus-host interactions and viral (meta)genomics.
    Supervisor: Professor Matthew Sullivan
  • 10/2012-8/2011: Visiting Scientist at the Institute of Limnology, University of Innsbruck, Austria.
    Topic: Global warming threatens biodiversity in ultra sensitive (alpine) lakes. 
    Host: Professor Rainer Kurmayer
  • 10/2004-10/2008: Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Bristol, U.K.
    Thesis: Evidence for cyanophage active against bloom-forming freshwater cyanobacteria.
    Supervisor: Professor Paul Hayes
  • 10/2003-10/2004: M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences, University of Nottingham, U.K.
    Thesis: The effects of DOC and inorganic nutrients on the viral application decision.
    Supervisor: Professor Johanna Layburn-Parry
  • 8/1998-1/2003: B.Sc. in Biological Sciences and B.Eng. in Environmental Engineering at the Tsinghua University, China.


Ten Most Important Publications (from most recent)

Kurmayer R., Deng L., Entfellner E. (2016). Role of toxic and bioactive secondary metabolites in colonization and bloom formation by filamentous cyanobacteria Planktothrix. Harmful Algae 54, 69-86.

Chen, Q., Christiansen, G., Deng, L., Kurmayer, R. (2016). Emergence of nontoxic mutants as revealed by single filament analysis in bloom-forming cyanobacteria of the genus Planktothrix. BMC Microbiology, 16(1), 1-12. doi: 10.1186/s12866-016-0639-1

Kurmayer R, Blom JF*, Deng L*, Pernthaler J. (2015) Phylogeny, ecological adaptation and geographic distance determine toxic or bioactive oligopeptid composition in bloom-forming cyanobacteria, ISME 9, 909-921.

Deng L*, Ignacio-Espinoza JS*, Gregory A, Poulos PT, Weitz JS, Hugenholtz P, Sullivan MB. (2014) Viral-tagged metagenomics reveals environmental cyanophage populations are discretely clustered, Nature 513, 242-245.

(News: Dyeing to Learn More About Marine Viruses; Tiniest Catch: UA Scientists' Fishing Expedition Reveals Viral Diversity in the Sea:; and in German:

Deng L*, Krauss S*, Feichtmayer J, Hofmann R, Arndt H and Griebler C. (2014) Grazing of heterotrophic flagellates on viruses is driven by feeding behaviour. Environmental Microbiology Reports 6, 325-330.

Hurwitz B, Deng L, Poulos BP, Sullivan MB. (2013) Evaluation of methods to concentrate and purify ocean virus communities through comparative, replicated metagenomics. Environmental Microbiology 15, 1428-1440.

Deng L, Gregory A, Yilmaz S, Poulos B, Hugenholtz P, Sullivan MB. (2012)  Contrasting life strategies of viruses that infect photo- and hetero- trophic bacteria revealed by viral-tagging. mBio 3, e00373-12. doi:10.1128/mBio.00373-12. (Recommended by Faculty 1000, 2013)

Duhaime MB, Deng L, Poulos BT, Sullivan MB. (2012) Towards quantitative metagenomics of wild viruses and other ultra-low concentration DNA samples: a rigorous assessment and optimization of the linker amplification method. Environmental Microbiology 14, 2526-37. 

John SG, Mendez CB, Deng L, Poulos B, Kauffman AK, Kern SE, Brum J, Polz MF, Boyle EA, Sullivan MB. (2011)  A simple and efficient method for concentration of ocean viruses by chemical flocculation. Environmental Microbiology Reports 3, 195-202.

*authors contributed equally 

International Conference Talks

  • 2014    Assessing the diversity of groundwater viral community through metagenomics, The 9th international symposium on subsurface microbiology (ISSM), USA
  • 2011    Phage diversity and its impact on microbial evolution (invited Keynote speak), American Society for Microbiology (ASM) General Meeting, USA
  • 2011    Viral tagging: missing pieces in the study of phage-host interactions, Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) congress of European Microbiologists Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2011    Population genomics of phages infecting Synechocchocus (cyanobacteria), 8th European Workshop on Molecular Biology of Cyanobacteria, Finland
  • 2008    Evidence for cyanophage active against bloom-forming toxic freshwater cyanobacteria, British Phycological Society (BPS) annual meeting, UK
  • 2008    Cyanophage active against bloom-forming freshwater cyanobacteria, Society for General Microbiology (SGM) annual meeting, UK

Invited Talks

  • 2015    Towards the lung virome:  recasting the role of viruses for human health and diseases, Comprehensive Pneumology Center, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany
  • 2014    Perring into an unknown viral world, Department of Microbiology, Ludwig-Maximilian-University, Germany
  • 2014    Virus-host interactions, recasting the role of viruses on the microbial stage, Institute of limnology, Innsbruck University, Austria
  • 2014    Missing pieces in the virus-host interactions, Institute of Virology, Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • 2010    Virus-host interaction in freshwater, Institute of limnology, Austrian Academy of Science, Austria
  • 2009    Introduce high-throughput viral tagging approach for interpreting viral-host interactions, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), USA