The LEAPH Lab is a collegial and collaborative group conducting interdisciplinary research across Environmental Science & Engineering, Microbiology, Food Science & Engineering, and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. We are based in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. The department ranks in the top 10 in undergraduate and graduate education among all U.S. CEE programs. The lab is located at VT’s main campus in Blacksburg, VA. Blacksburg is a peaceful and safe place where you get to enjoy the color of all four seasons and the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Undergraduate students

We very much welcome undergraduate students to do research projects with us. Ideally, students can commit to working in our group for at least one semester. Please email Jingqiu Liao with your CV and a brief description of your interests.

Graduate students

We are seeking motivated graduate students from a variety of backgrounds (e.g., environmental science, environmental engineering, microbiology, ecology, evolutionary biology, bioinformatics, and computer science) to join our group! Students are encouraged to apply to the CEE Department’s graduate program. We also take students from the ID IGEP program, the GBCB program, and the BIOTRANS program. Please be sure to specify Jingqiu Liao as a potential mentor in your personal statement. Prospective students are also encouraged to contact Jingqiu Liao to discuss opportunities. Please include your CV and a brief description of your research interests.


We are always looking for passionate postdocs to join us. If you are interested, please contact Jingqiu Liao to discuss potential opportunities. Please include your CV, a brief description of your research experience and interests, and contact information for three references.

Visiting scholars

We provide opportunities for suitable visiting scholars to work with us. Ideally, scholars will visit for at least six months. If interested, please email Jingqiu Liao for discussions.