Qianhui did her undergraduate in chemistry and chemical oceanography at the Ocean University of China and came to the US in 2013 to further study marine science. She got her master's degree in marine science at the University of Georgia, with a project focusing on the influences of growth rate and cellular structures on the molecular stable carbon isotopic composition of planktonic fatty acids. In 2015, she joined the Valentine group at UCSB to continue her journey in marine science research. This time, anaerobic environments and microorganisms became what she spent the most time with. She's particularly interested in biological methanogenesis and methane oxidation. Outside the lab, Qianhui enjoys a variety of sports (badminton, tennis, swimming), shopping and playing with kids.
Qianhui's current research focuses on the study of microbial processes involved in the production and consumption of methane. Methane is the product of anaerobic degradation of organic matter, it is an energy source for microbes and humans and a potent greenhouse gas. Quantifying the balance between methane production and consumption is crucial for the understanding of past, present, and future biogeochemical cycles.