Dr Bingzhang Chen

Strathclyde Chancellor's Fellow

Mathematics and Statistics

Personal statement

I was trained as a field oceanographer. Supervised by Dr. Hongbin Liu, I obtained my PhD in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2009, focusing on field experiments of microzooplankton grazing. Then I worked as a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Andrew Irwin and Zoe Finkel at Mount Alison University, Canada. 


From 2011-2015, I worked as an Associate Professor at Xiamen University, China, and had secured grants totaling £300K as a Principal Investigator from the National Science Foundation of China and other funding sources. As a Co-Principal investigator, I was also deeply involved in a China National Basic Research Program (“973” Program) entitled “Carbon cycling in China Seas-budget, controls and ocean acidification (CHOICE-C project)” led by Prof. Minhan Dai. In 2012, I was awarded the New Century Excellent Talent by the Ministry of Education of China. In 2015, I was awarded the David Cushing prize offered by the Journal of Plankton Research. 

From 2015 to 2018, I worked at Japan Agency of Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) on a CREST project (PI: S. Lan Smith) funded by Japan Science and Technology Agency.

Since Nov 2018, I have been working as a Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Strathclyde. Currently, I am supervising three PhD students


I am an associate editor for the journal of Limnology and Oceanography, which is the flagship journal of Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO).



A machine-learning approach to modeling picophytoplankton abundances in the South China Sea
Chen Bingzhang, Liu Hongbin, Xiao Wupeng, Wang Lei, Huang Bangqin
Progress in Oceanography (2020)
Are temperature sensitivities of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus impacted by nutrient availability in the subtropical northwest Pacific?
Liu Kailin, Suzuki Koji, Chen Bingzhang, Liu Hongbin
Limnology and Oceanography (2020)
What controls microzooplankton biomass and herbivory rate across marginal seas of China?
Liu Kailin, Chen Bingzhang, Zheng Liping, Su Suhong, Huang Bangqin, Chen Mianrun, Liu Hongbin
Limnology and Oceanography (2020)
Diel vertical migration promotes zooplankton horizontal patchiness
Chen Bingzhang, Masunaga Eiji, Smith Sherwood Lan, Yamazaki Hidekatsu
Journal of Oceanography (2020)
Responses of marine phytoplankton communities to environmental changes : new insights from a niche classification scheme
Xiao Wupeng, Laws Edward A, Xie Yuyuan, Wang Lei, Liu Xin, Chen Jixin, Chen Bingzhang, Huang Bangqin
Water Research Vol 166 (2019)
Potential overestimation of community respiration in the western Pacific boundary ocean : what causes the putative net heterotrophy in oligotrophic systems?
Huang Yibin, Chen Bingzhang, Huang Bangqin, Zhou Hui, Yuan Yongquan
Limnology and Oceanography Vol 64, pp. 2202-2219 (2019)

More publications

Research interests

The primary focus of my research is how biodiversity affects marine ecosystem functioning such as primary production and biological carbon pump, for which the primary producers particularly phytoplankton play the pivotal role. The main questions I ask are:


i) What are the main patterns of functional traits, diversity, biomass, and productivity of primary producers including phytoplankton and macroalgae in the ocean?


ii)  What are the main processes determining these patterns?


iii) What are the fundamental roles of diversity on ecosystem functioning?


One specific question that has been intriguing me during the past several years is whether there exists a difference of temperature sensitivity between autotrophs and heterotrophs. While this appears a simple/trivial question, I have found that it can be a central theme linking statistics (regression), ecology (Metabolic Theory of Ecology and trait-based approaches), and earth sciences (biological pump and Glacial/inter-glacial CO2 fluctuations).

Professional activities

GlobalHAB modeling workshop online webinar series
Why primary production peaks at surface in the ocean desert?
Limnology and Oceanography (Journal)
Associate Editor
Why the temperature dependence of zooplankton is greater than phytoplankton?
Scientific Reports (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Diversity (Journal)
Guest editor

More professional activities


How does phytoplankton diversity affect primary production in the ocean?
Chen, Bingzhang (Principal Investigator) Banas, Neil (Co-investigator) Heath, Mike (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2024
Why phytoplankton are so diverse in the ocean desert?
Chen, Bingzhang (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2022
Modelling phytoplankton diversity and productivity across the South China Sea continental slope
Chen, Bingzhang (Principal Investigator)
04-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2022
Global warming, plankton functional diversity, and the biological ocean pump
Chen, Bingzhang (Principal Investigator) Banas, Neil (Principal Investigator)
This project aims to understand the roles of plankton functional diversity on the biological ocean pump, a key process of the global carbon cycle, within the context of global warming.
We focus on the vast oligotrophic open ocean and our objective is to combine model development and observational data to address the key questions below:
What types of plankton functional traits will be the most important for primary production and carbon export?
What are the patterns of plankton functional diversity in the oligotrophic open ocean?
How will warming affect both plankton functional diversity and carbon export?
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2022
Life history and dispersal of the alien seaweed Sargassum muticum in Scottish coastal waters: an individual-based modelling approach
Chen, Bingzhang (Principal Investigator) Blight, Andrew (Co-investigator) Paterson, David (Co-investigator)
This project will address the key factors driving the expansion of the invasive seaweed Sargassum muticum in Scottish coastal waters. As invasive species tend to have negative impacts on key ecosystem services such as aquaculture, recreation and marine transportation, elucidating the mechanisms that lead to the successful invasion of Sargassum muticum will contribute to our understanding of Sargassum muticum expansion and may allow management to preserve the key ecosystem services of our coastal seas.
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2023
Warming up the arm race: how temperature affects interactions between phytoplankton and microzooplankton
Chen, Bingzhang (Principal Investigator) Menden-Deuer, Susanne (Visiting Academic)
This is a travel grant supported by FILAMO, University of Bergen, Norway. The main aim is to construct a trait-based model of both phytoplankton and microzooplankton that can incorporate the observed patterns of thermal traits and can reproduce the patterns of both trait identity and diversity of plankton.
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020

More projects


Mathematics and Statistics
Livingstone Tower

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