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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I am interested in what are the major factors controlling plankton biomass, community structure (trait distribution), and diversity in the sea and their roles in affecting earth system functions such as the primary production and biological carbon pump. The main approach I use is the numerical modeling, field experiments, and big data analysis. During the past ten years, I have published nearly 40 research papers in the field of marine plankton ecology. 



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).

Expertise & Capabilities

Theoretical Ecology; Biological oceanography; Ecosystem modeling;  R, Fortran, Matlab.

Education/Academic qualification

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

5 Sep 200530 Dec 2008


  • Biodiversity
  • Metabolic Theory of Ecology
  • Modeling

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Bingzhang Chen is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

phytoplankton Earth & Environmental Sciences
Phytoplankton Mathematics
South China Sea Agriculture & Biology
grazing Earth & Environmental Sciences
coastal water Agriculture & Biology
Synechococcus Agriculture & Biology
China Mathematics
oceans Agriculture & Biology

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2019 2023

Research Output 2001 2019

5 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Effect of phytoplankton size diversity on primary productivity in the North Pacific: trait distributions under environmental variability

Chen, B., Smith, S. L. & Wirtz, K. W., 30 Jan 2019, In : Ecology Letters. 22, 1, p. 56-66 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
primary productivity
1 Citation (Scopus)

Marine phytoplankton in subtropical coastal waters showing lower thermal sensitivity than microzooplankton

Liu, K., Chen, B., Zhang, S., Sato, M., Shi, Z. & Liu, H., 31 May 2019, In : Limnology and Oceanography . 64, 3, p. 1103-1119 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
coastal water


2015 David Cushing Prize

Bingzhang Chen (Recipient), 1 Jan 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2019 2019

  • 3 Visiting an external academic institution

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung GmbH

Bingzhang Chen (Visiting researcher)
14 Oct 201918 Oct 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Bingzhang Chen (Visiting researcher)
1 Jul 20195 Jul 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution