Photo of Bingzhang Chen
  • United Kingdom

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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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2012 2019

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
2 Citations (Scopus)
Open Access


2015 David Cushing Prize

Bingzhang Chen (Recipient), 1 Jan 2016

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)