Member Profile

Ms Ziyan Zhang

Honours Student

Institute of Marine and Antarctic Science (IMAS)
University of Tasmania


Ziyan Zhang became a member of a joint program between Ocean University of China (OUC) and University of Tasmania (UTAS) in 2015. After finishing the basic academic courses of mathematics, physics and chemistry in OUC, she is now doing further research at Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS). She intends to apply her knowledge about mathematics, physics and chemistry to marine biogeochemistry to attain a better understanding of the major drivers of primary productivity in a large and poorly observed ocean province. She aims to analyze the exist mooring data to find out the physical drivers of biological variability in the low-productivity Indian Ocean gyre, which would benefit us in predicting the primary productivity and also the fisheries.

THESIS: Physical drivers of biological variability in the low-productivity Indian Ocean gyre

The Indian Ocean is very poorly observed with respect to biological variability. It is important that we use established and emerging observing technologies to better understand drivers of variability in ocean productivity. This improved understanding will contribute to improved representation of the carbon cycle in climate models. The data for this project already exist and some preliminary analysis has been done. The student will combine the mooring data with climatologies (CARS), satellite and Argo observations to determine the drivers of productivity. The initial focus will be on the mooring time series from 25°S, 100°E but then expand to more broadly examine the seasonal cycle of productivity in the gyre, especially in the context of the active eddy field. This project aligns with several of the subprograms in CLEX RP4. It spans ocean biogeochemistry, Indo-Pacific Ocean variability and teleconnections. Collaborators on the project include Helen Phillips (UTas), Raleigh Hood and Victoria Coles (UMaryland) and Mike McPhaden (NOAA/PMEL).