Member Profile

Kai Yang

PhD student

The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS)
University of Tasmania


Kai was a '2+2 program' Honours student of the Ocean University of China (OUC) and University of Tasmania (UTAS). Kai graduated in Jul 2020 with a Bachelor in Marine and Antarctic Science at UTAS. He then started his PhD at UTAS in Oct 2020. He is now working at UTAS Newnham campus.

THESIS: Are Declines in Coastal Biodiversity Driven by Trends in Frontal Activity?

This study mainly aims to comprehensively verify global trends in frequency and activity of marine thermal fronts in global marine hotspots, where which are warming faster than 90% of the global ocean. Ocean warming due to climate change is not distributed evenly across the global ocean. For example, marine heatwaves have become longer and more frequent over the past decades affecting specific regions of the global ocean. Intense and extreme regional warming has been seen in marine hotspots. In these hotspots, the impacts of ocean warming on ecosystems will likely be observed earlier. Studying frontal activity over these regions is important to resolve the previous discrepancies in findings and can provide knowledge to assess climate change, evaluate impacts and adaptation options for marine ecosystems, fisheries, and aquaculture. This project aligns well with the Ocean Extremes research program at CLEX, linking both to the ‘Marine heatwaves’ project and the ‘Mesoscale physics and biogeochemistry in the climate system’ project.