Introducing: Wenyan Zhang

What is your qualifying background?

I have a PhD on Fluid Mechanics with particular focus on coastal ocean dynamics and sediment transport. My dissertation was about numerical modeling of morphodynamic evolution of sandy coasts and barrier-lagoon systems as response to climate change (relative sea-level change and storm frequency) in the southern Baltic Sea. After PhD I shifted my focus to shelf and continental slope sedimentary systems and have been trying to understand how these sedimentary systems (mainly fine sand and mud depocenters) are formed and evolve. For about two years I have been investigating the biotic-abiotic interaction at the sediment-water interface and its effect on sediment resuspension, deposition as well as early diagenesis of organic carbon.

How would you describe your working daily routine?

During the last few years, about 9 months/year of my time were spent on sitting in the office, drinking green tea and meanwhile looking at the computer. Coding, running simulations, debugging, result analysis and desperately proving the validity of my model results took up about 70% of the time. The rest was on writing my own papers and reviewing others’ manuscripts.

In the rest 3 months/year, I spent 3-4 weeks/year on conferences and workshops and 4-5 weeks/year on research stay in other institutes. I really enjoy this time, not only because of the benefits I could get from intensive discussions with other colleagues, but also because of the delicious food from different regions and countries.

Do you have a big aim?

Yes, my aim is to lead a team of enthusiastic young people who do not only enjoy scientific research but also enjoy life and sports.

What has been your biggest success so far?

I think my biggest success is to caring and accompanying the growth of my two lovely kids, and in the meanwhile keeping a productive scientific life in the past six years.

Do you have any personal distinctive mark?

I always ask questions, quite often naive ones, when listening to other people’s presentations.

(photos: private)

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