Dr. Qian Li, Professor of Oceanography

University of Chinese Academy of Science

Address:  South China Sea Institiute of Oceanology, CAS, 164 West Xingang Rd., Guangzhou, People's Republic of China

Postcode:  510301


Phone:  020-84454476

Research Areas

Ocean Biogeochemistry, Plankotn Ecosystem Dynamics and Modeling, Biophysical Coupling and Interaction

Coastal Oceanography under Global Change, Multiscale Ocean Dynamics via Glider Observations


Ph.D., 2007 Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Miami, Florida, USA

       Thesis: Nutrient Biogeochemistry of Mesoscale Eddies in the Sargasso Sea

       Committee: Profs Dennis Hansell (advisor), Frank Millero, Rik Wanninkhof, William Johns

B.Sc., 1999 Department of Oceanography, Xiamen University, Fujian, China


2012--pres.: Professor, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing

2012--pres.: Principal Investigator, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou

2007--2012: Postdoctoral Scholar and Researcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California -San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA

2003--2007: Research Assistant, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Key Biscayne, Florida, USA

2002--2003: Research Assistant, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meterological Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Miami, Florida, USA


(*: corresponding author)


  1. Chen, Y., Li, Q.P.*, Yu, J., 2022 Submesoscale variability of subsurface chlorophyll-a across eddy-driven fronts by glider observations, Progress in Oceanography, 209, 102905,

  2. Huang, L., Li, Q.P.*, Li, H., Lin, L., Xu, X., Yuan, X., Koongola, J.B., Li, H., 2022 Microplastic contamination in coral reef fishes and its potential risks in the remote Xisha areas of the South China Sea, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 186, 114399,

  3. Ge, Z., Li, Q.P.*, Yang, W., Liu X., Wu, Z., 2022 Transparent exopolymer particle dynamics along a shelf-to-sea gradient and impacts on the regional carbon cycle, Science of the Total Environment, 808, 152117,

  4. Liu, Z., Dong, Y.*, Li, Q.P.*, Wu, Z., Ge, Z., Ma, M., 2022 Temporal change of plankton size structure preserved by Lugol's solution: a FlowCAM study, Journal of Oceanology and Limnology,

  5. Dong, Y., Li, Q.P.*, Wu, Z., Shuai, Y., Liu, Z., Ge, Z., Zhou, W., Chen, Y., 2021 Biophysical controls on seasonal changes in the structure, growth, and grazing of the size-fractionated phytoplankton community in the northern South China Sea, Biogeosciences,  18, 6424-6434,

  6. Liu, Z., Li, Q.P.*, Ge, Z., Shuai, Y., 2021 Variability of plankton size distribution and controlling factors across a coastal frontal zone, Progress in Oceanography, 197, 102665,

  7. Liu, Z., Li, Q.P.*, Chen, Y., Shuai, Y., Ma, M., 2021 Tidal effects on plankton community and size structure in the Huangmao Bay of the South China Sea, Oceanologia et Limologia Sinca (海洋与湖沼), 52(6), 1408-1417, doi: 10.11693/hyhz20210400107.

  8. Shuai, Y., Li, Q.P.*, Wu, Z., 2021 Biogeochemical responses to nutrient fluxes in the open South China Sea: a 3-D modeling study, Journal of Geophysical Research, Ocean, 126(5), e2020JC016895.

  9. Wang, T., Yu, P., Wu, Z., Lu, W., Liu, X., Li, Q.P., Huang, B., 2021 Revisiting the intraseasonal variability of chlorophyll-a in the adjacent Luzon Strait with a new gap-filled remote sensing dataset, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 60, 1-11, https://doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2021.3067646

  10. Wu, Z., Li, Q.P.*, Ge, Z., Huang, B., Dong, C., 2021 Impacts of biogenic polyunsaturated aldehydes on metabolism and community composition of particle-attached bacteria in coastal hypoixa, Biogeosciences, 18, 1049-1065, https://doi: 10.5194/bg-1049-2021.

  11. Li, Q.P.*, Ge, Z., Liu, Z., Zhou, W., Shuai, Y., Wu, Z., 2021 Transparent exopolymer particles in a coastal frontal zone of the northern South China Sea and the assoicated biogeochemical implications, Journal of Geophysical Research, Biogeosciences, 126(2), e2020JG005893, https://doi: 10.1029/2020JG005893.

  12. Wu, Z., Li, Q.P.*, Dong, Y., Xu, J., Luo, L., 2021 High resolution surveys of phytoplankton-derived polyunsaturated aldehydes at frontal zones outside a eutrophic estuary, Journal of Geophysical Research, Biogeosciences, 126(3), e2020JG005808,

  13. Zhou, W., Li, Q.P.*, Wu, Z., 2021 Coastal phytoplankton responses to atmospheric depositions during summer, Limnology and Oceanography, 66(4), 1298-1315, https://doi:10.1002/lno.11683.

  14. Shuai, Y., Chen, Y., Liu, Z., Ge, Z., Ma, M., Dong, Y., Li, Q.P.*, 2021 Distribution of the Pearl river plume and its ecological characteristics during spring monsoon transitional period in 2016, Chn J Trop Oceanogr (热带海洋学报), 40(5), 63-71, https://doi:10.11978/2020107

  15. Ma, M., Li, Q.P.*, Chen, Y., Wu, Z., Yu, J., 2021 Underwater glider observations of the oxygen minimum zone near the continental slope area of the northern South China Sea, Chn J Trop Oceanogr (热带海洋学报), accepted

  16. Huang, L., Li, Q.P.*, Xu, X., Yuan, X., Lin, L., Li, H., 2020 Composition and dstribution of microplastics in the surface seawater of Xisha Island, Chinese Science Bulletin (科学通报), 66(24), 2627-2635, https://doi:10.1360/TB-2020-0220.

  17. Zhou, W., Li, Q.P.*, Ge, Z., Liu, Z., Shuai, Y., Ma, M., 2020 Response of phytoplankton community in the Pearl River plume front to atmospheric depositions, Chn J Trop Oceanogr (热带海洋学报), 39(4), 50-60, doi: 10.11978/2019101.

  18. Yu, X., Xu, J., Long, A., Li, R., Shi, Z., Li, Q.P., 2020 Carbon-to-chlorophyll ratio and carbon content of phytoplankton community in coastal waters adjacent to the Pearl River Estuary during summer, Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 39, 123-131,

  19. Ge, Z., Wu, Z., Liu, Z., Zhou, W., Dong, Y., Li, Q.P.*, 2020 Using detaching method to determine the abundance of particle-attached bacteria from the Pearl River Estuary and its coupling relationship with environmental factors, Chn J Mar Environ Sci(海洋环境科学), 4, 505-510, doi:10.12111/j.mes.20190065.

  20. Shi, Z., Xu, J., Li, X., Li, R., Li, Q.P., 2019 Links of extracellular enzyme activities, microbial metabolism and community composition in the river-impacted coastal waters, Journal of Geophysical Research, Biogeosciences, 124(11), 35073520,

  21. Martiny, A.C., Lomas, M.W., Fu, W., Boyd, P.W., Chen, Y.L., Cutter, G.A., Ellwood, M.J., Furuya, K., Hashihama, F., Kanda, J., Karl, D.M., Kodama, T., Li, Q.P., Ma, J., Moutin, T., Woodward, E.M.S., Moore, K.J., 2019 Biogeochemical controls of surface ocean phosphate, Science Advances, 5(8), eaax0341,

  22. Chen, Y., Wu, Z., Li, Q.P.*, 2018 Temporal change of export production at Xisha of the northern South China Sea, Journal of Geophysical Research, Ocean, 123, 9305-9319, doi:10.1029/2017JC013619

  23. Xu, J., Li, X., Shi, Z., Li, R., Li, Q.P., 2018 Bacterial carbon cycling in the river plume in the northern South China Sea during summer, Journal of Geophysical Research, Ocean, 123, 8106-8121,

  24. Li, X., Xu, J., Shi, Z., Xu, D., Li, R., Li, Q.P., Liu, H.B., 2018 Regulation of protist grazing on bacterioplankton by hydrological conditions in coastal waters, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 218, 1-8.

  25. Dong, Y., Li, Q.P.*, Liu, Z., Wu, Z., Zhou, W., 2018 Size-dependent phytoplankton growth and grazing in the northern South China Sea, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 599, 35-47,

  26. Li, Q.P.*, Zhou, W., Chen, Y., Wu, Z., 2018 Phytoplankton responses to a plume front in the northern South China Sea, Biogeosciences, 15, 2551-2563,

  27. Cózar, A.,  Morillo-García, S., Ortega, M., Li, Q.P., Bartual, A., 2018 Macroecological patterns of the phytoplankton production of polyunsaturated aldehydes, Scientific Reports, 8:12282, doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29787-8.

  28. Li, X., Xu, J., Shi, Z., Li, Q.P., Li R., 2018 Variability in empirical leucine-to-carbon conversion factors along an environmental gradient, Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 37(4), 77-82.

  29. Li, Q.P.*, Franks, P.J.S., Landry, M.R., 2017 Recovering growth and grazing rates from nonlinear dilution experiments, Limnology and Oceanography, 62(5), 1825-1835, doi:10.1002/lno.10536.

  30. He, Q., Zhan, H., Shuai, Y., Cai, S., Li, Q.P., Huang, G., Li J., 2017 Phytoplankton bloom triggered in an anticyclonic eddy: the combined effect of eddy-Ekman pumping and winter deepening of mixing, Journal of Geophysical Research, Ocean, 122(6), 4886-4901, doi: 10.1002/2017JC012763.

  31. Wu, Z., Li, Q.P.*, 2016 Spatial distributions of polyunsaturated aldehydes and their biogeochemical implications in the Pearl River Estuary and the adjacent northern South China Sea, Progress in Oceanography, 147, 1-9, doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2016.07.010.

  32. Dong, Y., Li, Q.P.*, Wu, Z., Zhang, J., 2016 Variability in sinking fluxes and composition of particle-bound phosphorus in the Xisha area of the northern South China Sea, Deep Sea Research, Part I, 118, 1-9, doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2016.10.007.

  33. Li, Q.P.*, Hansell, D.A., 2016 Mechanisms controlling vertical variability of subsurface chlorophyll maximum in a mode-water eddy, Journal of Marine Research, 74, 175-199.

  34. Li, Q.P.*, Dong, Y., Wang, Y., 2016 Phytoplankton dynamics driven by vertical nutrient fluxes during the spring inter-monsoon period in the northeastern South China Sea. Biogeosciences, 13, 455-466, 2016, doi:10.5194/bg-13-455-2016.

  35. Li, Q.P.*, Wang, Y., Dong, Y., Gan, J., 2015 Modeling of long-term variability of planktonic ecosystems in the northern South China Sea and the upstream Kuroshio, Journal of Geophysical Research, Ocean, 120(6), 3913-3936, doi:10.1002/2014JC010609.

  36. Wang, Y., Dong, Y., Zhou, W., Chen, Y., Li, Q.P.*, 2015 Modeling the impact of N2-fixation on the ecosystem dynamics in the upstream Kuroshio, Chn J Trop Oceanogr (热带海洋学报), 35(1): 102-111.

  37. Chen, Y., Wang, S., Hu, S., Zhou, C., Shi, Z., Li, Q.P., Huang, X., 2015 Fluorescence characteristics of dissolved organic matter in the seagrass ecosystem from Hainan by fluorescence excitation-emission matrix spectroscopy. Spectroscopy & Spectral Analysis, 35(1), 141-145.

  38. Li, Q.P.*, Franks, P.J.S., Ohman, M.D., Landry, M.R., 2012 Enhanced nitrate fluxes and biological processes at a frontal zone in the Southern California Current System. Journal of Plankton Research, 34(9): 790-801.

  39. Sun, C., Wang, Y., Li, Q.P., Wang, Y., Sun, F., Peng, Y., 2012 Distributional characteristics of transport exopolymer particles in the Pearl River estuary, China. Journal of Geophysical Research, Biogeosciences, 117, G00N17, doi:10.1029/2012jg001951

  40. Sun, F., Wang, Y., Wu, M., Wang, Y., Li, Q.P., 2012 Spatial and vertical distributions of bacteria in the Pearl River estuary sediment, African Journal of Biotechnology, 2012, 11(9), 2256-2266.

  41. Sun, F., Wang, Y., Wu, M., Wang, Y., Li, Q.P., 2011 Spatial heterogeneity of bacterial biodiversity in the sediments of the Pearl River Estuary, Biologia, 2011, 66(4), 574-584.

  42. Song, H., Wang, Y., Sun, C., Wu, M., Peng,Y., Deng,C., Li, Q.P., 2011 Effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons exposure on antioxidant system activities and proline content in Kandelia candel, Oceanol Hydrobiol Studies, 2011, 40(3), 9-18.

  43. Li, Q.P.*, Franks, P.J.S., Landry, M.R., 2011 Microzooplankton grazing dynamics: parameterizing grazing models with dilution experiment data in the Southern California Ecosystem. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 438, 59-69.

  44. Li, Q.P.*, Franks, P.J.S., Landry, M.R., Goericke, R., Taylor, A.G., 2010 Modeling phytoplankton growth rates and Chlorophyll to Carbon ratios in California coastal and pelagic ecosystems. Journal of Geophysical Research, Biogeosciences, 115, G04003, doi:10.1029/2009jg001111.

  45. Li, Q.P.*, Hansell, D.A., Zhang, J.Z., 2008 Underway monitoring of nanomolar nitrate plus nitrite and phosphate in oligotrophic seawater. Limnology and Oceanography, Methods, 6, 319-326.

  46. Li, Q.P.*, Hansell, D.A., McGillicuddy, D.J., Bates, N.R., Johnson, R., 2008 Tracer based assessment of the origin and biogeochemical transformation of a cyclonic eddy in the Sargasso  Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research, Ocean, 113, C10006, doi:10.1029/2008jc004840.

  47. Li, Q.P.*, Hansell, D.A., 2008 Intercomparison and coupling of magnesium induced coprecipitation and long-path liquid waveguide capillary cell techniques for trace analysis of phosphate in seawater. Analytica Chimica Acta, 611, 68-72.

  48. McGillicuddy, D.J., Anderson, L., Bates, N., Bibby T., Buesseler, K., Carlson, C., Davis, C., Ewart, C., Falkowski, P., Goldthwaite, S., Hansell, D., Jenkins, W., Johnson, R., Kosnyrew, V., Ledwell, J., Li, Q.P., Siegel, D., Steinberg, D., 2007 Eddy-wind interactions stimulate extraordinary mid-ocean plankton blooms. Science, 316, 1021-1026.

  49. Li, Q.P.*, Hansell, D.A., 2008 Nutrient distributions in baroclinic eddies of the oligotrophic North  Atlantic and inferred impacts on biology. Deep Sea Research, Part II, 55, 1291-1299.

  50. Li, Q.P.*, Zhang, J.Z., Millero, F.J., Hansell, D.A., 2005 Continuous colorimetric determination of trace ammonium in seawater with a long-path liquid waveguide capillary cell, Marine Chemistry, 96, 73-85.

  51. Li, W., Li, Q., Liao, Q., Chen, Q., 2003 Effect of temperature on fatty acid compositions of four species of marine microalgaes, J Oceanogr in Taiwan Strait (台湾海峡), 22, 9-14.

  52. Liao, Q., Li, Q., Li, W., Chen, Q., Wang, X., 2002 Effect of irradiance on fatty acid compositions of marine microalgaes, Chn J Ocean Technology (海洋技术), 21, 46-48.

  53. Li, W., Liao, Q., Li, Q., Chen, Q., 2002 On the fatty acid compositions of three species of marine microalgaes during growth phases, Chn J Mar Environ Sci (海洋环境科学), 21, 10-13.


Past Students

Yanjun Wang, Ph.D. 2015, Marine Environmental Science 

Weiwen Zhou, Ph.D. 2020, Marine Environmental Science 

Yiping Shuai, Ph.D. 2021, Marine Chemistry 

Mengzhen Ma, M.E. 2021, Marine Environmental Engineering

Zaiming Ge, Ph.D. 2022, Marine Environmental Science 

Zijia Liu, Ph.D. 2022, Marine Environmental Science 

Yinchao Chen, Ph.D. 2022, Physical Oceanography 


Current Students

Lei Huang, Ph.D. student, 2019-present, Marine Environmental Science 

Yuanfang Zhang, Ph.D. student, 2020-present, Marine Environmental Science

Tharushi Samarawardhane, M.S. student, 2020-present, Marine Environmental Science

Abdul-Razak Salifu, Ph.D. student 2022-present, Marine Environmental Science

Xiaoman Li, M.S. student, 2022-present, Marine Environmental Science