Zhankun Wang
Associate Research Professor, Oceanography

Zhankun Wang

Associate Research Professor, Oceanography

1021 Balch Boulevard, Suite 1003
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Dr. Zhankun Wang, is an Associate Research Professor in the Northern Gulf Institute and Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University. He also works for NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), NOAA located at Stennis Space Center.  Dr. Wang is a physical oceanographer specializing in the study of observational oceanography and ocean data management. His research focuses on turbulence and mixing, bio-physical interactions, oceanic responses to hurricanes, dissolved oxygen content, sea turtle stranding and mortality, autonomous vehicles observations and large sets of data QA/QC, processing, analyzing, interpretation and management. He is the database manager of the Surface Underway Marine Database at NCEI.


  • Ph.D.  Physical Oceanography (2009), University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
  • M.S. Physical Oceanography (2007), University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth                  
  • B. S. Oceanography (2002), Ocean University of China                                                   


  • Associate Research Professor, Northern Gulf Institute and Department of Geosciences /Mississippi State University, Feb 2019 – present  
  • Oceanographer, National Centers for Environmental Information, NOAA, Jan 2016 – present
  • Assistant Research Scientist, CICS-MD, University of Maryland, Jan 2016 – Jan 2019
  • Assistant Research Scientist, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, Apr 2012 - Dec 2015
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, Nov 2009 - Mar 2012 
  • Research Associate, School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, Jun 2009 - Oct 2009

Research Interests

Physical Oceanography, Bio-physical interaction, Turbulence and Mixing, Oxygen Content in the Ocean, Oceanic Responses to Hurricanes, Autonomous Vehicle Observations, Oceanography Data Management, Sea Turtle Stranding and Mortality

Honors/Professional Activities

  • Member American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Member Sigma Xi
  • Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Project lead and database manager, Global Surface Underway Marine Database (SUMD) development and expansion, 2016-present
  • Project lead, Stranding Analysis Tools: Gulf of Mexico Sea Turtle Early Restoration Project, 2018-present
  • POC, collaboration with Japan Oceanographic Data Center, 2019-2020
  • Data Manager, NetCDF version of International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS), 2016-2019
  • Steering committee member, Global Ocean Surface Underway Data (GOSUD), 2017-2018, 2020-present
  • POC at NCEI, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory thermosalinograph (AOML-TSG) dataset;  Global Ocean Surface Underway Data; and Hawaii Ocean Timeseries (HOT) thermosalinograph data
  • Appointed Member of Texas A&M University Graduate Faculty, 2012-2016

Recent Publications

  • Nyadjro, E. S., Z. Wang, J. Reagan, J. Cebrian and J. F. Shriver. 2021. Bio-physical changes in the Gulf of Mexico during the 2018 Hurricane Michael. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. DOI:10.1109/LGRS.2021.3068600
  • M. Cook, J. L. Reneker, R. W. Nero, B. A. Stacy, D. S Hanisko and Z. Wang, 2021, Use of Drift Studies to Understand Seasonal Variability in Sea Turtle Stranding Patterns in Mississippi. Frontiers in Marine Science (In Press)
  • Wang, Z., G. Hernan, T. Boyer, J. Reagan and J. Cebrian, 2021. Climatological seasonal cycle of global ocean oxygen, heat and apparent oxygen utilization content anomalies in the surface mixed layer, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, in revision. 
  • Mesick, S., Z. Wang, A. Mishonov, T. Boyer and H. Zhang .2020. Incorporating Discrete Unmanned Maritime System Data Collections Into NCEI Synthesized Data Products. Proceedings of the IEEE OCEANS 2020, pp 1-8, IEEE. 
  • Mesick, S., E. Burger, D. Petraitis, P. Hoffman, Z. Wang and L. B. LaCour, 2020. Implementing an Innovative, Robust, and Encompassing Uncrewed System Data Enterprise. Proceedings of the IEEE OCEANS 2020, pp 1-7, IEEE.
  • Nyadjro, E.S., Z. Wang, T. Boyer, S. Cross, J. Cebrian, 2020. NOAA NCEI Global Marine Microplastics Database Initiative. Proceedings of the IEEE OCEANS 2020, IEEE. 
  • E. Schultz, M. Cook, Z. Wang and R. Nero. (2020) Point of no return: determining depth sea turtle carcasses experience constant submergence. NOAA Fisheries Service Technical Memorandum, pp 24
  • B. Stacy, R. Hardy, D. Shaver, C. Purvin, L. Howell, J. Keene, H. Wilson, M. Cook, Z. Wang, L. Flewelling. ,2020. Sea Turtle Strandings in Texas during 2019: A summary of Analysis and Findings, NOAA Fisheries Service Technical Memorandum, pp 70
  • Wang, Z., DiMarco, S.F. and Polzin, K., 2018, May. Turbulence Observations in the Northern Gulf of Mexico from a Slocum Glider. In 2018 OCEANS-MTS/IEEE Kobe Techno-Oceans (OTO) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.
  • Ma, W., Wan, X., Wang, Z., Liu, Y. and Wan, K., 2017. Formation of well-mixed warm water column in central Bohai Sea during summer: Role of high-frequency atmospheric forcing. Journal of Ocean University of China, 16(6), pp.945-952.
  • S. Vitale, S. DiMarco, H. Seidel, Z. Wang, 2017, Circulation Analysis in the Northwest Indian Ocean using ARGO floats and surface drifter observations, and SODA reanalysis output, Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 78, 57-70.
  • Wang, Z., S. F. DiMarco and S. Socolofsky, 2016, Turbulence Measurements in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Application to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Droplet Dynamics, Deep-sea Research Part I, 109, 40-50.
  • Spencer, L. J., S. F. DiMarco, Z. Wang, J. J. Kuehl and D. A. Brooks, 2016, Asymmetric Oceanic Response to a Hurricane: Deepwater Observations during Hurricane Isaac, Journal of Geophysical Research, 121 (10), 7619-7649. 
  • Wang, Z., S. F. DiMarco, L. H. Al-Kharusi and S. Ingle, 2014, Seasonal and annual variability of vertically migrating scattering layers in the northern Arabian Sea, Deep-sea Research Part I, 90, 152-165.
  • Wang, Z., S.F. DiMarco, A. Jochens and S. Ingle, 2013, High salinity events in the northern Arabian Sea and Sea of Oman, Deep-Sea Research Part I, 74, 14-24. 
  • Wang, Z., S.F. DiMarco, S. Ingle and L. Belabbassi, 2013, A cabled oceanographic monitoring network in the northern Arabian Sea: success, challenges and opportunities, Advances in Earth Science, 28(5): 529-536. 
  • Wang, Z., S.F. DiMarco, M. Stoessel, X. Zhang, M. Howard, and K. du Vall, 2012, Oscillation responses to tropical Cyclone Gonu in northern Arabian Sea from a moored observing system, Deep-Sea Research Part I, 64, 129-145.
  • DiMarco, S.F., Z. Wang, A. Jochens, M. Stoessel, M. Howard, L. Belabbassi, S. Ingle, and K. du Vall, 2012, Cabled ocean observatories in Sea of Oman and Arabian Seas, Eos Trans. American Geophysical Union, 93 (31), 301.
  • Ingle, S., L. Belabbassi, K. du Vall, D. Potter, S.F. DiMarco and Z. Wang, 2012, A 4000-meter-rated deepwater cabled ocean observing system: Lessons learned from two years of operation. Proceedings of the IEEE Oceans 2012, 1-5.
  • DiMarco, S.F., A.E. Jochens, M.M. Stoessel, L. Belabbassi, Z. Wang and M.K. Howard, 2010, Physical Oceanography in the Sea of Oman: Data Processing, Analysis and Synthesis of Cabled and Moored Data, Final report for the Oman project.
  • Wang, Z. and L. Goodman, 2010, The evolution of a thin phytoplankton layer in strong turbulence, Continental Shelf Research, 30(1), 104-118.
  • Goodman, L., Levine, E.R. and Wang, Z., 2010. Sub surface observations of surface waves from an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 35 (4), 779-784.
  • Sullivan, J.M., McManus, M.A., Cheriton, O.M., Benoit-Bird, K.J., Goodman, L., Wang, Z., Ryan, J.P., Stacey, M., Holliday, D.V. and Greenlaw, C., 2010, Layered Organization in the Coastal Ocean: An introduction to plankton thin layers and the LOCO project. Continental Shelf Research, 30(1), 1-6.
  • Wang, Z. and L. Goodman, 2009, Evolution of the spatial structure of a thin phytoplankton layer into a turbulent field. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 374:57-74.
  • Goodman, L. and Z. Wang, 2009, Turbulence observations in the northern bight of Monterey Bay from a small AUV, Journal of Marine Systems, 77(4), 441-458.
  • Sastre-Córdova, M. M., L. Goodman, and Z. Wang, 2007, Measurements of the turbulent microstructure of a buoyant salinity plume using acoustics, Proceedings of the OCEANS 2007 MTS/IEEE VANCOUVER Conference & Exhibition ISBN CD-ROM: 0-933957-35-1 2007 MTS.