Shuang Zhang

Shuang Zhang

Assistant Professor

Global carbon/biogeochemical cycles, Earth-surface processes, Climate change, Data Science, Geological application development

  (979) 845-2306

  Eller O&M 611


I am an interdisciplinary geochemist, modeler and data scientist. My research broadly uses data-driven and model-driven approaches to quantify the patterns of element flux and isotope behavior involved in the global carbon and biogeochemical cycles, especially under periods of climatic perturbations.


Extensive data mining, data assimilation, large-scale spatial-temporal statistical analysis, and machine learning are frequently used by my research group. As powerful tools, geo-statistics and machine learning could reveal the intrinsic patterns of nature’s processes that are sometimes extremely difficult to be captured by classical physical process models. With that being said, in areas where data is extremely limited or data-driven approaches are not suitable, numerical modeling (e.g., modeling the global carbon cycle) also serves as a critical tool in our research.


Some of my current research topics include building inverse modeling frameworks to understand the Earth-surface processes during carbon cycle perturbations and applying data science techniques to constrain the biogeochemical cycles (such as the surface and subsurface weathering fluxes).


Graduate Students Opportunities


I am searching for motivated MS and PhD students that are excited about biogeochemical cycles, numerical modeling and data science. Interested students should check our departmental website ( for the admission requirements. I strongly encourage prospective students to reach out to me by email to learn more about opportunities in my research group.

Selected Publications

Boujibar, A., Howell, S., Zhang, S., Hystad, G., Prabhu, A., Liu, N., Stephan, T., Narkar, S., Eleish, A., Morrison, S.M., Hazen, R.M., Nittler, L.R., Cluster Analysis of Presolar Silicon Carbide Grains: Evaluation of Their Classification and Astrophysical Implications. 2021. The Astrophysical Journal Letters. DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/abd102

Zhao, M., Zhang, S., Tarhan, L., Reinhard, C., Planavsky, N. The role of calcium in regulating marine phosphorus burial and atmospheric oxygenation. 2020. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-15673-3.

Zhang, S. and Planavsky, N. 2019. Revisiting groundwater fluxes to the ocean with implications for the carbon cycle. Geology. DOI: 10.1130/G46408.1.

Li, Y., McCoy-West, A., Zhang, S., Selby, D., Burton, K., Horan, K. 2019. Controlling mechanisms for molybdenum isotope fractionation in porphyry deposits: The Qulong example. Economic Geology. DOI: 10.5382/econgeo.4653.

Zhang, S. and Planavsky, N. 2019. The silicate weathering feedback in the context of ophiolite emplacement: Insights from an inverse model of global weathering proxies. American Journal of Science. DOI: 10.2475/02.2019.01.

Li, Y., Zhang, S., Hobbs, R., Caiado, C., Sproson, A., Selby, D., Rooney, A. 2019. Monte Carlo sampling for error propagation in linear regression and applications in isochron geochronology. Science Bulletin. DOI: 10.1016/j.scib.2018.12.019.

Krause, J., Mills, B., Zhang, S., Planavsky, N., Lenton, T., Poulton, S. 2018. Stepwise oxygenation of the Paleozoic atmosphere. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06383-y.

Zhang, S., Planavsky, N., Krause, J., Mills, B., Bolton, E. 2018. Model based Paleozoic atmospheric oxygen estimates: a revisit to GEOCARBSULF. American Journal of Science. DOI: 10.2475/05.2018.05.

Zhang, S., Ague, J., Vitale Brovarone, A. 2018. Degassing of organic carbon during regional metamorphism of pelites, Wepawaug Schist, Connecticut, USA. Chemical Geology. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.05.003.

Cole, D., Zhang, S., Planavsky, N. 2017. A new estimate of detrital redox-sensitive metal concentrations and variability in marine sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2017.08.004.

Zhang, S., Henehan, M., Hull, P., Reid, R., Hardisty, D., Hood, A., Planavsky, N. 2017. Investigating controls on boron isotope ratios in shallow marine carbonates. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.10.059.


Ph.D., Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Yale University, 2017

B.S., School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, 2011


Hutchison Fund Travel Award, 2019

Karl Turekian Prize (Outstanding Ph.D. student in geochemistry), 2017

Conference Travel Fellowship, 2016

Research Funding from Yale Institute of Biospheric Studies, 2014

Outstanding Undergraduate of Peking University, 2011


Research Website:

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