Congratulations to two faculty members from the School of Science who have been recognized by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)! Prof. Zhigang BAO, Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics, and Prof. Ding HE, Assistant Professor in the Department of Ocean Science, both named NSFC Excellent Young Scientists (Hong Kong and Macau), have received a funding of RMB 2,000,000 to support their scientific research projects for a period of 3 years. Only 25 projects across Hong Kong and Macau have been awarded this highly competitive fund this year.
Prof. Zhigang BAO has been awarded with his research project titled “Random Matrix Theory and its applications in Statistics”. It focuses on studying the spectral theory of large dimensional random matrices. It would investigate the limiting behavior of eigenvalues and eigenvectors of random matrix models arising from free probability, disordered quantum system, and multivariate statistics.
Prof. BAO’s research:
Prof. Ding HE has been awarded with his research project titled “Organic Geochemistry of Estuaries and Coasts”. Estuaries and coasts, linking land and ocean, play a critical role in global carbon cycle, but traditional methods cannot resolve the carbon source/sink processes. Based on molecular biomarkers, stable isotopes, ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry, and big-data techniques, Prof. HE focuses on the organic carbon (OC) cycling in estuaries and coasts. In particular, he determined the OC sources, biogeochemical processes, and the underlying controlling factors during the Anthropocene and published over 50 manuscripts in international journals. With support of the fund, Prof. HE and his group members aim to reveal the OC burial process, carbon sequestration capacity and control factors from the molecular level, serving the national and Hong Kong government’s carbon peak, and carbon neutral policy needs.
To our best knowledge, Prof. HE is the first awardee of this fund in the field of Oceanography (especially in Chemical Oceanography) in Hong Kong and Macau.
The organic carbon cycling in estuaries and coasts (partially reorganized from Bauer et al., 2013)
The DREAM (Data-driven Research for Exploring Aquatic geocheMisty) group in Department of Ocean Science, HKUST (www.helabhkust.com)