Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Yanwu Zhang, Ph.D.

Senior Research Specialist


Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039
Phone: (831) 775-2028
Fax: (831) 775-1646
email: yzhang at mbari dot org

Education and Work Experience

Yanwu Zhang received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and the M.S. degree in Underwater Acoustics Engineering from Northwestern Polytechnic University, Xi'an, China, in 1989 and 1991, respectively. In 1998, he received the M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the M.S. degree in Oceanographic Engineering from the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program. In June 2000, he received the Ph.D. degree in Oceanographic Engineering from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program.

From 2000 to 2004, Dr. Zhang was a Systems Engineer working on medical image processing at the General Electric Company Research and Development Center in Niskayuna, NY, and then a Senior Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Engineer working on digital communications at Aware Inc. in Bedford, MA. Since December 2004, he has been a Senior Research Specialist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). He designs adaptive sampling algorithms for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) which are applied to marine ecosystem studies, and participates in the development of the Tethys-class long range AUVs. Since 1996, he has participated in over a dozen field experiments running the Odyssey IIB, Dorado, and Tethys AUVs. Dr. Zhang is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Ocean and Earth Science of Tongji University (Shanghai, China).

Dr. Zhang has published 20 peer-reviewed journal papers and 40 conference papers. He served as a reviewer for IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans), Deep-Sea Research, Ocean Engineering (Elsevier), Ultrasonics (Elsevier), International Journal of Neural Systems, International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, Advances in Earth Sciences (China), and IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, as well as for National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposals. He was a finalist for the MIT Technology Review Magazine's 100 young innovators (TR100) in 1999. Dr. Zhang was an invited session co-chair at the IEEE/MTS Oceans'2010 Conference, the 2007 and 2012 AGU Fall Meetings, and the Second Chinese Symposium on Deep Sea and Earth Sciences in 2012. He was a member of the Technical Program Committee of the WUWNet'2013 (the 8th ACM International Conference on Underwater Networks & Systems).

Dr. Zhang is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) since 2005. He is a member of American Geophysical Union (AGU), and a member of Sigma Xi.

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  1. J. P. Ryan, Y. Zhang, H. Thomas, E. V. Rienecker, R. K. Nelson, and S. R. Cummings, "A High-Resolution Survey of a Deep Hydrocarbon Plume in the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Macondo Blowout," (DOI: 10.1029/GM195) in Monitoring and Modeling the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: A Record-Breaking Enterprise (Editors: Y. Liu, A. MacFadyen, Z.-G. Ji, and R. H. Weisberg), Geophysical Monograph Series, Vol. 195, Washington, D.C.: AGU, 2011.
  2. (Copyright American Geophysical Union (AGU). Personal use of the materials is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish the materials for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted components of the works in other works must be obtained from AGU.)

  3. Y. Zhang, "Chapter 11: Complex-Valued Generalized Hebbian Algorithm and Its Applications to Sensor Array Signal Processing," (DOI: 10.1142/9789812791184_0011) in Complex-Valued Neural Networks: Theories and Applications (Editor: Prof. Akira Hirose of the University of Tokyo Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems), Volume 5 in Series on Innovative Intelligence, pp. 227-250, River Edge, NJ: World Scientific Publishing Co., 2003.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Papers

Copyright Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for papers 4, 5, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 17. Copyright Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) for papers 3 and 6. Copyright Wiley Periodicals, Inc. for paper 7. Copyright American Geophysical Union (AGU) for papers 8 and 11. Copyright American Meteorological Society (AMS) for papers 10 and 15. Personal use of the materials is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish the materials for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted components of the works in other works must be obtained from IEEE, ASLO, Wiley, AGU, and AMS, respectively.
  1. J.P. Ryan, M.A. McManus, R.M. Kudela, M. Lara Artigas, J.G. Bellingham, F.P. Chavez, G. Doucette, D. Foley, M. Godin, J.B.J. Harvey, R. Marin III, M. Messie, C. Mikulski, T. Pennington, F. Py, K. Rajan, I. Shulman, Z. Wang, and Y. Zhang, "Boundary influences on HAB phytoplankton ecology in a stratification-enhanced upwelling shadow" Deep Sea Research II, Vol. 101, pp. 63-79, 2014, DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2013.01.017.

  2. Y. Zhang, "Adaptive Ocean Observation," Advances in Earth Sciences (Chinese journal with English abstracts), Vol. 28, No. 5, pp. 537-541, May 2013.
  3. Y. Zhang, J. P. Ryan, J. G. Bellingham, J. B. J. Harvey, and R. S. McEwen, "Autonomous detection and sampling of water types and fronts in a coastal upwelling system by an autonomous underwater vehicle," Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, Vol. 10, pp. 934-951, 2012, DOI: 10.4319/lom.2012.10.934.
  4. Y. Zhang, M. A. Godin, J. G. Bellingham, and J. P. Ryan, "Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to Track a Coastal Upwelling Front," IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 338-347, July 2012, DOI: 10.1109/JOE.2012.2197272.
  5. Y. Zhang, J. G. Bellingham, M. A. Godin, and J. P. Ryan, "Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to Track the Thermocline Based on Peak-Gradient Detection," IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 544-553, July 2012, DOI: 10.1109/JOE.2012.2192340.
  6. F. Cazenave, Y. Zhang, E. McPhee-Shaw, J. G. Bellingham, T. P. Stanton, "High-resolution surveys of internal tidal waves in Monterey Bay, California, using an autonomous underwater vehicle," Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, Vol. 9, pp. 571-581, 2011, DOI: 10.4319/lom.2011.9.571.
  7. Y. Zhang, R. S. McEwen, J. P. Ryan, J. G. Bellingham, H. Thomas, C. H. Thompson, and E. Rienecker, "A Peak-Capture Algorithm Used on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response Scientific Survey," Journal of Field Robotics, Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 484-496, July/August 2011, DOI: 10.1002/rob.20399.
  8. J. P. Ryan, A. M. Fischer, R. M. Kudela, M. A. McManus, J. S. Myers, J. D. Paduan, C. M. Ruhsam, C. B. Woodson, and Y. Zhang, "Recurrent frontal slicks of a coastal ocean upwelling shadow," Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans), 115, C12070, December 2010, DOI: 10.1029/2010JC006398.
  9. Y. Zhang, R. S. McEwen, J. P. Ryan, and J. G. Bellingham, "Design and Tests of an Adaptive Triggering Method for Capturing Peak Samples in a Thin Phytoplankton Layer by an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle," IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 785-796, October 2010, DOI: 10.1109/JOE.2010.2081031.
  10. Y. Zhang, J. G. Bellingham, and Y. Chao, "Error Analysis and Sampling Strategy Design for Using Fixed or Mobile Platforms to Estimate Ocean Flux," Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 481-506, March 2010, DOI: 10.1175/2009JTECHO700.1.
  11. Y. Zhang and J. G. Bellingham, "An Efficient Method of Selecting Ocean Observing Locations for Capturing the Leading Modes and Reconstructing the Full Field," Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans), 113, C04005, April 2008, DOI: 10.1029/2007JC004327.
  12. Y. Zhang, A. B. Baggeroer, and J. G. Bellingham, "The Total Variance of a Periodogram-Based Spectral Estimate of a Stochastic Process with Spectral Uncertainty and Its Application to Classifier Design," IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, Vol. 53, No. 12, pp. 4556-4567, December 2005, DOI: 10.1109/TSP.2005.859346.
  13. Y. Zhang, A. B. Baggeroer, and J. G. Bellingham, "Spectral-Feature Classification of Oceanographic Processes Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle," IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 726-741, October 2001, DOI: 10.1109/48.972115.
  14. J. S. Willcox, J. G. Bellingham, and Y. Zhang, A. B. Baggeroer, "Performance Metrics of Oceanographic Surveys with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles," IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 711-725, October 2001, DOI: 10.1109/48.972114.
  15. Y. Zhang, K. Streitlien, J. G. Bellingham, and A. B. Baggeroer, "Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter Flow Measurement from an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle with Applications to Deep Ocean Convection," Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 18, No. 12, pp. 2038-2051, December 2001, DOI: 10.1175/1520-0426(2001)018<2038:ADVFMF>2.0.CO;2.
  16. Y. Zhang and Y. Ma, "CGHA for Principal Component Extraction in the Complex Domain," IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, Vol. 8, No. 5, pp. 1031-1036, September 1997, DOI: 10.1109/72.623205.
  17. Y. Zhang and Y. Ma, "An Efficient Architecture for Real-Time Narrowband Beamforming," IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 635-638, October 1994, DOI: 10.1109/48.338400.
  18. Y. Zhang, G. Xiao, X. Shi, and Y. Ma, "Hardware Design of a Signal Processing Module Composed of TMS320C25 Chips," Journal of Data Acquisition and Processing (Chinese journal with English abstracts), Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 273-278, December 1992.
  19. Y. Zhang and Y. Ma, "Software Design of a Multi-Beamformer Implemented by TMS320C25 Chips," Applied Acoustics (Chinese journal with English abstracts), Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 22-25, July 1992.

Conference Proceedings, Presentations, and Other Publications

  1. Y. Zhang, J. G. Bellingham, J. P. Ryan, B. Kieft, and M. J. Stanway, "Two-Dimensional Mapping and Tracking of a Coastal Upwelling Front by an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle," Proc. MTS/IEEE Oceans'13, pp. 1-4, San Diego, CA, U.S.A., September 2013.
  2. D. Thompson, D. Caress, D. Clague, D. Conlin, J. Harvey, E. Martin, J. Paduan, C. Paull, J. Ryan, H. Thomas, and Y. Zhang, "MBARI Dorado AUV's Scientific Results," Proc. MTS/IEEE Oceans'13, pp. 1-9, San Diego, CA, U.S.A., September 2013.
  3. P. B. Sujit, Y. Zhang, A. J. Healey, and J. B. Sousa, "Multi-AUV Fault Tolerant Adaptive Sampling," Workshop on Robotics for Environmental Monitoring at the RSS (Robotics: Science and Systems) 2013 Conference, Berlin, Germany, June 2013.
  4. Y. Zhang, J. G. Bellingham, and J. P. Ryan, "Adaptive Ocean Observation Using Fixed Platforms and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles," Plenary talk at the First Chinese Conference on Ocean Observation, Tongji University, Shanghai, China, November 2012.
  5. B. Hobson, J. G. Bellingham, B. Kieft, R. McEwen, M. Godin, and Y. Zhang, "Tethys-Class Long Range AUVs - Extending the Endurance of Propeller-Driven Cruising AUVs from Days to Weeks," Proc. IEEE AUV'2012, pp. 1-8, Southampton, U.K., September 2012.
  6. J. Harvey, Y. Zhang, and J. P. Ryan, "AUVs for Ecological Studies of Marine Plankton Communities - Intelligent Algorithms on Dorado and Tethys AUVs Enable Precise Water Sampling for Plankton Research," Sea Technology, Vol. 53, No. 9, pp. 51-54, September 2012.
  7. Y. Zhang, J. G. Bellingham, J. P. Ryan, J. Harvey, R. McEwen, and M. Godin, "Adaptive Sampling in Ocean Observation," Invited talk at the Second International Workshop on Seafloor Observation, Tongji University, Shanghai, China, November 2011.
  8. Y. Zhang, J. P. Ryan, J. G. Bellingham, J. Harvey, R. McEwen, F. Chavez, and C. Scholin, "Classification of Water Masses and Targeted Sampling of Ocean Plankton Populations by an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle," AGU 2011 Fall Meeting Abstract OS21A-1609, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A., December 2011.
  9. Y. Zhang, M. Godin, J. G. Bellingham, and J. P. Ryan, "Ocean Front Detection and Tracking by an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle," Proc. MTS/IEEE Oceans'11, pp. 1-4, Kona, HI, U.S.A., September 2011.
  10. M. Godin, Y. Zhang, J. P. Ryan, T. Hoover, and J. G. Bellingham, "Phytoplankton Bloom Patch Center Localization by the Tethys Autonomous Underwater Vehicle," Proc. MTS/IEEE Oceans'11, pp. 1-6, Kona, HI, U.S.A., September 2011.
  11. Y. Zhang, J. Ryan, H. Thomas, E. Rienecker, R. McEwen, and J. G. Bellingham, "Running an AUV for High-Resolution Survey and Targeted Sampling of a Deep Oil Plume in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill," Invited talk at AUV-Based Technologies in Offshore Oil & Gas Monitoring Workshop, Stavanger, Norway, September 2011.

  12. Y. Zhang, J. Ryan, H. Thomas, E. Rienecker, R. McEwen, and J. G. Bellingham, "Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to Map and Sample a Subsurface Oil Plume in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill," Invited talk at Marine Technology Society (MTS) TechSurge Workshop, Sarasota, FL, U.S.A., April 2011.
  13. Y. Zhang, J. G. Bellingham, E. Massion, C. Dawe, S. Etchemendy, and C. Scholin, "Towards a Synergistic Ocean Observing System in Monterey Bay," Invited talk at Zhejiang University (in Hangzhou, China) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (in Shanghai, China), March 2011.
  14. Y. Zhang, J. G. Bellingham, E. Massion, C. Dawe, S. Etchemendy, and C. Scholin, "The MARS Deep-Sea Observatory in Monterey Bay," Invited talk at Tongji University, Shanghai, China, January 2011.
  15. Y. Zhang and J. G. Bellingham, "Capturing the Key Oceanographic Signals with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles," Invited talk at Northwestern Polytechnic University, Xi'an, China, November 2010.
  16. J. G. Bellingham, Y. Zhang, J. E. Kerwin, J. Erikson, B. Hobson, B. Kieft, M. Godin, R. McEwen, T. Hoover, J. Paul, A. Hamilton, J. Franklin, and A. Banka, "Efficient Propulsion for the Tethys Long-Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle," Proc. IEEE AUV'2010, pp. 1-6, Monterey, CA, U.S.A., September 2010.
  17. Y. Zhang, R. S. McEwen, J. P. Ryan, and J. G. Bellingham, "An Adaptive Triggering Method for Capturing Peak Samples in a Thin Phytoplankton Layer by an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle," Proc. MTS/IEEE Oceans'09, pp. 1-5, Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.A., October 2009.
  18. J. G. Bellingham and Y. Zhang, "Observing Processes that Vary in Time and Space with Heterogeneous Mobile Networks," Proc. International Workshop on Underwater Robotics, pp. 9-16, Genoa, Italy, November 2005.
  19. Y. Zhang and J. S. Willcox, "Current Velocity Mapping Using an AUV-Borne Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler," Proc. 10th International Symposium on Unmanned Untethered Submersible Technology, pp. 31-40, Durham, New Hampshire, U.S.A., September 1997.

MIT Ph.D. Thesis: "Spectral Feature Classification of Oceanographic Processes Using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle".
Advisors: Prof. Arthur Baggeroer and Dr. James Bellingham.
Thesis committee: Prof. Arthur Baggeroer (MIT), Dr. James Bellingham (MIT), Dr. Albert Williams III (WHOI), Prof. John Leonard (MIT).

Curriculum Vitae

Profile in Two if by Sea, MIT Sea Grant/WHOI Sea Grant Joint Newsletter, 1999

Last updated: Mar. 19, 2014