Nianhong Chen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Natural Sciences
Carver Hall, Room 3125
Phone: 410-651-6027



  • Ph.D.  in Organic Chemistry, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • M.Sc. in Marine Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi.
  • B. Sc. in Analytical Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.


  • Photosynthetic pigment decomposition in marine sediments.
  • Phytoplankton community composition in coastal waters.
  • Nutrient dynamics in coastal lagoons.
  • Application of lipids in coastal ecosystem.
  • Characterization of organic contaminants in coastal waters.
  • Source and fate of heavy metals in coastal waters.


  • Duan, S., N. Chen, S. Kaushal, P. Chigbu, A. Ishaque and E. B. May, 2015. Dynamics of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in the Maryland Coastal Bays (submitted).

  • Mark W., O. F. Ozuem, E. B. May, M. Mitra, and N. Chen, 2012. HPLC Analysis of Phytoplankton Pigments in Maryland Coastal Bays. J. of Undergraduate Chemistry Research. 11(4): 119–122.

  • Chen, N., T. S. Bianchi and B. A. McKee, 2005. Early diagenesis of chlorophyll-a in the lower Mississippi River and Louisiana shelf: implications for carbon cycling in a river-dominated margin.  Mar. Chem., 93: 159–177.

  • Chen, N., T. S. Bianchi, J. M. Bland and B. A. McKee, 2003. Novel carotenoid chlorin esters in Louisiana shelf sediments: formation and transformation of CCEs. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 67(11): 2027–2042.

  • Borgendahl, J., P. Westman, T.S. Bianchi and N. Chen, 2003.  Probable causes for cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea: The role of anoxia and phosphorus release.   Estuaries, 26: 680–689.

  • Chen, N., T. S. Bianchi and J. M. Bland, 2003. Implications for the role of pre- versus post-depositional decay of chlorophyll-a in the lower Mississippi River and Louisiana shelf.  Mar. Chem., 81: 37–55

  • Chen, N., T. S. Bianchi, B. A. McKee and J. M. Bland, 2001.  Historical Trends of Hypoxia on the Louisiana Shelf: Application of Pigments as Biomarkers.  Org. Geochem., 32: 543–516.

  • Jiao, N., N. Chen and I. S. Ni, 2000.  Chromatographic evidence of the presence of  Prochlorococcus in the East China Sea. Acta Oceanographica Taiwanica, 38: 61.

  • Jiao, N., C. Liu, and N. Chen, 1999. Distribution of dimethylsilphoniopropionate and its controlling mechanism in the East China Sea. Oceanologia et Lomnologia Sinica, 30: 525–531.

  • Jiao, N.  Y. Yang, E. Mann, S. W. Chisholm and N. Chen, 1998. Winter presence of Prochlorococcus in the East China Sea. Chinese Science Bulletin, 43: 877–878.

  • Liu, J. G., C. Y. Wu, N. Chen, Y. J. Wang and L. D. Yu, 1996.  Effect of nitrate and phosphate on accumulation of b-carotene isomers in Dunaliella salinaChin. J. Oceanol. and Limnol., 14(2): 165–171.

  • Chen, N. and N. Z. Jiao, 1995.  Flow cytometer and its application to the study of picoplankton.  In: Ecology of Jiaozhou Bay, (Ed.), pp. 200–205.  Science Press, Beijing, China.

  • Jiao, N. Z. and N. Chen, 1995.  Prochlorococcus--a new field of marine ecology.  In: Ecology of Jiaozhou Bay, (Ed.), pp. 184–189. Science Press, Beijing, China.

  • Svetashev, V. I., H. F. Li, F. C. Yu, Z. Q. Sun, N. Chen and X. J. Jiang, 1994.  Fatty acid composition and total lipid content in the lancelet Branchiostoma belcheri tsingtaoenseComp. Biochem. Physiol., 108A(2/3): 325–329.

  • Li, L. Y., N. Chen and Z. Q. Sun, 1995.  Study of polar lipids and fatty acid composition in pylorus caecum of starfish (Asterias amurensis).  Marine Sciences, 95(5): 49–52.

  • Liu, J. G., X. W. Zhao, Y. J. Wang, N. Chen and L. D. Yu, 1994.  Study on accumulation of b-carotene and its isomers in Dunaliella salina under environmental stress condition--salinity effect.  Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica, 25(1): 1–8.

Honors and Awards:

  • 2002  DISCO XVII (Dissertations Symposium on Chemical Oceanography), Honolulu, Hawaii. selected by committee comprised of NSF, ONR, and NOAA representatives to present paper based on dissertation.

  • 2002  Participant National Marine Innovation Achievement Award, State Oceanic Administration of China. Title: Marine primary productivity structure, new productivity and microbial production processes and mechanisms

Professional Experience:

  • Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Eastern Shore. 2012 to present.
  • Director, Instrumentation Lab, University of Maryland Eastern Shore. 2010 to present.
  • Visiting Lecturer, University of Maryland Eastern Shore. 2010-2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia. 2003-2005.                                       
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Maryland. 2002-2003.
  • Teaching/Research Assistant, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana. 1998-2002.

Professional Affiliations:

American Geophysical Union.
American Society of Limnology and Oceanography.

Synergistic Activities:

Manuscript Reviewer for Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Marine Progress Ecology Series, Marine Chemistry, Organic Geochemistry, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Marine Environmental Research, Continental Shelf Research.