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Research Biography

Prof WEI ZHANG, a Biochemical Engineer since 1989, has strong research and teaching expertise in bioprocess engineering, marine bioproducts engineering, and industrial and pharmaceutical biotechnology including marine bioprocessing, molecular and integrated bioprocessing, microalgal biofuels and biorefinery, bioproduct discovery and development, membrane bioreactor, fermentation, plant and animal cell culture. He obtained his PhD from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and did his Postdocs in University of Tokyo, Adelaide University and Cambridge University. He joined Flinders University in 1998. Since 2000, he has secured many national and international grants of over A$50 millions for 50+ research projects. He has found the Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development at Flinders University and became its inaugural Director in 2009. He has published over 200 refereed Journal papers, 140+ conference presentations, 20+ industrial reports, eight Journal special issues, two conference proceedings, two edited books. He is an editorial member of four International Journals- Marine Biotechnology, Journal of Applied Phycology, Marine Life Science and Technology, and Biofuels; and Section Editor in Chief for Frontiers in Marine Science (Marine Biotechnology). He has organised and chaired more than 30 international conferences and sessions, including 13th International Biotechnology Symposium with over 2500 participants, and 8th Asia-Pacific Algal Biotechnology Conference. He is a winner of "South Australia Young Tall Poppy Science Award" in 2008, and "Convention Adelaide Award" in 2016. He is the Inaugural President of Australia-New Zealand Marine Biotechnology Society, and Chair of Marine Biotechnology Subcommittee, Australia National Marine Science Committee.He serves as Board member for Asia-Pacific Marine Biotechnology Society, and BioMarine. He has driven many national and international partnerships across governments, universities, industries, professional societies and communities. He is an internationally recognised leader in his field, with highly accomplished entrepreneurial skills to drive translational and transformational research toward industry outcomes and impacts.

Research Interests

Detailed research projects can be found at Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development

Marine Bioproducts and Bioprocessing

  • Value-added to seafood processing by-products and by-catches
  • Bioprospecting and bio-discovery of marine bioproducts
  • Large-scale culture of marine organisms
  • Marine environmental biotechnology
  • Marine biomaterials

Bioenergy and Biorefinery

  • Microalgal-based bioenergy and biofuels
  • Photobiological hydrogen production from marine algae
  • Biorefinery of microalgae biomass

Molecular Plant Cell-Based Bioprocessing

  • Development of plant cell/tissue culture for production of secondary metabolites
  • Metabolic optimization of biosynthetic pathway of secondary metabolism
  • Manipulation of post-biosynthetic pathway of plant cell culture
  • Non-linear plant cell-based bioprocess
  • Metabolic profiling of plant secondary metabolism
  • Screening and discovery of bioactives from Australian native plants

Integrated Bioprocessing and Dynamic Process Optimization

  • Integrated bioprocess
  • Immobilized cell system
  • Membrane bioreactors
  • Modelling and supercomputer simulation of bioprocess
  • Downstream processing, isolation, purification

Supervised Students Successes

  • May 2018 Qi Yang - 2017 Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence
  • May 2018 Suvimol Charoensiddhi - 2017 Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence
  • May 2013 Xuan Luo - BioSA Prize

Completed Supervisions

Principal Supervisions:
  • Marine biotechology (2)
Associate Supervisions:
  • Marine biotechology (6)


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Medical biosciences

Supervisory Interests

  • Marine biotechnology
  • Marine microbiology
  • Industrial biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical biotechnology and natural product drug discovery
  • Bioactive foods
  • Bioprocess technology
  • Marine bioproducts engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Cell culture
  • Biomass biorefinery, bioproducts development


  • TP Chemical technology
  • Marine Biotechnology
  • Biorefinery
  • Bioprocessing
  • Bioproducts
  • Circular bioeconomy


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