Department of Chemistry

Mathematics and Science Center,
Room 260
146 Library Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-2320
fax: 370-2321

Ziming Yang

Ziming Yang

Ziming Yang

Title: Assistant Professor
Environmental Chemistry
Office: 289 Mathematics and Science Center
Phone: (248) 370-2339
Fax: (248) 370-2321

Postdoctoral Fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2014 – 2016
Ph.D. in Geochemistry, Arizona State University, 2008 – 2014
M.S. in Chemistry, Arizona State University, 2008 – 2011
B.S. in Chemistry, Qingdao University, 2004 – 2008

Research Interests
Research in Dr. Yang’s group is on the interfaces of chemistry, biology, and geology. We apply interdisciplinary knowledge and tools to probe environmental processes such as “hot” hydrothermal organic transformations in Earth’s crust and “cold” permafrost carbon cycling in the Arctic. Our research focuses on the following areas: 

  • Organic geochemistry – we are interested in how geochemical organic reactions occur in nature, and how Earth-abundant minerals influence those carbon-based organic pathways. Major on-going projects include: 1) probing hydrothermal organic-mineral reaction mechanisms with respect to origin of life, petroleum transformations, and deep carbon cycle; 2) developing efficient and green mineral catalysts for C-C and C-H bond activation in hydrothermal systems; 3) investigating hydrothermal organic redox reactions that are driven by minerals and metal ions (e.g., Cu2+).
  • Biogeochemistry – we are interested in organic-mineral-microbe interactions in soils and aqueous ecosystems, where our research incorporates field sampling, laboratory incubation, chemical and microbial analysis, and geochemical modeling. Current research topics include: 1) characterizing influence of climate warming on soil organic carbon degradation and greenhouse gases release in Arctic tundra; 2) developing new analytical methods for identification and quantification of labile organic carbon pools; 3) evaluating temperature sensitivity of extracellular enzymes in carbon and nitrogen cycling.

We are currently looking for motivated undergraduate, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars to join our research group. Please contact Dr. Yang for more information if you are interested.

Tang, G., Zheng, J., Xu, X., Yang, Z., Graham, D. E., Gu, B., Painter, S. L., Thornton, P. E. Biogeochemical modeling of CO2 and CH4 production in anoxic Arctic soil microcosms. Biogeosciences, 2016, 13, 5021-5041.

Yang, Z., Fang, W., Lu, X., Sheng, G., Graham, D. E., Liang, L., Wullschleger, S. D., Gu, B. Warming increases methylmercury production in an Arctic soil. Environmental Pollution, 2016, 214, 504-509.

Lu, X., Liu, Y., Johs, A., Zhao, L., Wang, T., Yang, Z., Lin, H., Elias, D. A., Pierce, E. M., Liang, L. Barkay, T., Gu B. Anaerobic mercury methylation and demethylation by Geobacter bemidjiensis Bem. Environmental Science & Technology, 2016, 50, 4366-4373.

Yang, Z., Wullschleger, S. D., Liang, L., Graham, D. E., Gu, B. Effects of warming on the degradation and production of low-molecular-weight labile organic carbon in an Arctic tundra soil. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 2016, 95, 202-211.

Herndon, E. M., Yang, Z., Barger, J., Janot, N., Regier, T. Z., Graham, D. E., Wullschleger, S. D., Gu, B., Liang, L. Geochemical drivers of organic matter decomposition in Arctic tundra soils. Biogeochemistry, 2015, 126, 397-414.

Yang, Z., Hartnett, H. E., Shock, E. L., Gould, I. R. Organic oxidations using geomimicry. Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2015, 80, 12159-12165.

Herndon, E. M., Mann, B. F., Roy Chowdhury, T., Yang, Z., Wullschleger, S. D., Graham, D. E., Liang, L., Gu, B. Pathways of anaerobic organic matter decomposition in tundra soils from Barrow, Alaska. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, 2015, 120, 2345-2359.

Yang, Z., Lorance, E. D., Bockisch, C., Williams, L. B., Hartnett, H. E., Shock, E. L., Gould, I. R. Hydrothermal photochemistry as a mechanistic tool in organic geochemistry: The chemistry of dibenzylketone. Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2014, 79, 7861-7871.

Shock, E. L., Canovas, P., Yang, Z., Grayson, B., Johnson, K., Robinson, K., Fecteau, K., Windman, T., Cox, A. Thermodynamics of organic transformation in hydrothermal fluids. Reviews in Mineralogy & Geochemistry, 2013, 76, 311-350.

Yang, Z., Gould, I. R., Williams, L. B., Hartnett, H. E., Shock, E. L. The central role of ketones in reversible and irreversible hydrothermal organic functional group transformations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2012, 98, 48-65.

Van Ginkel, S. W., Kim, B., Yang, Z., Sittmann, R., Sholin, M., Micelli, J., Rittmann, B. E. Effect of NaCl on nitrate removal from ion-exchange spent brine in the membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR). Water Science and Technology, 2011, 65, 100-104.

Van Ginkel, S. W., Yang, Z., Kim, B., Sholin, M., Rittmann, B. E. Effect of pH on nitrate and selenate reduction in flue gas desulfurization brine using the H2-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR). Water Science and Technology, 2011, 63, 2923-2928.

Van Ginkel, S. W., Yang, Z., Kim, B., Sholin, M., Rittmann, B. E. The removal of selenate to low ppb levels from flue gas desulfurization brine using the H2-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR). Bioresource Technology, 2011, 102, 6360-6364.

Honors and Awards
Outstanding Post-Graduate Researcher Award, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2016
CLAS Graduate Excellence Award, Arizona State University, 2014
AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science, AAAS, 2014
LeRoy Eyring Memorial Fellowship in Chemistry, Arizona State University, 2014
Summer Graduate Research Fellowship, Arizona State University, 2013
NASA Astrobiology Institute Scholarship, NASA, 2013
Graduate and Professional Student Association Travel Award, Arizona State University, 2013
Graduate Student Travel Awards, Arizona State University, 2010, 2013
Forrest and Patricia McGrath Graduate Scholarship, Washington University, 2011
Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative Award, Arizona State University, 2010
University Graduate Fellowship, Arizona State University, 2008
Outstanding Undergraduate Award, Qingdao University, 2008