- Marine viruses: isolation, physiology, biogeography, genomics and metagenomics of viruses in aquatic environments
- Phage-host interactions: focus on two model systems (cyanobacteria and cyanophage; Roseobacter and roseophage); evolution of viruses and their hosts, gene transfer agent (GTA)
- Molecular microbial ecology: application of genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics to explore the diversity and functions of microorganisms living in the sea
- Microalgal biotechnology: isolation and characterization of microalgae from diverse habitats; selection of microalgae for mitigation of green house gases, removal of nutrients from animal wastes, and identification of potential biofuel producers; integration of algae-based clean and green biotechnologies on the pilot scale
Dr. Feng Chen is a Professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. He received his B.S. in Marine Biology from the Ocean University of China in 1985, M.S. in Phytoplankton Ecology from the First Institute of Oceanography, the State Oceanic Administration, China in 1988, and Ph.D. in Marine Microbial Ecology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995. He joined the faculty of University of Maryland in 2000.
His main research focuses on the diversity and function of microorganisms (mainly viruses, bacteria, cyanobacteria and microalgae) and their ecological role in the marine ecosystem. He applies both traditional cultivation methods and advanced molecular or omics technologies to discover novel microbes and understand their physiology, ecology and evolution. He also develops algae-based biotechnology as a solution for sustainable environments and renewable energy. He has published 11 book chapters and 70 peer-reviewed research articles. His studies on the Chesapeake Bay microbiota have led to discoveries of novel microbes in the estuarine environment.