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Xingchen Tony Wang


About Me

I received a B.S. in Geochemistry from Nanjing University in June 2010 and a Ph.D. in Geosciences from Princeton University in April 2016. My research is focused on the cycling of nitrogen and carbon in the modern and ancient oceans, by developing and applying a novel geochemical proxy: nitrogen isotopes in fossils (e.g. corals). I was a Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Fellow of the Graduate School at Princeton University, a Schlanger Fellow of Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and a member of Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars

Research Interests

Global Nitrogen and Carbon Cycle

Paleoceanography and Paleoclimate

Historical Geobiology

Stable Isotope Geochemistry

Nutrient Cycling in Coral Reef Environments

Peer-reviewed Publications

Frankowiak, K., X. T. Wang, D. M. Sigman, A. M. Gothmann, M. V. Kitahara, M. Mazur, A. Meibom, and J. Stolarski, Photosymbiosis and the expansion of shallow-water corals. Science Advances (2016). doi:10.1126/sciadv.1601122

In the news:

When corals met algae: Symbiotic relationship crucial to reef survival dates to the Triassic

Can an Ancient Friendship Help Save Corals?

Global warming could be breaking up this 200 million year old relationship

Wang, X. T., D. M. Sigman, A. L. Cohen, D. J. Sinclair, R. M. Sherrell, K. M. Cobb, D. V. Erler, J. Stolarski, M. V. Kitahara and H. Ren, Influence of open ocean nitrogen supply on the skeletal d15N of modern shallow-water scleractinian corals. Earth and Planetary Science Letter (2016)doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.02.032

Erler, D.V., X. T. Wang, D. M. Sigman, S. R. Scheffers, A. Martinez-Garcia, and G. H. Haug, Nitrogen isotopic composition of organic matter from a 168 year-old coral skeleton: Implications for coastal nutrient cycling in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon. Earth and Planetary Science Letter (2016). doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.11.023

Li G., X. T. Wang, Z. Yang, A. J. West, C. Mao and J. Ji, Dam-triggered organic carbon sequestration makes the Changjiang (Yangtze) river basin (China) a significant carbon sink. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences (2015). doi :10.1002/2014JG002646 

In the news:

Three Gorges Dam could be locking up carbon

Erler, D.V., X. T. Wang, D. M. Sigman, S. R. Scheffers and B. O. Shepherd, Controls on the nitrogen isotopic composition of shallow water corals across a tropical reef flat transect. Coral Reefs (2015). doi: 10.1007/s00338-014-1215-5

Wang, X. T., D. M. Sigman, A. L. Cohen, D. J. Sinclair, R. M. Sherrell, M. A. Weigand, D. V. Erler and H. Ren, Isotopic composition of skeleton-bound organic nitrogen in reef-building symbiotic corals: A new method and proxy evaluation at Bermuda. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta (2015). doi:10.1016/j.gca.2014.09.017

Wang, X. T., M. G. Prokopenko, D. M. Sigman, J. F. Adkins, L. F. Robinson, H. Ren, S. Oleynik, B. Williams and G. H. Haug, Isotopic composition of carbonate-bound organic nitrogen in deep-sea scleractinian corals: A new window into past biogeochemical change. Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2014). doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.05.048

Other Publications

Fusion Energy via Magnetic Confinement: An Energy Technology Distillate.  Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University (2016). Website


Department: Geosciences

Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Area: Global Biogeochemical Cycles/Paleoceanography

Office: A15 Guyot Hall

Phone: 609-937-2536