Jing Zhang is a sea-going chemical oceanographer, an environmental geochemist, and professor at the University of Toyama. She earned an MSc and PhD from the University of Tokyo and did her postgraduate work at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences. Zhang moved to the University of Toyama in 1998 and has been a professor there since 2008. Zhang’s research seeks to clarify the origins of materials in the hydrosphere, their distributions and circulation mechanisms, and the links with global environmental changes, by analyzing trace elements and isotopic compositions. She studies the transport and interaction between the marginal seas and the open ocean; submarine groundwater discharge and shallow hydrothermal systems; oceanic circulation and variation related to global climate changes; origins and long-term transportation of anthropogenic materials; and the formation mechanisms of chemical synthesis communities, such as bacterial mats and methane flux in cold seep and gas/oil seep areas. In 2018, Zhang received the JOS Environmental Science Prize of the Oceanographic Society of Japan.
Since 2004, Zhang has been a member of the planning group for GEOTRACES program, serving on the Science Steering Committee from 2006 through 2011, and the Data Management Committee until 2017. To help to improve the clean onboard sampling/treatment skills in the Eastern Asian countries, Zhang has invited many participants from developing countries onboard many Japanese GEOTRACES section cruises, as well as related process-oriented research cruises she led from 2010. She is a chair of the twelve-country Working Group (2017-2021), “A framework for cooperative studies in the Western Pacific Marginal Seas: Energy and materials exchange between land and open ocean”, established by the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) in 2017.
Zhang has participated in many cruises, with more than 1,500 days at sea and has used submersibles and ROVs many times. She has also served many international scientific societies, such as F.W. Clarke Award Committee and Nominations Committee of the Geochemical Society. She is a councilor of the Geochemical Society of Japan and the Oceanographic Society of Japan. At present, Zhang is a member of the Science Council of Japan, and a director in the Environmental Cooperation Center.