Meet Yunlang Zhang, Sr. Major in Geology

Tell us something about where you grew up.
I grew up in Tianjin, China, which is a city on the east coast of China by the Bohai Gulf. In Tianjin, there is a lot of delicious food, especially for breakfast, and the city is famous for its steamed buns. My favorite sight in Tianjin is the Italian Style District in downtown Tianjin, where most of nineteenth-century style European architecture is well-preserved, as parts of Tianjin were concessions of European countries during the early 1900s.

What do you like about the EEPS Dept?
I really like the way that we are doing our senior project. Since the department is small, there are a lot of chances, at least for me, to work with my research advisors very closely and learn how to do research step by step from them. Field trips are always my favorite part of every course. I learned a lot of theories from lectures, and field trips just put everything together.

What’s something you don’t know about or how to do, but would like to learn?
I’d like to learn paleontology someday. As I’m working on microfossils, I’m surprised by the story these small things can tell, and this makes me more curious about what story those big fossils can tell.

Tell us about your senior research thesis.
I am working on the fossil pollen extracted from a sediment core drilled from the central basin of Lake Erie with Dr. Adojoh and Dr. Saylor. By looking at how the vegetation changed over time in response to the changing climate, we can use the reconstructed vegetation dynamic to further reconstruct paleoclimate. The fossil pollen I am looking at can be traced back to the early Holocene, or even very late Pleistocene, so hopefully my pollen can tell a good history of how the climate changed throughout the entire Holocene. With this climate history, we may be able to answer more questions regarding Lake Erie’s limnology.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to cook and hang out with my friends. I also travel a lot during holidays, especially for scuba diving trips, no matter shore dives, boat dives, or even liveaboard.

What are you enthused about for your future?
I am looking forward to graduating and going to grad school, hopefully somewhere near the ocean and warm. I also plan to enroll in a scuba instructor development course, so I can teach my friends how to do this cool sport.