State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography(LTO), South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was founded in 1998. LTO passed the evaluation for the CAS’s key laboratories organized by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in November, 2001 and became one of the first key laboratories of marine encironmental sciences of the CAS. In June, 2004, LTO passed the regular evaluation by the panel committee of the CAS.
LTO, with its emphasises on studies on tropical ocean circulation dynamics and its environmental effect, tropical oceanic entironment process evolvement and remote sensing analysis and numerical modelling on tropical oceanic environmental process, is mostly engaged in basic research and applied basic research, whose main research target is marine environmental dynamics in the South China Sea and the nearby tropical sea areas, in order to discover the dynamic changes and coupling coorelations among tropical oceanic physical environment, chemical environment, and ecological processes; and to develop a theoretical and technological system of tropical marine environmental processes with distinct geographical characteristics.
LTO’s managerial style is open, flexible, united and competitive. It adopts a transparent, fair, competitive and rotational employment method. It now has 58 fixed employees, 9 of which are members of the “Program of introducing overseas outstanding talents” of the national knowLTOge innovation project of the CAS, 2 are recipients of funds for national outstanding young talents. LTO can give doctorial and master degrees in four majors-ocean biology, physical oceanography, ocean geology, ocean chemistry and environmental science.
In early 2006, by the concern and support of the officials of the institute, under the guidance of the academy committee, and according to the requirments of the communist party of the CAS, LTO, as one of the ten “Excellence Three” scientific and technological innovational experimental teams of the CAS, carried out actively activities focusing on creating excellent academic environment, good atmosphere of cooperation and quality management mode in relation to establishing “Excellence Three” scientific and technological innovational team; promoting in depth the “Excellence Three” innovational team work; making specific working scheme of establishing “Excellence Three” innovational team based on the following three goals: excellent academic environment, good atmosphere of cooperation and quality management mode. In early 2007, LTO was awarded two honorary titles-“Pioneer of Department” by the direct provincial authorities of Guangdong, and the Guangzhou Branch of the CAS/Guangdong Academy of Sciences respectively. The LTO communist party branch was honored “Pioneer of Department” by the Guangzhou Branch of the CAS/Guangdong Academy of Science.
Strengthen disciplinary constitution and improve competence for external projects. LTO has gained totally 302 projects of different kinds since its establishment, including seven “973” national projects, twelve “863” projects, 2 project grants by funds for national outstanidng young talents, 1 cooperation project among Hongkong, Macao and Taiwan sponsored by funds for national outstanidng young talents, 5 key project grants of the National Nature Science Foundation, 64 projects of the National Nature Science Foundation, 10 projects of the “Program of introducing overseas outstanding talents” of the CAS, 7 projects of the knowLTOge innovation program of CAS, 6 grants of the Guangdong important and key scientific and technological projects, and 6 inernational projects. The total grants have been more than 12 million yuan. Scientists of LTO have gained series of important results on spatial-temporal structure of circulation of the South China Sea, tropical air-sea interaction, coastal environmental ecological process in the Nansha Islands, environmental process evolvement in the South China coastal area, ocean remote sensing application and oceanic numerical simulation, etc.. Currently more than 500 papers have been published by domestic and international academic publications, 148 of which have been on SCI/SCI(E) journals. More than 10 monographs have been composed.
In 2007, the completed research project “tropical oceanic variability and its climate effect” LTO by Wang Dongxiao, Cai Shuqun, Gan Zijun, Qi Yiquan was awarded first prize of the Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Award. In 2005, the completed research project “research on coastal pollution prevention and ecological protection technology in the Pearl River Estuary” LTO by Huang Xiaoping, Huang Liangmin, Chen Chuqun was awarded second prize of the Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Award. The completed research project “research on ecology and oceanography of typical coastal harmful red tides” LTO by Zhu Liangsheng, Huang Xiaoping was awarded second prize by the Ocean Science and Technology Award of the State Oceanic Administration. Completed research project “research on characteristics of the South China Sea water stratification, inner tides and internal wave solitons” LTO by Cai Shuqun, Fang Wendong and Gan Zijun gained third prize of the Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Award. In 2004, the completed research project “near-shore waves, tides, currents coupling numerical models and its applications under tropical storms” LTO by Zhu Liangsheng gained second prize of the Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Award. Completed project “SZS3-1 Pressure-Type Water Gauge” LTO by Wang Sheng’an, Cai Shuqun was awarded third prize of the Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Award. In 2003, completed research project “surface sea water layer optical measurement system” LTO by Cao Wenxi, Ke Tiancun, Yang yuezhong was given the third prize of the Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Award. Research project “research on ocean chemistry using nuclear technology” was also given the third prize of the Guangdong Provincial Science and Technology Award.
Encourage teamwork spirit and demonstrate the important function of the team academic platform. LTO’s “research team on tropical marine ecological process” passed the regular evaluation of the CAS in 2008, and gained special supporting funds from the CAS. Overseas and domestic members of the team carry out their cooperation by jointly enrolling graduate students, applying research projects, doing short-term visits and external invitations, etc..
Strengthen academic exchanges and cooperation; create an excellent academic and cultural atmosphere. LTO has established long-term, stable relations of cooperation with many internationally renowned universities and research institutes, such asInternational Pacific Research Center (IPRC), University of Hawaii, USA; Tohoku University, Japan;Plymouth Institute of Marine Research (PML), UK; CSIRO Marine Research Institute, Australia; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), USA; the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, USA; Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), NOAA. LTO has also signed cooperative agreements with the AMCE Lab of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Ocean University of China, Xiamen University and other like domestic research institutions, universities and colleges. Through carrying out all kinds of academic activities, exchange of visits by scholars to increase communication, etc., cooperative researches have been carried out in many aspects such as marine environmental dynamic process and marine biology. In recent years, there have been totally 183 visits from foreign research institutions to LTO for academic visit or short-term study. In the meantime, the LTO staff have been attending all kinds of academic meetings held at home and abroad and taking part in short-term international cooperative researches totally 630 times.
With finacial supports from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Nature Science Foundation of China, the Guangzhou Association for Science & Technology, etc., LTO has organized and hosted 19 international, domestic and cross-strait academic meetings, including the International workshop on South China Sea marine environmental changes; the Workshop on Indian Ocean and marine disasters ( tsunami); Workshop on Cross-strait coral reef biology and marine protected area; Workshop on Reverse environmental degradation trends in the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand-effects on the marine food web and ecosystem by the seaweed, extreme nutrient conditions; Workshop on applications of the air-sea observational resources; Workshop on remote sensing of water color on case 2 waters; International Symposium on the tropical western Pacific: ENSO causes and global teleconnection; the Fourth Meeting of the international climate change research program CLIVAR-Pacific Committee; the Fourth National Ocean Observing Data Assimilation workshop; Workshop on marine ecology and climate change; The 9th Pan Ocean Remote Sensing Conference (PORSEC2008); and The 4th remote sensing workshop on marine ecological environment. The series of national and international meetings have established a broad platform of communication and exchange for the innovational team and relevant universities, research institutions, as well as for the domestic and overseas counterparts. They have not only strengthened the exchange and cooperation between the domestic and overseas counterparts, but also broadened the research horizon, demonstrated the academic results of LTO, helped to form a united, enterprising and innovative research team, and made essential, advanced and strategic contribution.