Telephone: (01792) 606269
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Room: Academic Office - 104
First Floor
Wallace Building
Singleton Campus

I am an aquatic scientist with research interests in plankton ecology and biogeochemistry in both marine and freshwater environments. Plankton, which include viruses, bacteria, phytoplankton, protozoan and metazoan zooplankton, not only constitute the bulk of the aquatic biomass and the foundation of the aquatic food web, but also drive most of the biogeochemical processes in the water column. My work involves field observations, experimentation and modeling, and I am particularly interested in interdisciplinary research.

As Swansea University PI of SEACAMS2 (part-funded by ERDF), I lead a team of scientists to assist the development of opportunities in Low carbon, Energy and Environment in the convergence regions of Wales. For details please see

I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

For additional information please go to Google Plus or My Web Page. A full list of publications is also available on Research Gate and Google Scholar (search: Kam W. Tang).

Areas of Expertise

  • Plankton ecology
  • Microbial ecology
  • Pelagic processes
  • Biogeochemistry


  1. & Seasonal Factors Influencing Copepod Abundance in the Maryland Coastal Bays. Estuaries and Coasts
  2. & Effects of water column processes on the use of sediment traps to measure zooplankton non-predatory mortality: a mathematical and empirical assessment. Journal of Plankton Research
  3. & Methane Production in Oxic Lake Waters Potentially Increases Aquatic Methane Flux to Air. Environmental Science & Technology Letters 3(6), 227-233.
  4. & Balancing fishery and conservation: a case study of the barrel jellyfishRhizostoma octopusin South Wales. ICES Journal of Marine Science: Journal du Conseil 74, 234-241.
  5. & Porewater methane transport within the gas vesicles of diurnally migrating Chaoborus spp.: An energetic advantage. Scientific Reports 7, 44478
  6. & The Chaoborus pump: Migrating phantom midge larvae sustain hypolimnetic oxygen deficiency and nutrient internal loading in lakes. Water Research 122, 36-41.
  7. & Theoretical size controls of the giant Phaeocystis globosa colonies. Ocean Science Journal 50(2), 283-289.
  8. & Copepod carcasses as microbial hot spots for pelagic denitrification. Limnology and Oceanography 60, 2026-2036.

See more...


  • BIO106 Ecology and animal behaviour

    This 20 credit module is divided into two sections and broadly introduces students to the study of animal behaviour and ecological processes. The first 10 lectures focus on the evolutionary pressures that drive animal behaviour and give rise to the behavioural adaptations witnessed across the animal kingdom today, from learning and cultural transmission, to anti-predatory mechanisms and migration. The section is concluded with a lecture on human behaviour, determining how we are influenced by the same set of natural regulations that govern our wild counterparts The final 10 lectures focus on ecology, which is the study of the interactions of organisms with their environment. The topic is divided into four key themes: the individual, species interactions, communities and ecosystems and additional introduction to marine ecology.

  • BIO238 Marine Ecosystems: Threats and conservation

    This module introduces the students to coastal marine ecosystems and the broad ecological concepts that underpin coastal marine community structure. We then focus on the threats faced by these ecosystems from climate change and marine plastics to illegal fishing and tourism. The module then moves onto the conservation of marine ecosystems and the students will learn about the management of tropical marine protected areas (MPAs), running a conservation charity and the legislation and governance which covers both the UK and international marine ecosystems. The lectures cover the classification of marine biota and marine ecosystems and the ecology of a number of coastal marine habitats including temperate rocky, soft sediment shores, coral reefs, the deep sea and polar ecosystems. There are 3 pieces of coursework associated with this module. Two will have associated fieldtrips to Skomer Island (to observe puffin behaviour and habitat) and one to Crymlyn burrows. The third will be a talk, given to explain the key threats to their designated ecosystem studied in detail during the seminar sessions. All three rely on group collected observations and data with emphasis placed on teamwork and group cooperation.

  • BIO329 Climate Change Biology

    The module examines the intricate connections between air, land and water in regulating the global climate system, and how that in turn affects planetary scale biology and ecology. Major past and present climate events and projected climate change, and their global ecological and environmental consequences will also be covered.

  • BIO338 Polar Biology

    This module considers the ecology of the polar region. Topics are organised into six themes: 1) History of polar exploration; 2) Characteristics of the environments; 3) Major wildlife; 4) Adaptation strategies; 5) Ecosystem dynamics; 6) Changes and threats. Lectures will be complemented by paper discussions.


  • N/A (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Kevin Flynn
  • Daphnia magna-induced defenses in two green algae -Scenedesmus quadricauda and Chlorella vulgaris: morphological and chemical changes. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Mike Fowler
  • Evaluating the Scientific an Technical capacities towards sustainable production of sea vegetables in Milford Haven (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • Developing sustainable seaweed cultivation in Pembrokeshire (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr John Griffin
  • Coastal marine ecology - intertidal and subtidal environments (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Ruth Callaway
  • Remote methods for the assessment of coastal biodiversity interacting with marine renewable developments. (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Richard Unsworth
  • 'Macroalgae as a potential mitigation agent for ocean acidification' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Ed Pope

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2014 Present Personal chair Swansea University
2014 2016 Adjunct faculty Virginia Institute of Marine Science
2008 2013 Associate Professor Virginia Institute of Marine Science
2002 2008 Assistant Professor Virginia Institute of Marine Science
2000 2002 Postdoctoral Fellow Danish Institute for Fisheries Research