Wei-Jen Chen, Ph.D.

Professor at National Taiwan University (NTU)

Principal Investigator of the Marine Biodiversity and Phylogenomics Lab

Fish and marine invertebrate curator of the NTU Museum of Zoology

Associate editor for Frontiers in Marine Science (Section: Marine Evolutionary Biology, Biogeography and Species Diversity) & Journal of Fisheries and Environment

Member of the International Steering Committee of the Indo-Pacific Fish Conference Series (Dec. 2018 ~ present)

Board member (since Feb. 2014) of the Asian Society of Ichthyologists

Email: wjchen.actinops[at]gmail[dot]com; wjchen1971[dot]g[at]ntu[dot]edu[dot]tw

Mailing address:

Room 301, Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University

No.1 Sec. 4 Roosevelt Rd., Taipei 10617, Taiwan

Phone: 886 (0)2-3366-1630; 886 (0)2-2363-6040 ext.301 Fax: 886 (0)2-2363-7062

Yu-Anne & Wei-Jen 2010

Media interview : 海洋之窗-台灣海洋向前行, Youtube link 1, 2, 3, & 4; 公共電視_驚奇VR生態館, link; Campus France, link

Fieldwork photos


Aug 2017 - Present

Full Professor at Institute of Oceanography and Department of Life Science (joint appointment), National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

Aug 2015 - July 2017

Associate Professor (joint appointment) at Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Dec 2017 - Feb 2018

Visiting Associate Professor at the Kyoto University Museum, Japan

Aug 2013 - July 2017

Associate Professor at Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

Aug 2009 - July 2013

Assistant Professor at Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

Feb 2006 - June 2009

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Saint Louis University, USA (with Prof. Richard Mayden).

Oct 2003 - Dec 2005

Contractor-Researcher at INRA, Bordeaux, France (with Dr. Marie-France Corio-Costet).

Nov 2002 - May 2003

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Konstanz, Germany (with Prof. Axel Meyer).

Feb 2001 - Oct 2002

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Nebraska, USA (with Dr. Guillermo Ortí).

Feb 2002 & Feb 2006

Qualified as “maîtres de conférences” (assistant professor) in section 68 “Biologie des organismes” in France.


2001. Ph.D. Biological Sciences- Biodiversity: Genetics, History and Mechanisms of Evolution at University of Paris 6 (merged into the Sorbonne University since 2018), France.

1997. DEA (equivalent to master degree in USA system):Biodiversity: Genetics, History and Mechanisms of Evolution at University of Paris 6 (Université Pierre et Marie Curie), France.

1993. Bachelor of Science at Department of Zoology, Fishery Division, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.


My work and general research interests concern the application of molecular and computational tools within a phylogenetic framework to interpret organismal diversity (in fish particularly) and to understand mechanisms of evolution. Currently, I'm emphasizing on marine phylogenomics (see Chen and Mayden 2010; Chen, Samadi, and Chen 2018), exploration of marine biodiversity (see Lee et al. 2019; Chen et al. 2016, 2017), biogeography (especially, in studying the origin of the Coral Triangle’s extreme concentration of marine biodiversity in relation to geological, climate and evolutionary events, See Chen and Borsa 2020), evolution of deep-sea metazoans (see Lee et al. 2019), and marine conservation (see, e.g., Samadi et al. 2015).


For a complete list of publications see this page or my Google scholar page



  • Personal research funding from Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (2019 – 2021) (MOST 108-2611-M-002 -012 -MY2) (4,022,000 NTD). Project title: Biodiversity exploration in the deep sea (second phase): Usage of emerging technologies and integrated approach to meet new challenges

  • Personal research funding from Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (2018 – 2019) (MoST 07-2611-M-002-007-) (1,686,000 NTD). Project title: Biodiversity exploration in the deep sea


  • Personal research funding from Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (2015 – 2018) (MoST 104-2611-M-002-002-MY3) (6,459,000 NTD). Project title: Significance of the Indo-West Pacific barrier(s) to marine species distribution and evolution: emperor breams (Perciformes: Lethrinidae) as a case study

  • Bilateral cooperation research funding from National Science Council, Taiwan (2013 – 2016) (NSC 102-2923-B-002 -001 -MY3) (9,166,000 NTD) and ANR, France. Project title: Taiwan France marine diversity exploration and evolution of deep-sea fauna (TFDeepEvo)

  • Personal research funding from MOST, Taiwan (2012 – 2015) (NSC 101-2611-M-002 -016 -MY3) (5,966,000 NTD). Project title: Evolution and marine biogeography of fish of Taiwan and South China Sea islands in an Indo-West Pacific context

  • Subcontract of the cooperation research funding from National Science Foundation, USA (2013 – 2014) (30,800 USD). Project title: Collaborative PBI: All Cypriniformes Species: Phase II of an Inventory of the Otophysi

  • Personal research funding from MOST, Taiwan (2010-2012) (NSC 99-2611-M-002-001-MY2) (4,855,000 NTD). Project title: Marine phylogenomics: a case study for ray-finned fishes


Tropical Deep-Sea Benthos program (MNHN, IRD) and the TFDeepEvo (ANR-MOST funded)

Expedition database see this page

Sept. 2019 New Caledonia in Central Pacific Ocean (Campaign: KANADEEP 2), with R/V Atalante, France

July & Aug. 2019 E of Taiwan/Luzon Strait Expedition 2019 (Campaign: Sakizaya 2019), with R/V OR1, Taiwan

June 2018 NE of Taiwan Expedition 2018 (Campaign: Kavalan 2018), with R/V OR1, Taiwan

July 2015 ZhongSha/DongSha Exploration 2015 (Campaign: ZhongSha 2015), with R/V OR1, Taiwan

May 2014 DongSha Exploration 2014 (Campaign: DongSha 2014), with R/V OR1, Taiwan

Jan. 2014 Nan-Hai Marine Biodiversity Exploration 2014 (Campaign: NanHai 2014), with R/V OR5, Taiwan

May 2013 South and SE of Taiwan in West Pacific Ocean (Campaign: TAIWAN 2013), with R/V OR1 & 3, Taiwan

Nov. 2012 Biodiversity expedition in Madang, Papua New-Guinea (Program: Our Planet Reviewed)

Sept. 2011 New Caledonia in Central Pacific Ocean (Campaign: EXBODI), with R/V ALIS, IRD (see news)

NTU-IRD jointed project on the phylogeography and systematics of emperors and large-eye seabreams and other coral reef fishes

April 2019 Scattered Islands (îles d'éparses) in W. Indian Ocean (Campaign: DHEEP), with R/V Marion Dufresne (link; PDF)

April 2011 Scattered Islands (îles d'éparses) in W. Indian Ocean, with R/V Marion Dufresne (see media news)


During my doctorate study (at Laboratoire d’Ichtyologie générale et appliquée and Service commun de systématique moléculaire, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN) à Paris under the supervision of Dr. Guillaume Lecointre), my research was focused on a systematics project of acanthomorph fishes, the most diverse group of vertebrates. My work was the first attempt to summarize multi-locus data for an extensive taxonomic sampling of acanthomorphs (Chen et al. 2003). I also worked on small-scale phylogeny of higher notothenioids (Antarctic acanthomorphs, composed of the families Harpagiferidae, Artedidraconidae, Bathydraconidae, and Channichthyidae) based on two mitochondrial genes (Chen et al. 1998; Derome et al. 2002). The comparison with phylogeography and ecology of included channichthyid taxa allowed proposing putative speciation models and correlations with paleo-events of Antarctic Ocean (Chen et al. 1998).

I embarked on my first postdoctoral training at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to further horn my skills on molecular techniques and molecular systematics of fishes (López et al. 2004). Later, I had a short stint as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Konstanz in Germany where I worked on projects of EVODEVO (evolutionary development) in cichlids and phylogenomic analysis of fish model systems (Chen et al. 2004). Besides, a collaboration work (with Dr. Jing Luo) on molecular systematics and biogeography of Oriental Voles (Genus Eothenomys, Muridae, Mammalia) was accomplished (Luo et al. 2004).

I also expand my extensive experience in Molecular Systematics studies to the investigations of micro-evolution and Molecular Ecology using grapevine downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) as model system (Chen et al. 2007; and others). This research activity was conducted at French National Institute for Agronomic research (INRA, Bordeaux).

Prior to my current position, I have been working on the US NSF funded AToL study on the Cypriniformes Tree of Life (CToL) at St. Louis University (Chen et al. 2008; Chen and Mayden 2009; Chen et al. 2009; and others).


  • Ministry of Science and Technology (formerly, National Science Council), Taiwan (2009 ~ present)

  • National Science Center, Poland (2013)

  • African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP) of South Africa (2012)

  • National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT), Chile (2010)

  • Associate editor for a specialty section of Frontiers in Marine Science - Marine Systematics and Taxonomy (2014 ~ present)

  • Thalassas (2020)

  • Scientific data (2020),

  • Marine Diversity (2020)

  • Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2013, 2014, 2016-2018)

  • Journal of Fish Biology (2004, 2016, 2017)

  • Zoological Studies (2017, 2018)

  • Systematic Biology (2016)

  • Zoology (2016)

  • DNA Barcodes (2015)

  • Cybium (2015)

  • Marine Biodiversity records (2015)

  • Zoological Scripta (2011, 2013, 2015)

  • Journal of Ichthyology (2014)

  • Journal of Systematics and Evolution (2012)

  • Marine Ecology Progress Series (2011)

  • Zootaxa (2010, 2019)

  • Systematics and Biodiversity (2010)

  • Biology Letter (2009)

  • Hydrobiologia (2009)

  • Ichthyological Research (2006)

  • Journal of Biogeography (2006)

  • Molecular Biology and Evolution (2003)


  • Molecular phylogenetics

  • Vertebrate zoology

  • Marine fish taxonomy: a practice work

  • Advanced course of evolutionary biology

  • Basic in theoretical evolutionary Ecology

  • Marine biotechnology: case studies

  • Methods in marine genetic data analyses

  • Evolutionary Biology and Population Genetics: Theory and Practice

  • Paper reading in marine biology (master and Ph.D. level)