Yong Chen

Research Interests

  • Fisheries Population Dynamics
  • Fisheries Stock Assessment and management
  • Fisheries Ecology
  • Risk analysis in fisheries management
  • Management strategy evaluation
  • Statistical and Mathematical Modeling
  • International collaborations in fisheries management

Active Research Projects

  • Maine Department of Marine Resources: Evaluating impacts of conservation measures on lobster population dynamics in a changing Gulf of Maine (2018-2021)
  • Maine Department of Marine Resources: Project and evaluate impacts of environmental variations on the spatio-temporal distributions of lobster population and suitable habitat in a changing Gulf of Maine 2018-2021
  • Maine Department of Marine Resources: Evaluate effectiveness of current sea sampling, ventless trap, and ME-NH and NEFSC bottom trawl surveys in monitoring lobster stock in a changing Gulf of Maine 2018-2021
  • NMFS/Sea Grant Population and Ecosystem Dynamics Graduate Fellowship (Mackenzie Mazur): Developing and applying a management strategy evaluation framework for the Maine lobster fishery in a changing Gulf of Maine (2018-2021)
  • NOAA: An Assessment of Vertical Line Use in Gulf of Maine Region Fixed Gear Fisheries and Resulting Conservation Benefits for the Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale (2018-2021)
  • Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries: Longline/jigging sentinel survey in the northern Gulf of Maine (2018-2021)
  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation: Marine Fisheries Partnership Program (2019-2021)
  • NOAA COCA: Adaptation to climate change in the Maine lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery. 2019-2021
  • Paradise International Foundation: Creating an International Fisheries Science and Policy Learning Network (2020- 2021)
  • New York Department of Environment and Conservation: Assess the spatio-temporal dynamics of longfin squid suitable habitat and abundance in the New York Bight (2020-2021)
  • NOAA Scallop Research Set Aside Program: Quantifying scallop growth and evaluating its spatio-temporal variability in the Northern Gulf of Maine (2020-2022)
  • Lenfest Ocean Program: Adapting Science and Management to the Global Rise of Crustacean Fisheries (2020-2022)
  • The NMFS/Sea Grant Population & Ecosystem Dynamics Fellowship (Cameron Hodgdon): A framework to assess and forecast spatio-temporal dynamics of fish stocks in a changing environment (2020-2023)
  • National Sea Grant Lobster Research program: Incorporating changes in thermal habitat and growth to improve the assessment of American lobster stocks and spatial distribution in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Banks, and Southern New England. (2020-2022)
  • Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC): Working with stakeholders to develop best practice for China’s mixed fisheries stock assessment and management (2020-2022)


  • University of Toronto (Canada), Ph.D., 1995 (Zoology and Statistics)
  • University of Toronto (Canada), M.S., 1991 (Fish Ecology)
  • Qingdao Ocean University (China), B.Agric., 1983 (Fisheries Science)


  • SMS 321: Introduction to Fisheries Science
  • SMS 562: Fisheries Population Dynamics
  • SMS 597: Statistical Modeling
  • SMS 598: Special Topics in Marine Sciences


Yong Chen is a fisheries scientist and faculty member at the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences. His research focuses on quantitative fisheries ecology, stock assessment, and management of fisheries resources. Much of Chen’s work is interdisciplinary and involves fisheries biology, ecology, mathematical and statistical modeling, management policy, and computer simulations. His research interests include evaluating fish life history and environmental impacts, designing fisheries-dependent and fisheries-independent survey programs, and conducting risk analysis of alternative management strategies.

Chen co-led a project funded by the Mitchell Center. His team built relationships with lobstermen working in the Gulf of Maine in order to address the problem of bycatch. The team worked closely with lobstermen to assess the ecological, social, and economic impacts of bycatch in the region.

In addition to working at the University of Maine, Chen is a visiting professor at Shanghai Ocean University in China. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Chen was recognized in 2008 with a University of Maine Graduate Mentor Award, in 2018 with the University of Maine Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award, and in 2019 with a University of Maine Graduate Faculty Mentor Impact Award. Chen is currently a member of the New England Fisheries Management Council Scientific and Statistical (SSC) Committee.

Chen’s research has been funded by the Canadian Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, both the National and Maine Sea Grant programs, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the National Science Foundation, the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and the Maine NSF EPSCoR SSI program, among others.

Chen has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, ICES Journal of Marine Science, Fisheries Research, Aquatic Ecology, Journal of Fish Biology, Fishery Bulletin, Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, Marine Biology, Marine Ecological Progress Series, Freshwater and Marine Research, and Ecology and Society.

Selected Publications

Hodgdon, C. T., Tanaka, K. R., Runnebaum, J., Cao, J., & Chen, Y. (2020). A framework to incorporate environmental effects into stock assessments informed by fishery-independent surveys: a case study with American lobster (Homarus americanus). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, (999), 1-11.

Tanaka, K. R., Torre, M. P., Saba, V. S., Stock, C. A., & Chen, Y. (2020). An ensemble high‐resolution projection of changes in the future habitat of American lobster and sea scallop in the Northeast US continental shelf. Diversity and Distributions. 26: 987– 1001. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13069.

Wang, J., Xu, L., Li, B., Tian, S., & Chen, Y. (2020). An evaluation of the effects of sample size on estimating length composition of catches from tuna longline fisheries using computer simulations. Aquaculture and Fisheries5(3), 122-130.

Henry, A. M., Carlucci, J., Rodrigue, M., Linner, R., & Chen, Y. (2020). Developing a longline/jig sentinel survey program for an area with limited monitoring and fishing efforts. Aquaculture and Fisheries. 5(3), 139-147.

Li, Y., Sun, M., Zhang, C., Zhang, Y., Xu, B., Ren, Y., & Chen, Y. (2020). Evaluating fisheries conservation strategies in the socio-ecological system: A grid-based dynamic model to link spatial conservation prioritization tools with tactical fisheries management. PloS one15(4), e0230946.

Xing, L., Chen, Y., Zhang, C., Li, B., Tanaka, K. R., Boenish, R., & Ren, Y. (2020). Evaluating impacts of imprecise parameters on the performance of an ecosystem model OSMOSE-JZB. Ecological Modelling419, 108923.

Xing, L., Chen, Y., Zhang, C., Li, B., Shin, Y. J., & Ren, Y. (2020). Evaluating impacts of pulse fishing on the effectiveness of seasonal closure. Acta Oceanologica Sinica39, 89-99.

Li, Y., Sun, M., Ren, Y., & Chen, Y. (2020). Impact of pre-closure fishing effort on marine protected area performance in social-ecological dimensions: Implications for developing marine conservation plans. Science of The Total Environment, 138936.

Han, D., Zhang, C., Xue, Y., Xu, B., Ren, Y., & Chen, Y. (2020). Impacts of sample size for stomach content analysis on the estimation of ecosystem indices. Acta Oceanologica Sinica39(8), 53-61.

Guan, L., Chen, Y., Boenish, R., Jin, X., & Shan, X. (2020). Improving data-limited stock assessment with sporadic stock index information in stock reduction analysis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences77(5), 857-868.

Chongliang, Z., Chen, Y., Binduo, X., Ying, X., & Yiping, R. (2020). Improving prediction of rare species’ distribution from community data. Scientific Reports (Nature Publisher Group)10(1).

Xu, L., Mazur, M., Chen, X., & Chen, Y. (2020). Improving the robustness of fisheries stock assessment models to outliers in input data. Fisheries Research230, 105641.

Chang, H. Y., Klose, R., & Chen, Y. (2020). Possible climate-induced environmental impacts on parasite-infection rates of northern shrimp Pandalus borealis eggs in the Gulf of Maine. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms140, 109-118.

Runnebaum, J., Tanaka, K. R., Guan, L., Cao, J., Brien, L. O., & Chen, Y. (2020). Predicting bycatch hotspots based on suitable habitat derived from fishery-independent data. Marine Ecology Progress Series641, 159-175.

Boenish, R., & Chen, Y. (2020). Re-evaluating Atlantic cod mortality including lobster bycatch: where could we be today?. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences77(6), 1049-1058.

Li, Y., Sun, M., Evans, K. S., Ren, Y., & Chen, Y. (2020). Rethinking marine conservation strategies to minimize socio-economic costs in a dynamic perspective. Biological Conservation244, 108512.

Becker, J. R., Cieri, M., Libby, D., St. Gelais, A., Sherwood, G., & Chen, Y. (2020). Temporal variability in size and growth of Atlantic herring in the Gulf of Maine. Journal of Fish Biology. 97: 953– 963. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.14430

Xu, L., Li, B., Chen, X., & Chen, Y. (2019). A comparative study of observation-error estimators and state-space production models in fisheries assessment and management. Fisheries Research219, 105322.

Tanaka, K. R., Cao, J., Shank, B. V., Truesdell, S. B., Mazur, M. D., Xu, L., & Chen, Y. (2019). A model-based approach to incorporate environmental variability into assessment of a commercial fishery: a case study with the American lobster fishery in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. ICES Journal of Marine Science76(4), 884-896.

Mazur, M. D., Li, B., Chang, J. H., & Chen, Y. (2019). Contributions of a conservation measure that protects the spawning stock to drastic increases in the Gulf of Maine American lobster fishery. Marine Ecology Progress Series631, 127-139.

Sun, M., Li, Y., Ren, Y., & Chen, Y. (2019). Developing and evaluating a management strategy evaluation framework for the Gulf of Maine cod (Gadus morhua). Ecological Modelling404, 27-35.

Torre, M. P., Tanaka, K. R., & Chen, Y. (2019). Development of a climate-niche model to evaluate spatiotemporal trends in Placopecten magellanicus distribution in the Gulf of Maine, USA. J. Northw. Atl. Fish. Sci50, 37-50.

Zhang, C., Chen, Y., Xu, B., Xue, Y., & Ren, Y. (2019). How to predict biodiversity in space? An evaluation of modelling approaches in marine ecosystems. Diversity and Distributions25(11), 1697-1708.

Hu, G., Yu, W., Li, B., Han, D., Chen, X., Chen, Y., & Li, J. (2019). Impacts of El Niño on the somatic condition of Humboldt squid based on the beak morphology. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology37(4), 1440-1448.

Tanaka, K. R., Chang, J. H., Xue, Y., Li, Z., Jacobson, L., & Chen, Y. (2019). Mesoscale climatic impacts on the distribution of Homarus americanus in the US inshore Gulf of Maine. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences76(4), 608-625.

Staples, K. W., Chen, Y., Townsend, D. W., & Brady, D. C. (2019). Spatiotemporal variability in the phenology of the initial intra‐annual molt of American lobster (Homarus americanus Milne Edwards, 1837) and its relationship with bottom temperatures in a changing Gulf of Maine. Fisheries Oceanography28(4), 468-485.

Guan, L., Chen, Y., Wilson, J. A., Waring, T., Kerr, L. A., & Shan, X. (2019). The influence of spatially variable and connected recruitment on complex stock dynamics and its ecological and management implications. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences76(6), 937-949.

Mazur, M., Li, B., Chang, J. H., & Chen, Y. (2019). Using an individual-based model to simulate the Gulf of Maine American lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery and evaluate the robustness of current management regulations. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences76(10), 1709-1718.

Torre, M. P., Tanaka, K. R., & Chen, Y. (2018). A spatiotemporal evaluation of Atlantic sea scallop Placopecten magellanicus habitat in the Gulf of Maine using a Bioclimate Envelope Model. Marine and Coastal Fisheries10(2), 224-235.

Wang, J., Chen, X., Staples, K. W., & Chen, Y. (2018). A stock assessment for Illex argentinus in Southwest Atlantic using an environmentally dependent surplus production model. Acta Oceanologica Sinica37(2), 94-101.

Li, Z., Ye, Z., Wan, R., Tanaka, K. R., Boenish, R., & Chen, Y. (2018). Density-independent and density-dependent factors affecting spatio-temporal dynamics of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) distribution in the Gulf of Maine. ICES Journal of Marine Science75(4), 1329-1340.

Li, B., Cao, J., Guan, L., Mazur, M., Chen, Y., & Wahle, R. A. (2018). Estimating spatial non-stationary environmental effects on the distribution of species: a case study from American lobster in the Gulf of Maine. ICES Journal of Marine Science75(4), 1473-1482.

Zhao, J., Cao, J., Tian, S., Chen, Y., & Zhang, S. (2018). Evaluating Sampling Designs for Demersal Fish Communities. Sustainability10(8), 2585.

Han, D., Chen, Y., Zhang, C., Ren, Y., Xu, B., & Xue, Y. (2018). Evaluation of effects of shellfish aquaculture and capture fishery on a semi-closed bay ecosystem. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science207, 175-182.

Zeng, X., Tanaka, K. R., Chen, Y., Wang, K., & Zhang, S. (2018). Gillnet data enhance performance of rockfishes habitat suitability index model derived from bottom-trawl survey data: A case study with Sebasticus marmoratus. Fisheries Research204, 189-196.

Runnebaum, J., Guan, L., Cao, J., O’Brien, L., & Chen, Y. (2018). Habitat suitability modeling based on a spatiotemporal model: an example for cusk in the Gulf of Maine. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences75(11), 1784-1797.

Boenish, R., & Chen, Y. (2018). Quasi‐Stationary Atlantic Cod Bycatch Estimation in the Maine American Lobster Homarus americanus Trap Fishery. North American Journal of Fisheries Management38(1), 3-17.

Boenish, R., & Chen, Y. (2018). Spatiotemporal dynamics of effective fishing effort in the American lobster (Homarus americanus) fishery along the coast of Maine, USA. Fisheries Research199, 231-241.

Wang, J., Chen, X., Staples, K. W., & Chen, Y. (2018). The skipjack tuna fishery in the west-central Pacific Ocean: applying neural networks to detect habitat preferences. Fisheries science84(2), 309-321.

Xue, Y., Tanaka, K., Yu, H., Chen, Y., Guan, L., Li, Z., Yu, H., Xu, B., Ren, Y. & Wan, R. (2018). Using a new framework of two-phase generalized additive models to incorporate prey abundance in spatial distribution models of juvenile slender lizardfish in Haizhou Bay, China. Marine Biology Research14(5), 508-523.

Hu, G., Fang, Z., Liu, B., Chen, X., Staples, K., & Chen, Y. (2018). Using different standardized methods for species identification: a case study using beaks from three ommastrephid species. Journal of Ocean University of China17(2), 355-362.

Guan, L., Chen, Y., & Wilson, J. A. (2017). Evaluating spatio‐temporal variability in the habitat quality of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in the Gulf of Maine. Fisheries Oceanography26(1), 83-96.

Fang, Z., Chen, X., Su, H., Thompson, K., & Chen, Y. (2017). Evaluation of stock variation and sexual dimorphism of beak shape of neon flying squid, Ommastrephes bartramii, based on geometric morphometrics. Hydrobiologia784(1), 367-380.

Liu, B. L., Chen, X. J., Chen, Y., Hu, G. Y., Yu, W., Wang, J. T., & Lin, J. Y. (2017). Periodic increments in the jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas) beak: a potential tool for determining age and investigating regional difference in growth rates. Hydrobiologia790(1), 83-92.

Ding, Q., Chen, X., Yu, W., & Chen, Y. (2017). An assessment of “fishing down marine food webs” in coastal states during 1950–2010. Acta Oceanologica Sinica36(2), 43-50.

Cao, J., Chen, Y., & Richards, R. A. (2017). Improving assessment of Pandalus stocks using a seasonal, size-structured assessment model with environmental variables. Part II: Model evaluation and simulation. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences74(3), 363-376.

Cao, J., Chen, Y., & Richards, R. A. (2017). Improving assessment of Pandalus stocks using a seasonal, size-structured assessment model with environmental variables. Part I: Model description and application. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences74(3), 349-362.

Zhang, C., Chen, Y., Ren, Y., & Wan, R. (2017). Evaluating the sensitivity of ecological indicators with a perspective of temporal scales. Marine and Freshwater Research68(9), 1664-1676.

Li, Z., Wan, R., Ye, Z., Chen, Y., Ren, Y., Liu, H., & Jiang, Y. (2017). Use of random forests and support vector machines to improve annual egg production estimation. Fisheries science83(1), 1-11.