Research interest

My research interests encompass understanding the interaction between marine biogeochemical processes and the underlying physical conditions. My current focus is on quantifying the contribution of oceanic processes to the atmospheric CO2 rise during the last deglaciation (21,000 years ago to present) using the state-of-the-art Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM). For this, I have been improving the representation of the global ocean biogeochemical processes in MPI-ESM and developing new model components, such as carbon isotopes. I also actively participate in model-data and multi-model comparison activities to evaluate the models and assess the robustness of findings from numerical simulations. By deepening the understanding of the natural carbon cycle and advancing its representation in Earth System Models, my work contributes to improving projections of the future climate and carbon cycle sinks.

An overview of my recent work is summarised in a PMIP-WINGS online seminar talk:

Research experience

2017.05 -- present: Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany. Project PalMod: “From the Last Interglacial to the Anthropocene – Modeling a Complete Glacial Cycle”, Phase I: 2015-2019, Phase II: 2019- 2022, Phase III: 2024-2027.

2012.10 -- 2017.04: PhD candidate, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Supervisor: Prof. dr. Huib E. de Swart, thesis: Modelling phytoplankton dynamics in estuaries.

2012.01 -- 2012.06: Research assistant, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China.

Other professional activities

2024 -- 2027: Lead of Working Package “Marine biogeochemistry” and member of scientific steering group in PalMod project Phase III.

2022 -- present: Coordinator of PalMod Ocean Biogeochemistry Model Intercomparison Project.

2022 -- 2023: Co-organiser of weekly Joint Seminars at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.

2018 -- 2019: Organiser of Postdoc Days at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.


2009.09 -- 2011.12: Master in Computational Fluid Dynamics, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China, Supervisor: Prof. dr. Dekui Yuan, thesis: Modelling coastal environment using random walk method and its application in Bohai Bay.

2005.09 -- 2009.07: Bachelor in Engineering Mechanics, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China, thesis: Mathematical model of heavy metal transport in multilayered sediment and its analytical solutions.

Further Training

2019.07.10 -- 26: 16th Urbino Summer School in Paleoclimatology (USSP), Urbino, Italy.

2018.07.23 -- 08.04: 7th International Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) Summer School, Cargèse, Corsica, France.


In preparation

Liu, B., Maerz, J., and Ilyina, T.: Impact of ocean circulation and marine biological pump on glacial marine biogeochemistry in MPI-ESM, in prep. 


Willeit, M., Ilyina, T., Liu, B., Heinze, C., Perrette, M., Heinemann, M., Dalmonech, D., Brovkin, V., Munhoven, G., Börker, J., Hartmann, J., Romero-Mujalli, G., and Ganopolski, A., 2023. The Earth system model CLIMBER-X v1.0 Part 2: The global carbon cycle. Geosci. Model Dev., 16, 3501-3534,

Extier, T., Six, K. D., Liu, B., Paulsen, H., and Ilyina, T., 2022. Local oceanic CO2 outgassing triggered by terrestrial carbon fluxes during deglacial flooding. Clim. Past, 18, 273-292,

Lhardy, F., Bouttes, N., Roche, D. M., Abe-Ouchi, A., Chase, Z., Crichton, K. A., Ilyina, T., Ivanovic, R., Jochum, M., Kageyama, M., Kobayashi, H., Liu, B., Menviel, L., Muglia, J., Nuterman, R., Oka, A., Vettoretti, G., Yamamoto, A., 2021. A First intercomparison of the simulated LGM carbon results within PMIP-carbon: role of the ocean boundary conditions. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 36, e2021PA004302,

Liu, B., Six, K. D., and Ilyina, T., 2021. Incorporating the stable carbon isotope 13C in the ocean biogeochemical component of the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model. Biogeosciences, 18, 4389-4429,

Liu, B., de Swart, H. E. and de Jonge, V. N, 2018. Phytoplankton bloom dynamics in turbid, well-mixed estuaries: a model study. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 211, 137-151,

Liu, B. and de Swart, H. E, 2018. Quantifying the effect of salinity stratification on phytoplankton density patterns in estuaries. Estuaries and Coasts 41, 453-470,

Liu, B. and de Swart, H. E., 2015. Impact of river discharge on phytoplankton bloom dynamics in eutrophic estuaries: A model study. Journal of Marine Systems 152, 64-74,

Lv, X., Liu, B., Yuan, D., Feng, H. and Teo, F. Y., 2015. Random walk method for modelling water exchange: An application to coastal zone environmental management. Journal of Hydro-Environment Research. Journal of Hydro-environment Research 13, 66-75,