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Zhang Shuping: Sargassum Makes a Brilliant Research Career

April 2, 2021 | By Zhang Bei | Copyedited by William, Zhang Liu

Zhang Shuping,a professor from the College of Science, USST, was born by the sea of Yantai City, Shandong Province. She has devoted herself to the research in sargassum for many years, constantly making innovations and interpreting the secrets of life to serve human’s life and health.

Sargassum that speaks Shanghai dialects
China boasts plentiful subpopulation resources. During the growth and metabolism, different kinds of active matters with special physiological nature are produced. In addition, some specific chemical structures are difficult to find in terrestrial organisms, so it is a precious source for the research and development of marine biochemical drugs and functional food. So far, more than 3,000 new active matters have been discovered in marine organisms, including alkaloids, terpenes, macrocyclic polyesters, peptides, polyether and polysaccharides. However, the sargassum doesn’t raise adequate attention from Shanghainese, local industrial area and government.
During the period of 2021 Shanghai International Industry Fair, professor Zhang Shuping’s team exhibits more than 20 sargassum products, among which soil conditioners have been jointly used in many places. Gastrointestinal tablets, large-scale medical wound dressings and nursing technologies attracted a number of collaborators for the highly efficient, non-toxic, purely natural characteristics. The patented technology and products of trehalose medical source attracted both domestic and foreign customers for negotiation and interaction. Sargassum industry and benefits should be paid attention to, in line with Shanghai manufacture and brands, making sargassum speak shanghai dialects.

Excellent Xinjiang cotton produced by USST
Zhang Shuping has ever participated in the plan to support Xinjiang several times. As an important cotton-growing area in China, the salt marshes have placed restrictions on the increase in cotton production and income in Xinjiang. In the four counties pair-assisted by Shanghai, Kashgar, Shache, Zepu, and Bachu, there are around 146.74 thousand hectares of salt marshes. The salt marshes reduce the emergence rate of cotton . Zhang Shuping extracted active matters from sargassum,turned it into fertilizer and then sprinkled it on saline soil. The sargassum fertilizer fixes the water in the soil like a sponge, so the local environment for seed germination changed a lot, and the emergence rate of cotton had been raised as well. The project has been promoted smoothly in Xinjiang, and farmers' income has increased significantly. In cotton fields where sargassum fertilizer has been used, the cotton grows lush and sturdy. The project received high praises from the local farmers.
The "Goat" of the women's team
As a wise woman in the new era, Zhang has won honors such as the representative of the 12th Shanghai Women's Congress and the March 8th Women Pace-setter in Yangpu District. As a representative of the 8th Women's Innovation Award, she was cordially met by Han Zheng, the former Secretary of CPC Committee, Shanghai for her outstanding contributions to the socio-economic development of Shanghai in the field of sargassum research. In 2020, as a leader of the "Green Chemical Process and Biomaterials" team at USST, Zhang led his team members to establish the third batch of Shanghai Education System Model Worker Innovation Studios, making it the only Shanghai Women’s innovation studio in Shanghai Education System.

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