Introduction to the innovation team of Ministry of Education---Evolutionary ecology and biodiversity science

Team leader: Professor Zhang Dayong
Team research direction: Evolutionary ecology and biodiversity science
Basic information of the team

Beijing Normal University is one of the key universities first to carry out teaching and research on ecology. Through decades of rigorous scholarship and hard work of a group of famous scholars at home and abroad including Academician Sun Ruyong, Academician Cheng Guang-Mei, Professor Xu Rumei, and Professor Li Qingfen, among others, the eco-discipline has grown in strength. In the long-term construction and development process, eco-disciplines have always attached importance to the construction of the academic echelon. Through a blend of scientific research and subjects, they have formed a research group with the core of "evolutionary ecology and biodiversity science." Through the disciplined training by the older generation of experts, such as Academician Sun Ruyong and Zheng Guangmei for many years, and the positive measures undertaken for introducing talent, a group of young academic backbones, represented by Professor Zhang Dayong, grew up gradually, at the same time, Lin Kui and Guo Yanping were introduced from the National University of Singapore and University of Vienna, Austria, respectively, which greatly enriched the team. The backbone members of the team were jointly selected for the training program for the backbone teachers by the Ministry of Education in 2000, and the team was selected for the BNU innovative research group in 2003. Currently, the research team has become a team with distinctive characteristics, solidarity and cooperation, and relatively strong research strength. The academic leader is Changjiang Scholar Professor Zhang Dayong, and leaders of the main academic orientation include Ge Jianping (Landscape Genetics), Zhang Zhengwang (Endangered Species Conservation and Breeding and Molecular Ecology), Niu Cuijuan (Aquatic Ecology Molecular Ecology and Physiological Ecology) and Lin Kui (Molecular Evolution and Genomics), among others. In the study group, there are both experts in plant populations and scholars of animal populations; there are both research staff who engage in long time outdoor and indoor biological study, and the academic backbone focusing on theoretical analysis and modeling. At the same time, according to the needs of subject development, through the construction of "Project 211" and "Project 985" projects and the key introduction of talent, the group already has possessed outstanding teachers carrying out the research of molecular ecology and molecular evolution genomics. Various researchers complement each other, which is conducive to effective collaboration.

Team academic performance
Over the past five years, the members of the group presided over two first-level topics of "Project 973," one subject of "Project 863," one key national scientific and technological project, two projects of Distinguished Young Scholars Fund of National Natural Science Foundation (one project of Class A and one project of Class B), one key program of National Natural Science Foundation, one major international cooperation project of Ministry of Science and Technology, and nine surface projects of the National Natural Foundation of China. They also published two academic books, one translated work, 65 SCI papers, six of which the impact factor (IF) reached five or more. In particular, Beijing Normal University, as the only or the first author has published many papers in world-class journals of ecology and evolutionary biology, such as Trends in Genetic (IF = 12.01), Ecology (IF = 4.782), Ecology Letters (IF = 5.151), Molecular Biology and Evolution (IF = 6.233), Nucleic Acid Research (IF = 7.552), Bioinformatics (IF = 6.01), Journal of Evolutionary Biology (IF = 3.332), Oikos (IF = 3.309), and Functional Ecology (IF = 3.149), among others, getting domestic and foreign academic attention and praise. In addition, members of the group, as the first or corresponding author, also published many papers in journals during the past five years, like Molecular Ecology (IF = 4.37), New Phytologist (IF = 4.29), Journal of Ecology (IF = 4.277), Ecological Application (IF = 3.804), Journal of Experimental Biology (IF = 3.285), and Oecologia (IF = 3.032), among others. In 2004, the group published the "Life History Evolution and Reproductive Ecology of Plants" (edited by Zhang Dayong, etc.), which is the first monograph summarizing systematically the research progress in the field of plant evolutionary ecology.

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