Ecology, Behavior and Evolution of Cichlids in Lake Malawi



    Education

    2002-2006 B.S in College of Fishery, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China (Mentor: Prof. Bangxi Xiong)

    2006-2009 M.S in Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China (Mentor:  Dr. Huanzhang Liu)

    2009- Now Ph.D student in Department of Biology, Baylor University, Texas, USA (Mentor: Dr. Patrick Danley)


    Research Interests

    With a variety of statistical and genetic approaches, I am mainly interested in addressing following questions: 

    How highly species rich system can be maintained ? Using cichlid fishes in Lake Malawi as an example, I study how community varies across different spatial scales, and identified the major environmental variables predict high species richness.

    Genetic basis of reproductive isolation using the QTL mapping. Prezygotic isolation is considered as an early stage of speciation. However, the genetics underlying the vertebrate mating behavior is rarely being understood. Using cichlids as a model system, I designed a powerful behavior assay to evaluate the female cichlids mate choice, with the development of the high throughput sequence technology, I begin to unravel the genetics underlying female mate choice.

    Genetic basis of coloration in Cichlids. Color pattern is stunning in nature. It plays important roles in sexual selection, ecological adaptation, etc. However, The molecular mechanism is only start to unravel in some of the model organisms recently due to the advancement of sequencing technology. Using a genomic mapping approach, I am trying to understand what is the genetic basis of color pattern in cichlids.


    Society Memberships

    The Society for the Study of Evolution
    Animal Behavior Society