Paleonet: Evolutionary Biologists Wanted, Presidential International Fellowship Initiative, Various Institutions, Beijing, China

N. MacLeod n.macleod9 at
Wed Sep 12 05:12:46 GMT 2018

This just in. I’ve spoken to the director of this programme and, while these topic descriptions have more-or-less all been written from a recent organismal perspective, palaeontologists with appropriate experience and skills would be considered qualified and are encouraged to apply.


Evolutionary Biologists, Presidential International Fellowship Initiative, Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution (Beijing), Institute of Zoology (IoZ), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, China

20 September 2018

The Key Laboratory welcomes evolutionary biologists from all over the world to join our research labs under the support of CAS PIFI program (Presidential International Fellowship Initiative). As outlined at, CAS provides 1-to-2-year postdoctoral fellowships (Category C) and 2-to-9-month visiting fellowships for faculty (Categories A & B). All fellowships come with an internationally competitive salary and round-trip airfare. As an example of PIFI fellow in the Key lab, Dr. Orr shared his personal experience at 

Individual labs in the Key Laboratory which are interested in hosting PIFI applicants are described as follows:

Ge Lab: Group of Insect Evolution and Functional Morphology
Ge (SQ) lab mainly focuses on the functional morphology of insects and its evolutionary trends. We are currently addressing on three parts: 1. Biomechanics, energetics, and evolution of key structures of insects, e.g. structures related to locomotion of jumping, walking, flying, feeding and reproduction. The control of the movement is being studied from both morphological and biomechanical perspectives by using a combination of innovative techniques, such as μ-CT, CLSM, SIM, MRI, SBFSEM, FIB, Computer-based 3-dimensional reconstructions, behavioural analyses with high-speed three-dimensional videography, particle-image velocimetry and metabolic measurements. 2. Morphological changes and mechanism during development of metamorphosis. 3. Discovery and application of new innovative techniques for functional morphology. People who are interested in applying for the PIFI program with us can write to

Guo Lab: Fish Evolution and Genomics Group
Guo (BC) Lab has research interests in both comparative and population genomics to understand how genetic variation contributes to fish diversification and adaptation. There are two major research topics in my lab. 1) Gene duplication and consequence in fish genome. With this topic, we will analyze publicly available fish genome data to characterize how duplicated genes evolve in fish genome (Guo et al., 2011, 2012; Guo 2017), and eventually to understand their role during the successful radiation of teleosts. 2) Local adaptation in marine fish. Local adaptation is usally is difficult to detect in marine fishes with large population size, e.g., due to weak population structure, low genetic differentiation, etc. Our earlier studies show that local adaptation could be inferred by using population genomics with integrating envirermental associated analysis (Guo, et al., 2015; 2016a; 2016b). As such, we will use population genomics approach by utilizing next generation sequencing (NGS) data to identify the genetic signature of adaptation in wild marine fish, e.g., hairtails, salmons, sticklebacks, etc. For more information about our lab and/or interest in the PIFI program, please write to guobaocheng at

Lei Lab: Avian Evolution and Systematics
Lei (FM) Lab mainly focuses on the following researches related to birds: biogeographical distribution, endemism and biodiversity conservation; phylogeny and comparative phylogeography; genomics and adaptive evolution; molecular epidemiology of avian influenza and viruses’ transmission. Bird tissue and blood collection will be Ornithological Research Group’s (ORG’s) long term aim for setting up the largest Genetic Bank of Asia. Over 16 on-going research programs are supported by China MOST, CAS, NSFC, IDRC Canada and other agency. For more information please visiting our webpage:  Researchers who are interesting in applying for PIFI programs can contract to Prof. Fumin Lei: leifm at

Li Lab: Invertebrate Zoology
Li (SQ) Lab seeks to understand how geological events (e.g. Tethyan changes and Qinghai‐Tibet Plateau uplifting) influence the diversification of species and phenotypes and how, in turn, animals adapt to ecological changes. We address these questions using a combination of fieldwork, morphological taxonomy, molecular systematics, and phylogenomics. Details see the webiste -

Qiao Lab: Systematics and Evolution of Aphids
Qiao (GX) Lab are mainly working on evolution, diversity and complexity of interactions of aphids and other organisms (e.g. host plants, ants, symbionts), as well as ecology and control of aphid pests. Currently, our work mainly focuses on two topics: 1) Phylogenomics using data from different sources (e.g. transcriptome, CNEEs, UCEs) and evolution of critical morphological and biological features (e.g. gall-inducing, host alternation), trying to understand the evolutionary mechanisms for aphid adaptation and diversification; 2) Patterns in biodiversity and biogeography of different aphid lineages and their underlying mechanisms. People who are interested in working with us are welcome to write to Prof. Qiao at qiaogx at to apply for the PIFI program.
Yang Lab: Group of morphology and evolution of beetles

Yang (XK) Lab mainly focuses on morphology and evolution of beetles. In the framework of evolution, a comprehensive variety of research technique approaches (modern morphology, molecular biology and behavior, etc.) are applied. The key issues related to beetle evolution from different levels (from population to suborder) and different time scale (extinct and extant taxa), are carried out in multi-evolutionary and multi-disciplinary levels. We mainly focus on three aspects: Coleoptera systematics and evolution, Coleoptera modern morphology, and adaptive evolution and speciation. More details could be found from a web: People who are interested in applying for the PIFI program with us can write to or

Zhai Lab:  The Evolutionary and Population Genomics (EPG)
In 2018, we established the Evolutionary and Population Genomics (EPG) lab in CAS. My lab (Zhai WW) focuses on two major research areas: a) the study of adaptive evolution. Using several model systems (e.g. domesticated animals and the influenza virus), we are interested in understanding the role of adaptive evolution in shaping the evolution of these species. As a corollary, we also explored the demographic history of these populations and the evolution of human civilization in the past 30,000 years. b) somatic cell evolution. Using cancer and many somatic diseases, we are interested in the origin of tumor heterogeneity and the evolution of tumor under metastasis and treatment conditions. In the long run, we are interested in understanding somatic mosaic in multi-cellular organisms and the evolution of development.  People who are interested in applying for the PIFI program with us can write to

Zhang Lab: Functional Evolution by New Gene Origination
By combining evolutionary genomics and functional genomics in either fly or mammals, we explore how gene got duplicated in the beginning, and how duplicates shape phenotypic evolution subsequently. Several ongoing projects are like: 1) how LTR retrotransposons mediate gene retroposition in animals; 2) how polymorphic duplicates drive meiotic drive in Drosophila; 3) how primate-specific genes shape human brain evolution. Related representative publications include Genome Res 2016, Curr Opin Genet Dev 2014 and Science 2010. For more details, please refer to the lab website, . We prefer biologists with experimental training such as molecular biology, developmental biology, neurobiology or functional genomics. For those who are interested, please contact Dr. Yong E. Zhang at zhanglabioz_AT_ 

Zhu Lab: Evolution of Functional Insect Groups
Zhu (CD) Lab welcomes applicants interested in insect systematics and species interactions. We focus on evolution of Hymenoptera, especially bees and chalcid wasps. Currently, there are different directions organized by different lab members: 1) Dr. Zhu, insect integrative systematics; 2) Dr. Yan-Zhou Zhang, co-evolution/adaptation between scale insects and parasitoid wasps; 3) Dr. Douglas Chesters, insect phyloinformatics; 4) Dr. A-Rong Lou, Theoretical molecular systematics. We are also happy to host scientists with their independent projects. Currently, this lab hosted 1 distinguished professor (Category A), 3 visiting professors (Categraory B). Now, there are 2 postdoctoral researchers (Category C) in the lab. For more details, please contact Zhu Lab at zhucd at      

Closing Date of the application for 2019 program: September 20th, 2018. 
Start of position: flexible


Professor Norman MacLeod
The Natural History Museum. Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD
(0)207 942-5204 (Office Landline)
(0)785 017-1787 (Mobile)

Department of Earth Sciences, University College
London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

Nanjing Institute of Geology & Palaeontology,
Chinese Academy of Sciences, 39 Beijing, Donglu, Nanjing, China

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