Ecological Adaptation and Conservation Biology Group —— Principal Investigator
DU, Wei-Guo
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
+86-10-64806279  /  +86-10-64807099
Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, P.R. China
Group of Ecological adaptation and conservation biology    中文


2000-2003  Ph.D in Ecology, Zhejiang University

1991-1994  Master of ecology degree, East China Normal University

1987-1991 Bachelor of biology degree, Zhejiang Normal University


2010-present Professor, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences  

2007-2010 Post-doc research follow, The University of Sydney

2005-2006  Professor in Ecology, Hangzhou Normal University  

2003-2004  Visiting scholar, The University of Sydney

1997-2003 Lecturer and Associate professor in Biology, Hangzhou Normal College

1994-1997  Assistant professor of Biology, Zhejiang Normal Universiy

Research Interests:

As ectotherms, reptiles are highly dependent on the ambient climatic condition and hence, display substantial environmentally-induced variation in behavioral and physiological traits. Reptiles thus provide excellent model systems for studying the proximate and ultimate causes of phenotypic variation, and for understanding the role of such variation in adaptation and evolution. Our work on thermal adaptation of reptilian embryos has demonstrated that embryos may well adapt to temperature changes through behavioral and physiological adjustments. Future work in our lab will concentrate on understanding ecological processes and underlying mechanisms of thermal adaptation as well as the physiological and molecular mechanisms of temperature-dependent sex determination.

Professional Activities:
Chinese Society of Herpetologists, Chinese Society of Ecologists, Society for the study of Amphibians and reptiles.
Research Grants:
  • 2014-2017 The physiological and biochemical bases of thermal adaptation in grass lizards of mainland China. National Natural Science Foundation of China
  • 2010-2012 The role of maternal effects in the physiological process of temperature-dependant sex determination in Chinese three-keeled pond turtle, Chinemys reevisii.Chinese National Natural Science Foundation
  • 2011-2013 “One Hundred Talents Programme” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • 2009-2011 Temperature-dependent sex determination in Chinese fresh water turtles. Zhejiang Provincial Nature Science Foundation
  • 2009-2011 Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University, Ministry of Education, China
  • 2008-2010 The phenotypic response of lifehistory traits to climate warming and its physiological mechanism in Takydromus septentrionalis. Chinese National Natural Science Foundation
  • 2007-2010 The puzzle of phylogenetic conservatism: what factors prevent evolutionary change? The University of Sydney
Selected Publications:
  • Du, W.G.*, Zhao, B. Chen, Y. and Shine, R. 2011. Behavioral thermoregulation by turtle embryos. PNAS 108:9513-9515.
  • Du, W. G.* and Shine, R. 2015. The behavioral and physiological strategies of bird and reptile embryos in response to unpredictable variation in nest temperature. Biological Reviews, 90:19-30.
  • Gao, J., Zhang W., Dang W., Mou, Yi., Gao, Y. Sun, B. J., Du, W.G.* 2014. Heat shock protein expression enhances heat tolerance of reptile embryos. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281: 20141135.
  • Li, T., Zhao, B. Zhou, Y.K. Hu, R. and Du, W.G.* 2014. Thermoregulatory behavior is widespread in the embryos of reptiles and birds. American Naturalist, 183: 445-451
  • Du, W.G.*, Warner, D.A., Langkilde, T., Robbins, T. and Shine, R. 2010. The mechanistic basis of geographic variation in rates of embryonic development within a widespread lizard species. American Naturalist, 176,522-528.
  • Zeng, Z. G. Bi, J. H., Li, S. L., Chen, S. Y., Pike, D. A., Gao, Y. and Du, W.G.* 2014. Effects of habitat alteration on lizard community and food web structure in a desert steppe ecosystem. Biological Conservation, 179: 86-92.
  • Zhao, B., Li, T., Shine, R., and Du, W.G.* 2013. Turtle embryos move to optimal thermal environments within the egg. Biology Letters, 9: 20130337.
  • Sun, B.J., Li, S. R., Xu, X.F., Zhao, W. G., Luo, L.G., Ji, X. Du, W.G.* 2013. Different mechanisms lead to convergence of reproductive strategies in two lacertid lizards (Takydromus wolteri and Eremias argus). Oecologia 172:645-652.
  • Du, W.G.*, Rddder. R. S., Sun B., Shine, R. 2009. Determinants of incubation period: do reptilian embryos hatch after a fixed total number of heartbeats? Journal of Experimental Biology 212:1302-1306.
  • Du, W.G.* 2006. Phenotypic plasticity in reproductive traits induced by food availability in a lacertid lizard, Takydromus septentrionalis. Oikos 112: 363-369.

Invited presentations at international conferences 

  • August, 2013, The 11th INTECOL Congress, London, England, “Behavioural and physiological thermoregulation by reptile embryos” (Oral presentation)
  • June, 2013. The 5th international Symposium of Integrative Zoology, Beijing, China, “Thermoregulation and thermal acclimation in reptile embryos: implications for adaptation to climate warming” (Plenary speaker)
  • June, 2012. The 5th Asian Herpetological Conference, Chengdu, China, “Thermal adaptation of embryonic reptiles” (Plenary speaker)