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:
  • 2018-2022 Major International (Regional) Joint Research Project, National Natural Science Foundation of China, “Latitudinal variation in the response of lizards to climate warming: behavioral and physiological mechanisms and population dynamic prediction”
  • 2016-2020 National key R & D plan “The ecological and adaptive strategies of endangered animals”
  • 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
  • 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:
  • Ye, Y.-Z., Ma, L., Sun, B.-J., Li, T., Wang, Y., Shine, R., Du, W.-G. 2019. The embryos of turtles can influence their own sexual destinies. Current Biology 29: 2597-2603.
  • Sun, B.J., Li, S.R., Ma, L., Williams, C.M., Wang, Y., Hao, X., Du, W.G. 2018. Phenology and the physiological niche are co-adapted in a desert dwelling lizard. Functional Ecology. 32: 2520-2530.
  • Ma, L., Buckley, L.B., Huey, R.B., Du, W.G. 2018. A global test of the cold-climate hypothesis for the evolution of viviparity. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27: 679-689. 
  • Li, S.R. Hao, X., Wang, Y., Sun, B.J. Bi, J. H., Zhang, Y.P., Janzen, F.J. Du, W.G. 2018. Female lizards choose warm, moist nests that improve embryonic survivorship and offspring fitness. Functional Ecology. 32: 416-423.
  • Wang, Y., Li, S.R., Zeng, Z.G, Liang, L. & Du, W.G. 2017. Maternal food availability affects offspring performance and survival in a viviparous lizard. Functional Ecology, 2017, 31:1950-1956.
  • Sun B. J., Li T, Mu Y, McGlashan J. K, Georges A, Shine R, Du W. G. Thyroid hormone modulates offspring sex ratio in a turtle with temperature-dependent sex determination. 2016. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 283, 20161206.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gao, J., Zhang W., Dang W., Mu, 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.
  • Du, W. G., Zhao, B. Chen, Y. and Shine, R. 2011. Behavioral thermoregulation by turtle embryos. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108:9513-9515.