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Xiao-Jun Yang, Principle Investigator, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. My research interests are bird taxonomy and fauna, phylogeny, biogeography, community ecology, as well as behavioral ecology and conservation of endangered bird species. Eight books and more than 100 papers have been published.

Research interests:

1. Molecular systematics of the streak-breasted scimitar babbler

The streak-breasted scimitar babbler, Pomatorhinus ruficollis (Passerformes: Timallidae), is a babbler endemic to Oriental Region. This species has long been subject to taxonomic debate, in terms of its relationship with P. schisticeps and the status of the Taiwanese subspecies. To infer the phylogeny of the P. ruficollis, the sequences of two complete mitochondrial genes (2184bp in total) from fourteen of the fifteen known subspecies, and an additional five nuclear genes (2657bp in total) from ten subspecies from China were examined. The mitochondrial phylogeny indicates four major clades (EAST, TAIWAN, CENTRAL and WEST) with large geographical identity in P. ruficollis and paraphyly of the P. ruficollis species complex, with the inclusion of the olivaceus group of congeneric P. schisticeps. Together with their interbreeding in northern Indochina, it was proposed to lump this group into P. ruficollis. Analysis of both multilocus networks and species-tree inference recovered poor phylogenetic structure among mainland subspecies and exclusive groupings of the Taiwanese subspecies, consistent with the recent taxonomic revision of its species status (P. musicus). The analyses also suggest strong incongruence between the morphological-based classification and molecular systematics, implying the strength of multilocus data for taxonomy.

2. The second survey of terrestrial wildlife resources in Yunnan Province

Commissioned by the Forestry Department of Yunnan Province, the second survey of wildlife resources was formally approved by the Yunnan Provincial People's Government Office on December 31, 2012. This project brings together a collection of eight research institutes on animal resources in Yunnan, and establishes unified resource survey methods and technical specifications. To update, survey work has been launched in five cities (e.g., Baoshan City, Nujiang Prefecture). This project hopes to improve our understanding of the present situation and dynamics of animal resources in Yunnan, and to provide a scientific basis for the construction of ecological civilization and the development of conservation and utilization of animal diversity policy.


Publications in 2013:  

1. Dong F, Li SH, Zou FS, Lei FM, Liang W, Yang JX, Yang XJ*. 2013. Molecular systematics and plumage coloration evolution of an enigmatic babbler (Pomatorhinus ruficollis) in East Asia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2013.09.008.

2. Shu SS, Chen Fei-Zhou, Yang Jun-Xing, YANG Xiao-Jun *, Chen Xiao-Yong *. 2013.

Diversity and faunal analysis of crustaceans in Potatso National Park, Shangri-La, China. Zoological Research, 34(3): 204-208.

3. Wang WJ, McKay, Bailey D.; Dai CY, Zhao N, Zhang RY, Qu YH, Song G, Li SH, Liang W, Yang XJ, Pasquet Eric, Lei FM. 2013 Glacial expansion and diversification of an East Asian montane bird, the green-backed tit (Parus monticolus). Journal of Biogeography, 40 (6):1156-1169.

4. Chu JH, Daniel Wegmann, Yeh CF, Lin RC, Yang XJ, Lei FM, Yao CT, Zou FS, Li SH. 2013 Inferring the geographic mode of speciation by contrasting autosomal and sex-linked genetic diversity. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30(11):2519-2530.

Lab Staff

Fei Wu, Assistant Professor

He-Qi Wu, Assistant Professor

Feng DongResearch Assistant

Dao YanResearch Assistant

Jian-Yun GaoResearch Assistant

Graduate Students

Hao-Yan Dong2012Rong-Xing Wang2011Xin-Lei Li2010Ting Li2010Ji Xia2011Guang-Yi Lu2011Wan-Zhao Hu2013


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