On May 16, 2022, Dr. Mahandran Valliyappan's post-doctoral report assessment was held in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Prof. Xiaodong Yang (Chair), Prof. Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, Prof. Akihiro Nakamura, Prof. Yanqiong Peng, Prof. Zexin Fan, Prof. Wenbin Yu, and Prof. Zhanqi Chen were invited as the panel members.
After listening to the presentation entitled ‘New insights to the functional significance of dispersal syndromes in Old Tropics’ and asking questions, the evaluation committee deliberated and discussed, and concluded that Dr. Mahandran’s research has been performed meticulously and his findings add value to the global scientific literature, and thus he shall pass the post-doctoral defense.
During his post-doctoral period (April, 2019-May, 2022) in XTBG, Dr. Mahandran carried out a large number of field observation experiments and obtained a batch of valuable scientific data; published two first-author papers (The Science of Nature, Behavioural Processes), and one manuscript is ready for submission. He also obtained an NSFC International Cooperation and Exchange Project. He successfully completed the postdoctoral research tasks and achieved good results. Through participating in various academic activities, his research ability has also been improved. Dr. Mahandran is courteous and helpful. He actively participates in group activities and has established a good relationship with the research team members. Now he will go back India to reunion with his family, we sincerely wish him better and better life and scientific career in the future.
Events during the ATBC-AP Conference, 2019, Sri Lanka
Presenting a talk
Group photo of 18th International Bat Research Conference
9th – 16th, Sep., Wanlu Liu attended the 10th International Conference on Education in Botanical Gardens, held by the University of Warsaw Botanic Garden, Warsaw, Poland. This conference is dedicated to offer an opportunity for practitioners and theorists from around the world to discuss how we can effectively provide modern nature education, especially in a big city environment. It included seven sessions: 1) City Gardens, 2) New Educational Tools, 3) Working Together; 4) Supporting Formal Education, 5) Reaching New Audiences, 6) Measuring Impact, 7) Education in Polish Botanic Gardens. The conference included 188 talks. Wanlu Liu has contributed two oral presentations, including a plenary presentation titled Measuring the Impact of Environmental Education in Botanical Gardens – Cases from XTBG; and a penal session presentation titled How do green campus and environmental educational programs affect children’s ecological value and proenvironmental behavior? In this conference Wanlu Liu shared the progress on environmental education in XTBG, established relationships with some delegates from the University of British Columbia, Qur’anic Botanic Garden, The Morton Arboretum and Missouri Botanical Garden. These contacts will help the building of cooperations with those organizations.
Group photo of 10th International Conference on Education in Botanical Gardens
During July 12th to August 3rd, Prof. Doyle McKEY who comes from Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, University of Montpellier, France and does research in Ecology, Evolutionary biology and Ethnobiology visited EEPAI.
Prof. Doyle was invited by Prof. Jin Chen to conduct academic exchanges and discuss ecology-related issues with EEPAI, including 1) to what extent do the interactions and coevolution of animal and plant relations promote the formation of biological diversity; 2) the universality and biological significance of the Mosaic effect of the mutual importance of animal and plant relations; 3) changes in the relationship between animals and plants under the background of climate change and their evolutionary ecological adaptation significance; 4) how to write scientific papers and make academic reports.
uring his visit, he presented a “research seminar” with the tile “Human-nature interactions in seasonal tropical wetlands, past and present” and two “research discussions” with the title “Ant-plant mutualisms as model systems in evolutionary biology” and “The ecology of chemical-defense polymorphisms in crop plants”. All of the events attracted lots of students and colleagues, and aroused students’ interest in and discussion of evolution.
Prof. Doyle also visited the Bubeng station, Green stone forest and nursery garden during his stay in XTBG.
Visiting Bubeng station
Visiting Green stone forest
Ms LIU Wanlu and Ms LI Yuanjie successfully finish their thesis defense. MS LIU Wanlu’s study aims to understand the influence of the green space in schoolyard (GS) and the environmental educational activities conducted within school (EEA) on children’s environmental attitude (EA) and pro-environmental behavior (PEB). Ms LI Yuanjie compared the historical (1978-1984) with the present (2015-2017) mistletoe-host interaction network including the composition of species and their interaction as well as network structure, she also investigated the influence of evolutionary history on the interaction network through reconstructing phylogenetic relationship of mistletoe and host species and measuring phylogenetic signal. Prof. WANG Hong of Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS, Prof. LIU Aizhong from Southwest Forestry University, and Prof. ZHOU Zhekun, Yang Xiaodong, and XING Yaowu of XTBG act as committee members for the defense.
Mr THARANGA, Mr BACH, Mr SOUVICK, Ms XIAO Xue and Ms CAI Shaofen successfully finish their thesis defense. THARANGA’s study aims to understand fundamental questions of animal signaling and mimicry theories by mimic butterflies. Mr BACH devoted himself in understanding the ecology of the southern yellow cheeked crested gibbon. Mr SOUVICK’s buy research papers research targeted to identify if beekeeping can really provide significant contribution to local people’s income generation and if beekeepers hold strong willingness for protecting natural forest. Ms XIAO Xue aimed to study coevolution and Geographic Mosaic Theory of Coevolution by figs, fig wasps and non-pollinating fig wasps. Ms CAI Shaofen tried to answer that how different motivations affect the degree of participation in the framework of integrating theory of planned (TPB) and self-determination theory; and if the engagement of citizen science programs generate impact upon psychological variables related to conservation behavior. Prof. Richard Corlett, Kyle Tomlinson, Chen Jin, Yang Xiaodong, Quan Ruichang, Zhang Jiaolin and Xing Yaowu of XTBG, Prof. Wang Hong from KIB and Prof. Jiang Xuelong from KIZ act as committee members for the defense.
February 7 – 11 2017, Sifan Hu attended the 4th Young hunger games 3rd book summary Natural History Scientists’ Meeting (YNHM), held by Muséum National D’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France. This conference is dedicated to young researchers in natural history, including six sessions: 1) Biodiversity Dynamics and Conservation, 2) Humanities and Natural Sciences, 3) Systematics, Evolution and Comparative Anatomy, 4) Earth and Planetary Sciences, 5) Evolutionary Ecology, and 6) Methods in Natural Sciences. The conference included 55 talks. Sifan Hu has contributed an oral presentation titled The Effectiveness of Place-based Strategies on Climate Change Communication and she was awarded the Best Oral Presentation in the session Humanities and Natural Sciences.
Ms XU Fangfang, Mr ZHANG Weizhe, Mr WU Meng and Ms HU Sifan successfully finish their thesis defense. XU Fangfang’s study aims to understand the secretion trait and function of plant extrafloral nectary. Mr ZHANG Weizhe devoted himself in understanding whether some environmental education programs improve students’ nature experiences, enhance students’ intention of biodiversity conservation. Mr WU Meng’s research targeted to design a useful and canonical evaluation method to evaluate the environmental educate programs. Ms HU Sifan aimed to find the factors influencing the adolescents’ willingness in mitigating climate change and analyze the effectiveness of the place-based inter-generation communication for climate change educational program and develop the theoretical model to understand the internal influencing mechanism by 1168 valid questionnaire surveys. Profs Yang Xiaodong, Xu Zengfu, Zhang Jiaolin and Wang Ximin of XTBG, Prof. Sun Weibang from KIB and Prof. Ou Xiaokun from Yunnan University act as committee members for the defense.
March 18 – 24 2016, Sifan Hu attended the 17th Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) and a short course A practical introduction to social survey design for conservation science, held in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK. SCCS is aimed at young researchers working in university departments, conservation organisations, and resource management agencies. The 17th conference in the series was held in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge and was attended by over 300 people including 157 postgraduate students working in conservation science. Student delegates attended from the following 49 countries. The plenary lectures were given by Dr Tom Brooks (Head of IUCN’s Science and Knowledge Unit, Gland, Switzerland), Professor Taylor Ricketts (Director, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, USA), Professor Nancy Knowlton (Sant Chair for Marine Science, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, USA) and Mike Barry (Head of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer plc, UK). The conference included 31 talks and 83 posters contributed by research students. Sifan Hu has contributed an oral presentation titled Communicating climate change: the effectiveness of place-based information. In the short course, Dr. Freya St John (DICE, University of Kent) introduced some important concepts and issues, including Theories of human behavior, Sampling, Ethics, and Survey instrument design, which is helpful for further programme and research.
Short Course Photo
July 4 – 17 2015, Shangwen Xia attended the 52nd Annual Meeting of Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation and an advance statistic course, hold in Honululu, Hawaii, USA. The theme for the conference is Resilience of Island Systems in the Context of Climate Change: Challenges for Biological and Cultural Diversity and Conservation. In the meeting, Prof. Richard Corlett from XTBG gave a plenary talk titled Conservation in an Era of Rapid Global Change. Professor Samuel M. ‘Ohukani‘ōhi‘a Gon, III gave another plenary talk to introduce the Hawaii unique ecosystem and biodiversity. The conference has totally 36 sessions, and hundreds scientists presenting oral presentations or posters. Shangwen Xia has contributed an oral presentation titled Causality of fine scale soil heterogeneity and its effect on seedling regeneration in a tropical rainforest. In the advanced statistic course, Dr. Robert Bagchi presented an excellent explaination of concept on multilevel statistical modeling and provided teach-by-doing practise. All the participants learned a lot from the training course.
Group photo of the advanced statistic course
Photo with Dr. Dieter Mueller-Dombois in the conference
May 19-21 2015 CHEN Jin attended a workshop “Tropical Plant Collections: Legacies from the past? Essential tools from the future?” in Copenhagen, Denmark
Invited by Profs. Henrik Balslev and Ib Friis, Chen Jin attended the workshop and gave a presentation entitled “Chinese botanical gardens’ efforts to native flora conservation”. It is a workshop that do not request normal registration and normal submission, all the speakers are invited. Participants in the workshop include people from those most important BGs, natural histry museums, and also some distinguished scientists who study on genomics and big data ecological research. The workshop includes 5 sessions: 1)The history of tropical plant collections, 2) The state of collections and collection-based tropical botanical research in the 21th century in the North and in the South, 3) Botanical collections in the Genomics Era, 4) Tropical plant collections as ‘Big Data’, 5) The North-South synergy. All the presentation will be published by the workshop proceeding of the Royal Academy of Denmark.
26 April-1 May 2015 Zhang Weizhe attended BGCI’s 9th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens in Missouri botanical garden in St. Louis
EEPAI Ph.D. candidate Zhang weizhe attended the BGCI’s 9th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens, which was held from April 26 – May 1, in St. Louis, US. Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) organized the congress.
The theme for this congress was Biodiversity for A Better World: Wild Ideas Worth Sharing. About 250 participants from 40 countries attended the conference. BGCI’s 2015 Education Congress seeks to convene botanical garden professionals from around the world to focus on one of the most defining challenges and opportunities of our time. It provided a vibrant forum for botanic garden and other museum/outdoor education professionals to share their practice, discuss and debate the best practices for connecting people to plants, and achieving both environmental and social impact in their communities. Through panels, workshops and posters, participants shared their ideas how to reconnect human to nature and discussed hot topic education on climate change in botanical gardens. Innovative uses of online and computer-mediated teaching to expand audiences and facilitate learning.
Zhang Weizhe did an oral presentation entitled “Push and pull factors determine adolescent’s participation in natural observation”. After the congress, Zhang weizhe visited Chicago botanical gardens and learn about their design concept, scientific research center, and Field history and art museum.
On the invitaion of Prof Chen Jin, Prof Renee Borges pay a visit to XTBG during Jan 26-31. Renee gave a talk at XTBG seminar with title “A Tale of Two Cities: The Chemical Ecology of Lodging and Boarding in Plants” and have a discussion with EEPAI lab members. She also paid a visit to the 20 ha plot in Mengla.
Renee is a well-known ecologist in India based on the Indian Academy of Sciences. She recieved a Ph D from University of Miami during late 1980s under supervision of Prof Ted Fleming, who is also the professor when Chen Jin visit Miami during 2002. For more information about Renee:http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/renee/main.html
Marc Johnson, a faculty on evolutionary biology and a specilist on plant herbivore intraction research of Univ Toronto pay a two weeks visit to EEPAI. Dr Johnson give two talks, one is to XTBG seminar and one to EEPAI+Paeloecology lab meeting, and have intensive intraction with researchers and students here in XTBG. Marc and Chen Jin have discussed possibility of students and researchers exchange program between EEPAI and Marc’s lab.
CHEN Jin together with XTBG colleagues, totally 11 people, join the 2013 annual meeting of ATBC. It was a special annual meeting as both OTS and ATBC celebrate their 50th annuversary during the conference. Over 1000 participants join the meeting. For more information please read http://english.xtbg.cas.cn/ns/es/201307/t20130701_105347.html
Mr WANG Gang and Ms YAN Juan successfully finish their thesis defense. Wang Gang’s research aims to understand how the pollinator-mediated fig-fig wasp system facilitate the speciation and diversity of fig species. Yan Juan conducted a two year study to understand what is the machanism for the color change of a beautiful flowering plants of two Quisqualis spp. Profs Richard corlett, Gao Jiangyun, Yang Xiaodong, and Zhang Jiaolin of XTBG and two professors from KIB (Profs Li Shenghong, Lou Huairong) act as committee members for the defense.
Eben Goodal, associate professor of EEPAI has been granted by the ‘Thousand Young Talents Program’ for his research. For more information:http://english.xtbg.cas.cn/ic/icn/201303/t20130308_99431.html
Feb. 25 -Mar. 17 , 2013: Zhang Ling attended an expedition to 4 Indochina countries and the Mekong Environmental Symposium
The special program for basic works of Ministry of Science & Technology of China “Comprehensive survey on Mekong Basin and Mega-Shagrila Region” (Grant No. 2008FY110300) organized a field expedition to Indochina area along Mekong River from Feb. 25 to Mar. 17, Professor Zhang Ling was invited to attend this trip as a botanist since she is the major participator of this project. The aim of this expedition was to investigate the nature reserve, environment and biodiversity along Mekong Basin in Indochina, including Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. The journey started from Louang Phrabang, northern Laos, then to Cambodia along Mekong River, we went further south to Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, and drove through the border of Cambodia to Thailand, finally returned to China through Laos, it took 3 weeks across about 5000 km. There are many landscapes such as nature secondary forests, national parks, different plantations, marsh along Mekong River that we saw during our long journey. We investigated the land use change and biodiversity conservation in those countries at the Mekong basin. Timber logging is serious at mountain area; those lands was used for planting rubber, teak, cashew nut, Eucalyptus etc., these obviously impact biodiversity maintain and conservation in Mekong Basin. The land use types in plain were paddy field, sugar cane, and vegetables etc. The better irrigation facilities which can utilize water recourse from Mekong River support local people for paddy field and vegetables in dry season in Thailand and Vietnam as compared to Laos and Cambodia, people there just wait for rain for watering their crops. Moreover, the delegation also investigated human landscape, traditional culture, economy and local society, and tries to probe the effective methods that protect environment and biodiversity combined with traditional culture and society economy.
Zhang Ling also attended the Mekong Environmental Symposium 2013 in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam from March 4th to 7th. It was organized by the German Aerospace Center and Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam, and there were more than 300 participates from about 20 countries attended the symposium. The main topic of the conference was environment, economy, society and transboundary river management, and including 12 program topics, such as Mekong Basin forest dynamics and REDD etc.
Fig 1 Expedition route and delegation member in Chiang Konh, Thailand
Fig 2 Land use types in Indochina
EEPAI Master degree student Yang Xi attended the BGCI’s 8th International Congress on Education in Botanic Gardens, which was held from November 12 – 16, 2012, in Mexico City, Mexico. The Conference was organized by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
The theme for this congress was Education and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). About 150 participants attended the conference. It provided a vibrant forum for these botanic garden educators as well as for educators and staff from plant science institutes, education and conservation organizations, zoos, museums, national parks and nature reserves. Through papers, workshops and posters, five congress themes were demonstrated: “Knowledge and understanding – plants in the spotlight”,” Sustaining our natural capital”,” Plants, economy and culture – have we got the balance right?”,” Connecting people to plants – learning to live more sustainably”,” Training and collaborating for change”.
Yang Xi did an oral presentation entitled “Discovering visitors’ curiosity – Discovery maps enhance the effectiveness of environmental education: a case study in a Chinese botanical garden” and moderated a concurrent session. During and after the congress, Yang Xi visited two botanical gardens in Mexico, an ecological reserve Xochimilco and some museums.
Ms ZHAO Jin and Ms YANG Xi successfully pass their thesis defense. Ms ZHAO worked for her Ph D on herbivore and defensive mechanism for seedlings of three fig species and Ms YANG Xi worked for her Master Degree on environmental education. The committee includes professors from KIB, XTBG and Southwest Forestry Uni and chaired by Professor Xu Zhenghui. Both students used English for their presentation and about 50 students and colleagues join the defense.2
Prof Chen Jin and his Master degree students, Zhang Weizhe and Li Danqing attended the 13th Conference of International Association of Botanical Gardens, which was held from November 13 to 15, 2012, in Guangzhou, China.The Conference was organized by International Association of Botanical Gardens (IABG) and South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SCBG, CAS).
The theme of the conference was “Exchange and collaboration: the roles of botanical gardens in plant sciences and ecology”. More than 300 participants in the conference include those from botanical gardens, universities, government offices and NGOs.This conference contained three sessions, including 3 plenary presentations,13 symposia&2 workshops and 16 posters. The main topics were about conservation and sustainable utilization, restoration and ecology, botanical garden based research, horticulture and public education.
Prof Chen Jin organized a symposium: Botanical gardens’ role in overcoming nature deficit disorder in this rapid urbanizing world. Zhang Weizhe did an oral presentation in this symposium, which titled ‘Experiencing Nature May Enhance Children’s Willingness for Conservation’. In the same symposium, He He, a former graduated student, gave his oral report about ‘Bird Watching: Another Window to Biodiversity Conservation Education for Botanical Gardens’.
In addition, in the third day of the conference, two students participated the field trip to Dinghushan National Nature Reserve, which was China’s first Nature Reserve and had a significant importance in the conservation of the ecosystems over the last 50 years.
Sam Parker, a undergraduate student from Harvard Uni arrived after his long trip. He will stay in XTBG for at least three months. Sam has intrests on ethnobotany, conservation and ecology.
After nearly one year preparation, both of them successfully pass the research proposal presentation. Qiao Na will conduct research on the soil primer effect for both tropical and subtropical forests. Tharanga will study on how the spatial variation of butterfly mimic complex fit to the masic theory.i
Together with colleagues Profs Cao Kunfang and Gao Jiangyun, the delegation has visited numbers of Universities and Institutes, including UCLA( Prof Victoria Sork Dean of Life Science, Prof Lawren Sack, Plant physiologist), The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (The director), Natural History Museum at Los Angeles (Dr. Xiaoming Wang), University of Florida (Dr Joseph Glover UF Provost, UFIC Dean Dr. David Sammons, Prof. Bette Loiselle, Director of Tropical Conservation and Development, Prof Kaoru Kitajima, Dr Rick Stepp, plus over ten faculties), Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Miami(Prof Carol Horvitz), Fairchild Tropical Garden (Dr Carl E. Lewis, director), Montgomery Botanical Garden and Florida International University(University President Dr Mark Rosenberg, Dean Dr Ken Furton, Associate Dean Mike Maunder, Dr Liu Hong, plus over ten faculties). Dr Chen on behalf of XTBG signed MOU with University of Florida and Florida International University respectively. The MOU focus on common interests on student and faculty exchange, cooperative research on environmental education (UF), tropical biology(UF), tropical botany and conservation (FIU, Fairchild garden), and will be implemented by separate documents for detail program. Drs Chen and Cao also gave talks in UF and FIU with titles ’Integrative conservation in Southwest China’s biodiversity hotspot: past efforts and future perspectives’ and ‘Correlation of plant hydraulic traits with plant physiology’, respectively.
Supported by XTBG student foundation, EEPAI PhD student Zhaojin attended the 97thannual meeting of ESA which was held August 5-10 in Portland, Oregon, the United States of America. The theme of this conference was “Life on earth: preserving, utilizing, and sustaining our ecosystems”. About 4000 participants from all over the world attended this conference.
This conference covered seven sessions: symposiums (SYMP, 24), organized oral sessions (OOS, 55), contributed oral sessions (COS, 196), organized poster abstracts (OPS, 3), poster abstracts (PS, 120), workshops (WK, 49) and special session proposals (SS, 23). The main topics included global change, monitor and management of ecosystem, biodiversity and sustaining science. Please visit the website of this meeting if you need more information: http://www.esa.org/portland/.
Zhaojin was invited to give an oral presentation titled “Interspecific variation of rapid induced resistance and compensatory regrowth to herbivore among three Ficus saplings” in syposium “Seedling-Herbivore Interactions: Insights Into Plant Defense and Regeneration Patterns”.
Furthermore, Zhaojin visited UC Davis after the conference and communicated with four famous professors majored in ecology including Prof. Strauss, Prof. Strong, Prof. Young and Prof. Karban who are known for their contribution to the ecology and evolution. During this short visit, four professors’ thought on ecological research and the atmosphere of UC Davis impressed Zhaojin and made her realized that there is a long way to be a good researcher. For more information about the professors visited please see:http://www.eve.ucdavis.edu/systrauss/publications2.htm; htttp://strong.ucdavis.edu/; http://tpyoung.ucdavis.edu/; http://ucdavis.uloop.com/professors/view.php/18916/Rick-Karban.