Nature is never far away when you grew up in a birding hotspot in northern China, and I that is when I got interested in organisms living around us.
After got introduced and interested in bird watching during my undergraduate years, I decided to pursue a master degree studying birds. I was lucky enough to be able to work on habitat selection of an endemic grouse species (Tetrastes sewerzowi) in a fragmented alpine conifer forests in west China with radio telemetry at Prof. Sun, Yuehua’s Avian Ecology Lab, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. It was during my master years that I realized the importance of data and data quality in ecological research and the advantages of using insects as study systems to answer various ecological questions.
This changed my focus from organisms to research questions, and brought me to look at how insects respond to environmental change in the tropics at the University of Hong Kong for my PhD study at Dr. Timothy Bonebrake’s Lab. During these 4 years, I looked at activities and thermoregulation behaviours of butterflies and how they were affected by their distributions and morphological traits. I also looked at how distributions of butterflies and moths are and will be affected by environmental change especially by temperature changes.
It is also in these 4 years I was first introduced to the tropical ecosystem and was astonished by the magnitude of diversity and complexity tropical species and species interactions. Naturally, I’m eager to know how will species interactions respond under multiple environmental stressors including temperature and precipitation besides species and assemblage leveled responses. This curiosity lead to my current work as a postdoc fellow at Dr. Louise Ashton’s lab, I trying to answer that question with plant-herbivore-parasitoid food webs in Asian tropical forest.
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