The University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) has recently announced the winners of the Excellent Doctoral Dissertation 2021 and Excellent Tutor. The thesis written by Ding Wenna, a Ph.D graduate of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), was awarded the CAS Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Award 2021. Prof. Xing Yaowu, Ding Wenna’s supervisor, won the title of CAS Excellent Graduate Tutor 2020.
Ding Wenna’s doctoral dissertation was entitled “The origin and assembly of the alpine floras in the Hengduan Mountains and its adjacent regions”.
Threatened by climate change and anthropogenic disturbances, the Tibet-Himalaya-Hengduan (THH) region is regarded as a hotspot within a temperate biodiversity hotspot. Under the guidance of Prof. Xing Yaowu, Ding Wenna connects the dynamic tectonic and climatological history of the THH region to the biological processes that have driven the development of its extraordinary alpine biota. Her study focuses in particular on whether phylogenetic estimates of alpine ancestry are temporally and spatially consistent with geological evidence of alpine habitat availability, and if major tectonic events in the QTP, Himalaya, and Hengduan Mountains left discernible imprints in the tempo and mode of alpine biotic assembly.
During her doctoral studies, Ding Wenna published her major research result in top journal Science. The study showed that the alpine flora of the Hengduan Mountains has continuously existed far longer than any other alpine flora on Earth. She also published her research in such journals as Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology，Geology and Nature Ecology & Evolution.
The award of CAS Excellent Doctoral Dissertation firstly started in 2004. Its rigorous selection procedures require that the paper’s research achievement is in high level in innovation and other qualities, which is an important indicator to measure the cultivation abilities of the graduate cultivation units of CAS.
Dr. Ding Wenna and Prof. Xing Yaowu