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Department of Archaeology



Upon completion of a Master’s degree at Chinese Academy of Sciences and Yangzhou University, I pursed a PhD degree at the University of British Columbia. During my PhD, I joined Sorbonne University for one year to construct a theoretical model. Since 2017, I have begun postdoc research at the University of British Columbia. By employing multidisciplinary approaches, my long-term research goal seeks to reveal a role for demographic, ecological, and genetic mechanisms in plant adaptive evolution, and how adaptive and nonadaptive evolutionary processes have contributed to biodiversification.


I am an evolutionary geneticist. I am broadly interested in studying the eco-evolutionary interactions of plant populations that have undergone environmental heterogeneity over spatiotemporal scales. By blending quantitative genomics, modelling, and computational simulation approaches, my research aims to elucidate:

  1. drivers of change in plant evolution;
  2. the adaptability and evolvability of plant populations under climate change; and
  3. the role of nonadaptive processes including demographic histories, gene flow, and genetic drift in shaping genetic diversity and architecture.

In the Cambridge Archaeology Department, I primarily investigate how adaptation has shaped genetic variation in the past and make inference about past effective population size dynamics driven by historical climatic events using cutting-edge population genomics approaches. My work is part of the ‘Crops, Pollinators and People’ project, in an effort to demonstrate the expansion and evolution of buckwheat across Eurasia in relation to honeybee populations and human management in prehistory.

Job Titles

Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Biomolecular Archaeology
Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies

Contact Details

yl859 [at]
Henry Wellcome Building, Fitzwilliam Street


Person keywords: 
Genomic scan
Manipulative experiments
Population divergence
Response to selection
Space-for-time analysis
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Geographical areas: 
East Asia
Periods of interest: 
Other Prehistory