Jian Huang

PhD, Assistant Professor, Cenozoic Paleobotanist

Jian Huang

Research Interests: Woody Plants Taxonomy; Leaf Architecture; Floristics; Evolution of Vegetation

  1. To identify plants based on leaves by integrating multiple information database and personal training, in order to solve the problems of reality (identification of extant trees and fossils) and theory (origin and differentiation of leaf architecture and its relationship with geological events and environment);
  2. In order to understand the origin and evolution of modern vegetation and biodiversity in tropical Asia (or even the world), the Cenozoic paleobotany research work was carried out in the tropical areas of East Asia and Southeast Asia (southwestern China karst, Indochina Peninsula, Malay Islands), using the methods of paleobotany, palaeovegetation and paleoenvironment.

E-mail: huangjian@xtbg.ac.cn

Participated in or hosted research projects:

Study on the Oligocene Hoanh-Bo flora of Vietnam, National Natural Science Foundation of China, 31800183

Geological evolution of some plant groups in southeastern Yunnan flora, China. The young scholar’s program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Miocene flora comparison of northern Vietnam and southeastern Yunnan and its paleoenvironmental origin. Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Areas Expansion Project, Y4ZK111B01

A late Miocene flora from Wenshan, southeastern Yunnan and correlation between environment evolution and change of plant biodiversity, National Natural Science Foundation of China, 41372035

Evolution and extinction of some plant groups and their responses to the Asian monsoon climate, National Natural Science Foundation of China Yunnan Union Fund, U1502231

Research Articles:


Huang J, Su T, Li S-F, Wu F-X, Deng T, Zhou Z-K. 2019. Pliocene flora and paleoenvironment of Zanda Basin, Tibet, China. Science China Earth Sciences, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-019-9475-2

黄健, 苏涛, 李树峰, 吴飞翔, 邓涛, 周浙昆, 2019. 西藏札达盆地上新世植物群及古环境. 中国科学D辑:地球科学, https://doi.org/10.1360/SSTe-2019-0100

Wang T-X, Huang J, Ding W-N, Del Rio C, Su T, Zhou Z-K, 2019. Fossil involucres of Ostrya (Betulaceae) from early Oligocene Yunnan and its biogeographic implications. Palaeoworld, in press

周浙昆, 王腾翔, 黄健, 刘佳, 苏涛, 2019. 中国新生代似勾儿茶叶属植物(鼠李科)化石及其生物地理学意义. 中国科学:地球科学,in press

Zhou Z-K, Wang T-X, Huang J, Liu J, Deng W-Y-D, Li S-H, Deng C-L, Su T, 2019. Fossil leaves of Berhamniphyllum (Rhamnaceae) from Markam, Tibet and their biogeographic implications. Science China Earth Sciences, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-019-9477-8

Aung AT, Huang J, Do T, Song A, Liu J, Zhou ZK, Su T, 2019. Three new fossil records of Equisetum (Equisetaceae) from the Neogene of southwestern China and northern Vietnam. PhytoKeys, in press

Nel A, Wang B, Engel MS, Huang J, Jia L-B, Su T, Wappler T, 2019. Leaf-mimicking katydids from the Middle Miocene of Yunnan, southwestern China (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Paläontologische Zeitschrift, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12542-019-00488-5

Wu M-X, Huang J, Su T, Leng Q, Zhou Z-K. 2019. Tsuga seed cones from the late Paleogene of southwestern China and their biogeographical and paleoenvironmental implications. Palaeoworld, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palwor.2019.07.005

Jia L-B, Manchester SR, Huang J, Su T, Xue L, Zhang S-T, Huang Y-J, Zhou Z-K, 2019. First fossil record of an East Asian endemic genus Sladenia (Sladeniaceae) from its modern range: implications for floristic evolution and conservation biology. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, https://doi.org/10.1111/jse.12518

Tang H, Liu J, Wu F-X, Spicer TEV, Spicer RA, Deng W-Y-D, Xu C-L, Zhao F, Huang J, Li S-F, Su T, Zhou Z-K, 2019. The extinct genus Lagokarpos reveals a biogeographic connection of Tibet with other regions in the Northern Hemisphere during the Paleogene. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, https://doi.org/10.1111/jse.12505

Su T, Farnsworth A, Spicer RA, Huang J, Wu F-X, Liu J, Li S-F, Xing Y-W, Huang Y-J, Deng W-Y-D, Tang H, Xu C-L, Zhao F, Srivastava G, Valdes PJ, Deng T, Zhou Z-K, 2019. No high Tibetan Plateau until the Neogene. Science Advances, 5:eaav2189

Xu C-L, Su T, Huang J, Huang Y-J, Li S-F, Zhang Y-S, Zhou Z-K, 2019. Occurrence of Christella (Thelypteridaceae) in Southwest China and its indications of the paleoenvironment of the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and adjacent areas. Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 57: 169-179

Su T, Spicer R A, Li S-H, Xu H, Huang J, Sherlock S, Huang Y-J, Li S-F, Wang L, Jia L-B, Deng W-Y-D, Liu J, Deng C-L, Zhang S-T, Valdes P J, Zhou Z-K, 2019. Uplift, Climate and Biotic Changes at the Eocene-Oligocene Transition in Southeast Tibet. National Science Review, 6: 495-504


Huang J, Su T, Jia L-B, Spicer T, Zhou Z-K, 2018. A fossil fig from the Miocene of southwestern China: Indication of persistent deep time karst vegetation. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 258: 133-145

Jiang H, Su T, Wong, WO, Wu F, Huang J, Shi G-L, 2018. Oligocene Koelreuteria(Sapindaceae) from the Lunpola Basin in central Tibet and its implication for early diversification of the genus. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2018.01.014

Ding W-N, Kunzmann L, Su T, Huang J, Zhou Z-K, 2018. A new fossil species of Cryptomeria (Cupressaceae) from the Rupelian of the Lühe Basin, Yunnan, East Asia: Implications for palaeobiogeography and palaeoecology, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 248:41-51

Ding W-N, Huang J, Su T, Xing Y-W, Zhou Z-K, 2018. An early Oligocene occurrence of the palaeoendemic genus Dipteronia (Sapindaceae) from Southwest China, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 249:16-23

Linnemann U, Su T, Kunzmann L, Spicer RA, Ding W-N, Spicer TEV, Zieger J, Hofmann M, Moraweck K, Gärtner A, Gerdes A, Marko L, Zhang S-T, Li S-F, Tang H, Huang J, Mulch A, Mosbrugger V, Zhou Z-K, 2018. New U-Pb dates show a Paleogene origin for the modern Asian biodiversity hot spots. Geology, 46:3-6

Zhang Q-Y, Huang J, Jia L-B, Su T, Zhou Z-K, Xing Y-W, 2018. Miocene Ulmus fossil fruits from Southwest China and their evolutionary and biogeographic implications. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 259: 198-206


Huang J, Shi G-L, Su T, Zhou Z-K, 2017. Miocene Exbucklandia (Hamamelidaceae) from Southeast Yunnan, China: revelation of its biogeography and palaeoecology. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 244: 96-106

周浙昆,黄健,丁文娜, 2017.中国植物区系中若干成分的地质变迁.生物多样性(Biodiversity Science), 25 (2): 123-135

Xu C-L, Huang J, Zhang X-C, Su T, Li S-F, Zhou Z-K, 2017. The first macro-fossil record of Goniophlebium (Polypodiaceae) from the Middle Miocene of East Asia and its palaeoecological implications. Palaeoworld, 26(3):543-552

Hu Q, Huang J, Chen, Y-F, Manchester, S-R,  2017. Mahonia fossils from the Oligocene of South China: Taxonomy and biogeographic implications. Palaeoworld, 26(4):691-698

Jia, L-B, Huang Y-J, Su T, Huang J, Zhou Z-K,  2017. First fossil of Pterolobium(Leguminosae) from the Miocene Optimum of Yunnan, Southwest China, Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 242: 21-32


Huang J, Su T. , Lebreton-Anberrée, J, Zhang, S-T, Zhou Z-K, 2016. The oldest Mahonia(Berberidaceae) fossil from East Asia and its biogeographic implications. Journal of Plant Research, 129(2):209-223


Zhang, J-W, Huang J, D’Rozario, A, Michael Adams, J, 2015, Calocedrus shengxianensis, a late Miocene relative of macrolepis (Cupressaceae) from South China: Implications for paleoclimate and evolution of the genus. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 222:1-15

Lebreton-Anberrée, J, Manchester, S-R, Huang J, Li S-F, Wang, Y-Q, Zhou Z-K, 2015. First Fossil Fruits and Leaves of Burretiodendron (Malvaceae s.l.) in Southeast Asia: Implications for Taxonomy, Biogeography, and Paleoclimate. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 176(7):682-696

Su T, Huang Y-J, Meng, J, Zhang, S-T, Huang J, Zhou Z-K, 2015. A Miocene leaf fossil record of Rosa ( fortuita n. sp.) from its modern diversity center in SW China. Palaeoworld, 25:104-115


黄健. 2013.  南京老山地区植物区系与植物资源研究. 南京林业大学.

Conference Abstracts:


Huang Jian, 2019, 11.01-03. An Oligocene flora preserved in a karst basin of southwestern China. 28th International Plant Taphonomy Meeting. Munster, Germany, pp13

Huang J, Su T, Liu J, Kunzmann L, Zhou Z-K. Oligocene vegetation and climate of northern Vietnam: plant megafossil evidence. XIX NECLIME Meeting Abstracts. St.Petersburg, Russia, pp65

Kunzmann L, Li SF, Huang J, Utescher T, Su T, Zhou ZK, 2019, 09.25-27. The Miocene climatic optimum: the terrestrial vegetational perspective from central Europe. XIX NECLIME Meeting Abstracts. St.Petersburg, Russia, pp 68-69

Wang TX, Huang J, Ding WN, Del Rio C, Su T, Zhou ZK, 2019, 09.25-27. Fossil involucres of Ostrya (Betulaceae) from early Oligocene Yunnan and its biogeographical implications. XIX NECLIME Meeting Abstracts. St.Petersburg, Russia, pp 77-78


黄健, 刘佳, 苏涛, 周浙昆, 2018, 11.16-11.21. 越南北部渐新世横蒲植物群的发现及其意义. 中国古生物学会古植物学分会2018年学术年会. 湖北, 宜昌

Kunzmann L, Huang J, Li S-F, Moraweck K, Utescher T, Spicer R. A, Su T, Zhou Z-K, 2018, 08.13-17. Neogene vegetation in Europe: a valuable proxy for the early history of the Himalayan-Yunnan biodiversity hotspot?. 10th European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference. Dublin, Ireland, pp118

Su T, Wu F-X, Li S-F, Huang Y-J, Huang J, Deng T, Zhou Z-K, 2018, 08.13-17. Cenozoic floras in Tibet: The window into biodiversity and environment in deep time. 10th European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference. Dublin, Ireland, pp116

Spicer R.A, Su T, Li S-H, Xu H, Huang J, Sherlock S, Huang Y-J, Li S-F, Wang L, Jia L-B, Deng W-Y-D, Deng C-L, Zhang S-T, Valdes P, Zhou Z-K, 2018, 08.13-17. Southeastern Tibet: surface height, climate and biotic changes at the Eocene-Oligocene transition. 10th European Palaeobotany and Palynology Conference. Dublin, Ireland pp117

Su T, Farnsworth A, Spicer R.A, Huang J, Wu F-X, Liu J, Li S-F, Xing, Y-W, Huang Y-J. Tang, H, Xu C-L, Zhao F, Srivastava G, Deng T, Valdes P. 2018. No high Tibetan plateau until the Neogene. GSA Annual Meeting. Indianapolis, USA

Wu M-X, Huang J, Su T, Leng, Q, Zhou Z-K.. 2018. Tsuga seed cones from the late Paleogene of southwestern China and their evolutionary and paleoenvironmental implications. GSA Annual Meeting. Indianapolis, USA


Huang J, Jia, L-B, Zhou Z-K, 2017, 07.23-29. Fossil Records from Southwest China Reveals A Long Existence of Karst Vegetation. XIX International Botanical Congress. Shenzhen, China

Huang J, Zhou Z-K, 2017, 03.25-28. Fossil Evidence of Karst Vegetation from Southwestern China and its Significance to Conservation Biology. ATBC Asia Pacific Chapter Meeting. Mengla, Yunnan


Huang J. and Zhou Z-K, 2016, 10.23-10.29, Middle Miocene Climatic Optimum Flora from Yunnan, Southwest China. XIV International Palynological Congress and X International Organisation of Palaeobotany Conference. Salvador, Brazil

黄健, 2016, 12.29. 不仅仅是常绿阔叶林——中新世文山植物群的古植被与古环境. 中国科学院热带森林生态学重点实验室2016年度学术年会. 云南, 西双版纳

黄健, 史恭乐, 苏涛, 周浙昆, 2016, 11.18-11.20. 云南文山中新世尖叶马蹄荷化石及生物地理学意义. 中国古生物学会2016年学术年会论文摘要集. 云南, 昆明, pp104-106, 口头报告

徐聪丽,黄健,苏涛,张宪春,李树峰,周浙昆, 2016, 11.18-11.20. 云南文山中新世棱脉蕨化石及其古生态学意义. 中国古生物学会2016年学术年会论文摘要集. 云南, 昆明, pp106-107

苏涛, Spicer R.A, 许贺, 李仕虎, 邓成龙, 张世涛, 丁林, 黄永江, 李树峰, 黄健, 周浙昆, 2016, 11.18-11.20. 西藏东部晚始新世古植被与古环境:基于芒康植物群的化石证据. 中国古生物学会2016年学术年会论文摘要集. 云南, 昆明, pp79-80

丁文娜, Lutz Kunzmann, 苏涛, 黄健, 周浙昆, 2016, 11.18-11.20. 滇中吕合渐新世柳杉化石及其生物地理学和古生态学意义. 中国古生物学会2016年学术年会论文摘要集. 云南, 昆明, pp90


Huang J. and Zhou Z-K, 2015, 10.14-10.17,. Miocene Flora and climate of Wenshan, SW China and their ecological implications. 16th Annual Meeting of NECLIME. Madrid, Spain


黄健, Steven Manchester, 周浙昆, 2014, 11.28-12.2. 十大功劳属化石在东亚的发现及其生物地理学意义. 中国古生物学会古植物学分会第八届会员代表大会暨2014年学术年会论文摘要集. 广东, 广州, pp20, 口头报告.


The Paleoecology Group at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences, one of the most renowned Chinese botanical institutions in Ecology and Botany, focuses on the global change in deep time. Using both fossil and living plant materials, the group studies paleoenvironmental changes during the Cenozoic Era and their impacts on paleobiodiversity and paleoecology. Currently, we are working on the paleoenvironmental changes in southwestern China, with special attention to the eastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. More than ten Neogene fossil sites in this region have been excavated, yielding thousands of well-preserved fossil plants. The following four topics are our main research themes:

1) Phylogeny and palaeobiogeography of plants. Our collections from the Hengduan Mountains and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau consist of more than ten thousand fossil specimens with fine preservation. These fossils represent leaves, fruits (seeds), flowers, as well as wood, ranging from ferns, gymnosperms to angiosperms.

2) Paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Based on modern plants, we set up models for paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Using these models, fossil plants serve as proxies to quantitatively reconstruct paleoenvironments, including paleoclimate, paleovegetation, paleotopography, and paleoaltimetry.

3) Paleobiodiversity changes in response to paleoenvironmental changes. Based on fossil floras and representative plant taxa, we explore the biodiversity response to past environmental changes.

4) Paleo-CO2. Several living species with a continuous fossil record are sued to reconstruct the link between leaf micromorphological features (stomata density and index) and atmospheric CO2 concentration. The paleo-CO2 concentrations can then be reconstructed based on these relationships and cuticles of fossil plants.