About

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he Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) is China’s only comprehensive academic research institution specializing in the studies of life processes of inland aquatic organisms, ecological environment protection and utilization of biological resources. It was evolved from Natural History Museum of Academia Sinica founded in Nanjing in 1930, and was reorganized in 1934 as Institute of Zoology and Botany of Academia Sinica. The Institute was divided into two institutes under Academia Sinica in 1944 - Institute of Zoology and Institute of Botany. In 1950, after the establishment of the CAS, IHB was formed by merging the Institute of Zoology of Academia Sinica, Institute of Zoology of National Academy of Peiping, and Division of Phycology at Institute of Botany of Academia Sinica. It was then located in Shanghai and moved to settle in Wuhan in 1954. In 2011, IHB entered into the pilot project of the CAS Innovation 2020, a program aims to further promote innovation and turn scientific discoveries into technologies that power economic growth and sustainable development. At present, CAS Pioneer Initiative, an action in response to the call of the new Chinese government for deepening reform of China's S&T structure and mechanisms, recognizes IHB as an institute featuring ecological civilization.  
Strategic Positioning
As China’s only comprehensive academic research institution specializing in the studies of life processes of inland aquatic organisms, ecological environment protection and utilization of biological resources, IHB aims to satisfy the country’s strategic demands for water environment protection, fishery sustainable development and microalgal biotechnology. In order to achieve this goal, IHB addresses the fundamental, strategic and prospective S&T issues in its specialized fields, with special emphasis on the major theoretic innovation and breakthroughs in core technologies. Meantime, IHB endeavors to increase and extend the values created by these innovations and breakthroughs, and plays an irreplaceable role in water environment protection, freshwater fishery and microalgal biotechnology.
Three Breakthroughs
1. Ecological restoration of degraded water bodies in the Yangtze River Economic Belt
2. Sustainable development of freshwater fisheries
3. Microalgal biotechnology
 


Five Key Research Areas
1. Strategic study of aquatic ecology and environmental conservation in the Yangtze River basin
2. Fish molecular design breeding
3. Eco-toxicological effects of toxic and harmful pollutants in aquatic environments
4. Species and genomic diversity of aquatic organisms
5. Environmental adaptation and morphogenesis of microalgae
 
Current Personnel Structure

Organizational Structure
As of July 2020, IHB has 62 research groups affiliated to 6 research centers, and 2 research groups affiliated to the institute’s joint construction centers. It sets up 13 national, provincial and ministerial platforms, 2 joint construction centers, 3 institute-level research platforms and 2 field stations. 
IHB is home both to the Museum of Hydrobiological Sciences, which has the largest collection of freshwater fish in Asia, and the Baiji Dolphinarium, which is equipped with modern facilities for raising freshwater cetaceans. It is also the site of the State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology which was ranked as Excellent Lab for four consecutive times (one of which was exempt from the assessment) and Donghu Experimental Station of Lake Ecosystems which was listed as one of the National Observation and Research Stations.

 

Research Projects and Awards 
 

 

 

In recent years, IHB scientists have been leading a series of national key S&T projects:

* National Science and Technology Major Project (e.g., Major S&T Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment)

* National Key Research and Development Program (e.g., Blue Granary S&T Innovation Project, Synthetic Biology Project, Developmental Programming and Metabolic Regulation Project)

* National Natural Science Foundation of China Programs (e.g., Science Fund for Creative Research Groups, Distinguished Young Scholars Fund, Excellent Young Scientists Fund, Major Research Plan and Key Program)

* CAS Strategic Priority Research Program and other important research programs supported by local governments and large and medium-sized enterprises

A sequence of research achievements, with significant breakthrough in theories and promising prospect in application, have been achieved to support the protection of water environment, sustainable development of freshwater fisheries, and resources conservation and utilization of aquatic organisms. These achievements meet the state’s strategic demand and have produced great socio-economic and environmental benefits with extensive impact on society.  

International Cooperation and Exchanges

IHB frequently communicates and cooperates with foreign institutions. Over the past decade, the institute has sent nearly 800 scholars to over 30 countries and regions for the purpose of conducting cooperation and researches with foreign researchers, or for advanced studies and short-term visits. In the meantime, it has also hosted more than 2,200 scholars and experts from nearly 40 countries and regions to undertake academic exchanges, cooperation and advanced studies in China. As a core member, IHB participated in several international cooperative research projects, such as the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Assembling the Tree of Life project, which aims to reconstruct the evolutionary origin of all living things. The institute also successfully organized the International Symposium on River and Lake Environments in 1996, 1998, 2004 and 2012 respectively, and actively engaged in international multilateral cooperation, such as a joint investigation project on freshwater dolphins, the multilateral cooperation project on the mechanisms of red tides and hypoxia as ecological marine disasters and technologies for its early warning along the “Belt and Road”.

Graduate Education

IHB is one of the first institutions authorizzed by the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council to offer PhD degree programs and master degreee programs. It is qualified to enroll and train students from both home and abroad. By May 2020, IHB has mentored 621 graduate students (including joint cultivation students).