Center for Aquatic Biodiversity and Resource Conservation

Research Group of Fish Behavior and Evolution



PI: Prof. LIU Huanzhang, PhD

Members: Prof. Huanzhang Liu, Assistant Prof. Qiongying Tang 

Graduate students: Yu Zeng, Yuyu Xiong, Caiping Liao, Qing Yang, Dan Yu, Siqing Liu, Peilin Cheng  

Contact Us:  

Tel: +86-27-68780776,  Fax: +86-27-68780049 

General Introduction:  

Researches of our group mainly focused on two aspects: fish behavior and fish evolutionary biology. For fish behavior, by using bitterling fish, Chinese perch and other cyprinid fishes as model, we study their mating, feeding, and learning behavior, and behavior development as well, with the aim to understand the general laws in animal behavior and for better conservation of fishes. For fish evolutionary biology, our specific research interests are in the origin and evolution of East Asian freshwater fishes. By integrating both molecular and morphological data and by using molecular phylogenetic analysis, phylogenetic comparative methods, we reconstruct phylogenetic relationships of East Asian freshwater fishes, especially the cypriniforms, and study the pattern and process of their speciation, the phenetic and genetic changes through time and space, the tempo and mode of evolution. 

The ongoing projects include Formation and evolution of transpacific fish fauna, "Coevolution between bitterlings and mussels, "Evolutionary pattern and geological background of East Asian major freshwater fishes since Late Mesozoic, "Cypriniformes: Tree of Life, "Molecular phylogeny and speciation of Balitoridae (Teleostei: Cypriniformes)”, etc.   

Recent Publications:  


    Tang Q, Getahun A, Liu H. Multiple In-to-Africa dispersals of labeonin fishes (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) revealed by molecular phylogenetic analysis. Hydrobiologia, 2009, 632:261-271. 

    Liu S, Zhang J, Tang Q, Liu H. Phylogenetic relationships among Cobitoidea based on mitochondrial ND4 and ND5 gene sequences. Zoological Research, accepted. (in Chinese)


    Chang M, Wang X, Liu H, Miao D, Zhao Q, Wu G, Liu J, Li Q, Sun Z, Wang N. Extraordinarily thick-boned fish linked to the aridification of the Qaidam Basin (northern Tibetan Plateau). PNAS, 2008, 105(36): 13246-13251. 

    Zhang L, Tang Q, Liu H. Phylogeny and speciation process of the eastern Asian cyprinid genus Sarcocheilichthys. Journal of Fish Biology, 2008, 72: 1122-1137.  

    Tang Q, Freyhof J, Xiong B, Liu H. Multiple invasions of Europe by East Asian cobitid loaches (Teleostei: Cobitidae). Hydrobiologia, 2008, 605:17-28.
    He Y, Tang Q, Wang J, Liu H, Tan D. Population differentiation of Procypris rabaudi (Tchang) in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River revealed by mitochondrial DNA and RAPD markers. Genes & Genomics, 2008, 30(3):223-233.
   Tang Q, Yu D, Liu H. Leptobotia zebra should be revised as Sinibotia zebra (Cypriniformes: Botiidae). Zoological Research, 2008, 29(1): 2-9. (in Chinese)
   Xiong Y, Qiao Y, Liu H, Tan D. Early development of Lepturichthys fimbriata (Cypriniformes: Balitoridae). Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica, 2008, 32(5):424-433. (in Chinese)



   Reichard M, Przybylski M, Kaniewska P, Liu H, Smith C. A possible evolutionary lag in the relationship between freshwater mussels and European bitterling. Journal of Fish Biology, 2007, 70: 709-725.
   Reichard M, Liu H, Smith C. The co-evolutionary relationship between bitterling fishes and freshwater mussels: insights from interspecific comparisons. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 2007, 9: 239-259.
   Smith C, Zhu Y, Liu H, Reichard M. Deceptive female oviposition behaviour elicits male ejaculation in the European bitterling. Journal of Fish Biology, 2007, 71: 1841-1846.


   Tang Q, Liu H, Mayden R L, Xiong B. Comparasion of evolution rates in the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b gene and Control region and their implications for the phylogeny of the Cobitoidea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 2006, 39347-357. 

   Zeng Y, Liu H, Shen J. Choice of oviposition sites on the gills of mussels by bitterlings. Acta Zoological Sinica, 2006, 52(2): 272-278. (in Chinese)
   Zhu Y, Liu H. Genetic diversity and biogeographical process of Acheilognathus macropterus revealed by sequence variations of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica, 2006, 30(2): 134-140. (in Chinese)
   Liu H, Zhu Y, Smith C, Reichard M. Evidence of host specificity and congruence between phylogenies of bitterlings and freshwater mussels. Zoological Studies, 2006, 45(3): 428-434.
   Reichard M, Ondracková M, Przybylski M, Liu H, Smith C. The costs and benefits in an unusual symbiosis: experimental evidence that bitterling fish (Rhodeus sericeus) are parasites of unionid mussels in Europe. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 2006, 19: 788-796.
   Yang J, He S, Freyhof J, Witte K, Liu H. The Phylogenetic Relationships of the Gobioninae (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) Inferred from Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Gene Sequences. Hydrobiologia, 2006, 553:255-266.


   Wang X, Liu H. Phylogenetic relationships of the Chinese cyprinid genus Rhinogobio Bleeker (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) based on sequences of the mitochondrial DNA control region, with comments on character adaptations. Hydrobiologia, 2005, 532: 215-220. 

   Tang Q, Liu H, Yang X, Nakajima T. Molecular and morphological data suggest that Spinibarbus caldwelli (Nichols) (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) is a valid species. Ichthyological Research, 2005, 52(1): 77-82.
   Tang Q, Xiong B, Yang X, Liu H. Phylogeny of the East Asian botiine loaches (Cypriniformes, Botiidae) inferred from mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences. Hydrobiologia, 2005, 544: 249–258.
   Xia X, Zhang X, Liu H. Molecular biogeography of Pseudogobio vaillanti (Cypriniformes, Cyprinidae, Gobioninae). Progress in Natural Science, 2005, 15(9): 1064-1069. (in Chinese)
   Tang Q, Liu H, Yang X, Xiong B. Studies on the structure of the mitochondrial DNA control region and phylogenetic relationships of the subfamily Botiinae. Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica, 2005, 29(6):645-653. (in Chinese)