Yang got his PhD at Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Berne, Switzerland in 2011. He established the Avian Ecology and Evolution Research Group in Sun Yat-sen University in 2012.Yang’s lab is enthusiastic to study patterns and processes in diversification and adaptation of Asian birds using interdisciplinary approaches.

Liu’s current studies related to ELVONAL Project includes genetic, genomics and behaviours of plovers in Asia. Taking advantage of de novo assembly of the Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) genome, we have been resequencing several populations and species in order to understand evolutionary histories and local adaptation of Charadrius plovers. Further, we are studying genetic basis of sex-biased traits including plumage, mating system, parental care and migration behaviour using transcriptomic anlaysis. Further we are carrying out long-term monitoring of a white-faced plover (Charadrius dealbatus) population in Zhanjiang Peninsula, Guangdong, China.

Dr. Yang Liu is also an associate editor of Ibis-International Journal of Ornithology and editor of Avian Research.