In January of 2020, Chinese ornithologists who are working on plover breeding biology launched a China Chapter of ÉLVONAL Shorebird Sciences to promote communication and collaboration of breeding shorebird studies in the country.

The chapter currently include researchers and students from five universities in China. Currently, the Chapter includes five PIs, six postdocs. four PhD students, and somewhat 20 master and undergraduate students. They are mainly working on Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) with research topics ranging from socio-biology, speciation and genomics, to physiology, ecotoxicology and conservation. Their study systems include different populations in China, including some long-term field sites, such as Bohai Bay, Qinghai Lake, and Paisha Island, Guangdong.

The chapter is also supporting training activities in the region, such as field and indoor workshops associated with research topics. To this end, members from the chapter meet regularly online and offline to share research ideas and coordinate research activities to ensure they can progress successfully across the study sites. For more information, please write to Dr. Yang Liu (


Kentish plover teams in China
Kentish Plover teams in China


Selected publications:

Su, T., Lin, X., Huang, Q., Jiang, D., Zhang, C., Zhang, X., … & Liu, Y. 2020. Mercury exposure in sedentary and migratory Charadrius plovers distributed widely across China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 27 (4), 4236–4245

Wang X., Maher K. H., Zhang N., Que P. et al. 2019.Demographic histories and genome-wide patterns of divergence in incipient species of shorebirds. Frontiers in Genetics doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00919

Wang, X., Que, P., Heckel, G. et al. 2019. Genetic, phenotypic and ecological differentiation suggests incipient speciation in two Charadrius plovers along the Chinese coast. BMC Evolutionary Biology 19, 135.

Wang, Y., Székely, T., Zhang, Z., & Que, P. (2020). Prolactin concentrations predict parental investment and nest survival in a free-living shorebird. Hormones and Behavior, 119, 104633.