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CAI Chenyang
Research direction:
Associate Professor
Postal Code:
39 East Beijing Road, Nanjing, China


1.  September, 2006–July, 2010: Bachelor of Science, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University. Graduated with distinction.
2.  September, 2010–July, 2015: Doctor of Science, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, CAS. Graduated with distinction.
3.  June–August, 2011: Visiting Scholar to the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, U.S. (Supported by the Visiting Scholarship from FMNH)
4.  March–April, 2012: Visiting Scholar to the Field Museum of Natural History and Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, U.S. (Supported by the Ernst Mayr Travel Grants from MCZ, Harvard University)
5.  November, 2013–January, 2014: Visiting Student to Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Canberra, Australia.
6.  July, 2015–Present: Research Assistant, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.



Research Foci:

My research includes a principal aim of understanding evolutionary history of terrestrial arthropods, particularly insects, and their palaeoethological and palaeoecological implications by a comparative morphological study between extant and extinct taxa, the latter belonging to exceptional faunas, including the Middle Jurassic Daohugou Biota (ca. 165 Ma), the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota (ca. 125 Ma) of northeastern China and mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber (ca. 99 Ma).


1.        The Li Si-Guang Excellent Students Scholarship (2012, 2015)

2.        The National Scholarship for Postgraduates (2012, 2014)

3.        The Zhu Liyuehua Scholarship from Chinese Academy of Sciences (2013)

4.        The UCAS-BHPB Scholarship (2014)

5.        The CAS President Scholarship, Special Award (2014)

6.        First prize of Jiangsu Province Science and Technology Award (2015)

7.        Excellent Doctoral Dissertation of Chinese Academy of Sciences (2016)


目前已发表研究论文150余篇,含第一或通讯作者SCI论文70余篇。主编英文专辑2部,参与专著1部。近六年来在中生代甲虫演化和生态领域,全球范围内共有13篇研究论文发表在自然指数(Nature Index)刊物上。其中,本人以第一/通讯作者身份发表9篇,包括Nature CommunicationsPNAS1篇,3Current Biology4Proceedings of the Royal Society B。另有第三作者Nature论文两篇,Nature Ecology & Evolution一篇。论文目录和电子版PDF详见:https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Chenyang_Cai3 

1. Cai, C.*, Tihelka, E., Pan, Y.*, Yin, Z., Jiang, R., Xia, F., Huang, D., 2020. Structural colours in diverse Mesozoic insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 287(1930), 20200301.

2. Gimmel, M.L., Szawaryn, K., Cai, C.*, Leschen, R.A., 2019. Mesozoic sooty mould beetles as living relicts in New Zealand. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 286(1917), 20192176.

3. Cai, C.*, Clarke, D.J., Yin, Z., Fu, Y., Huang, D., 2019. A specialized prey-capture apparatus in mid-Cretaceous rove beetles. Current Biology 29(4), R116–R117.

4. Cai, C.*, Lawrence, J.F., Yamamoto, S., Leschen, R.A., Newton, A.F., ?lipiński, A., Yin, Z., Huang, D., Engel, M.S., 2019. Basal polyphagan beetles in mid-Cretaceous amber from Myanmar: biogeographic implications and long-term morphological stasis. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286(1894), 20182175.

5. Cai, C.*, Escalona, H.E., Li, L., Yin, Z., Huang, D., Engel, M.S., 2018. Beetle pollination of cycads in the Mesozoic. Current Biology 28(17), 2806–2812.

6. Huang, D., Hormiga, G., Cai, C., Su, Y., Yin, Z., Xia, F., Giribet, G., 2018. Origin of spiders and their spinning organs illuminated by mid-Cretaceous amber fossils. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2(4), 623–627.

7. Cai, C., Leschen, R.A.B., Hibbett, D.S., Xia, F., Huang, D.*, 2017. Mycophagous rove beetles highlight diverse mushrooms in the Cretaceous. Nature Communications 8, 14894.

8. Cai, C.*, Engel, M.S., Newton, A.F., Eldredge, K.T., Huang, D., 2017. Early evolution of specialized termitophily in Cretaceous rove beetles. Current Biology 27(8), 1229–1235.

9. Cai, C.*, Newton, A.F., Thayer, M.K., Leschen, R.A.B., Huang, D., 2016. Specialized proteinine rove beetles shed light on insect–fungal associations in the Cretaceous. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283, 20161439.

10. Cai, C., Thayer, M.K., Engel, M.S., Newton, A.F., Ortega-Blanco, J., Wang, B., Wang, X., Huang, D.*, 2014. Early origin of parental care in Mesozoic carrion beetles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 111(39), 14170–14174.

11. Huang, D., Nel, A., Cai, C., Lin, Q., Engel, M.S., 2013. Amphibious flies and paedomorphism in the Jurassic period. Nature 495, 94–97.

12. Huang, D., Engel, M.S., Cai, C., Wu, H., Nel, A., 2012. Diverse transitional giant fleas from the Mesozoic era of China. Nature 483, 201–204.

13. Tihelka, E., Engel, M.S., Huang, D., Cai, C.*, 2020. Mimicry in Cretaceous bugs. iScience 23(7), 101280.

14. Cai, C.*, Tihelka, E., Pisani, D., Donoghue, P.C.*, 2020. Data curation and modeling of compositional heterogeneity in insect phylogenomics: a case study of the phylogeny of Dytiscoidea (Coleoptera: Adephaga). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 147, 106782.

15. Li, Y.D., Liu, Z.H., Jarzembowski, E.A., Yin, Z.W., Huang, D.Y., Cai, C.Y.* 2019. Early evolution of Cupedidae revealed by a mid-Cretaceous reticulated beetle from Myanmar (Coleoptera: Archostemata). Systematic Entomology 44(4), 777–786.

16. Cai, C.*, Wang, Y., Liang, L., Yin, Z., Thayer, M.K., Newton, A.F., Zhou, Y.L.*, 2019. Congruence of morphological and molecular phylogenies of the rove beetle subfamily Staphylininae (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Scientific Reports 9, 15137.

17. Zhou, Y., Caterino, M.S., ?lipiński, A.*, Cai, C.*, 2018. Cretohisteridae, a new beetle family from the Early Cretaceous of China, and its implications for the early evolution of the basal group of Histeroidea (Coleoptera). Systematic Entomology 43, 716–728.

18. Cai, C., Lawrence, J.F., ?lipiński, A., Huang, D., 2015. Jurassic artematopodid beetles and their implications for the early evolution of Artematopodidae (Coleoptera). Systematic Entomology 40(4), 779–788.

19. Cai, C., Huang, D., 2014. The oldest micropepline beetle from Cretaceous Burmese amber and its phylogenetic implications (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). Naturwissenschaften 101(10), 813–817.

20. Cai, C., Huang, D., 2014. Diverse oxyporine rove beetles from the Early Cretaceous of China (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae). Systematic Entomology 39(3), 500–505.

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