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New Associate Editor Wei-Gui Du discusses his research into phenotypic plasticity in reptiles, and also tells us why he decided to join the Proceedings B editorial board.

We are pleased to welcome a new Associate Editor to the Proceedings B editorial board. Wei-Guo Du from the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing joined the editorial board in January 2020. We asked Wei-Gui a few questions about his background, current research and motivation behind joining the journal’s editorial board.

Tell us more about your field of research?

Generally, I am interested in temperature-mediated phenotypic plasticity in reptiles and its proximate and ultimate causes as well as ecological significance. I combine different methods, such as inter- and intra-specific comparisons, manipulative experiments and ecological modelling, to understand how reptiles (both embryos and adults) respond to temperature variation and climate change as well. More specifically, I aim to identify the physiological and behavioural plasticity and evolutionary adaptation of embryos and adults in response to temperature variation, to reveal the underlying mechanism and ecological consequence of developmental plasticity of reptile embryos, and to predict the impact of climate warming on reptile distributions using biophysical models. 

What prompted you to work in this field?

Understanding how organisms respond to global warming is a major challenge faced by modern biologists. As ectotherms, reptiles are vulnerable to global warming, and are therefore an excellent model system for studying the responses of animals to temperature change and global warming. Results from such studies may not only gain insights into the role of phenotypic plasticity in ecological and evolutionary adaptation, but also provide implications and foresight for the conservation of reptile biodiversity in the context of global warming.

What has been the biggest influence on your career?

My post-doc experience in the University of Sydney had a significant impact on my career. During this period, I made friends with a number of experts in the field of reptile ecology and others, and learnt from them. This experience not only widened my academic view and broadened my mind, but also guided me into an emerging field of embryo ecology, which has fascinated me since.  

 

Why did you join the Proceedings B Editorial Board?

Proceedings B is a leading journal in ecology and evolution, gathering a group of top ecologists and evolutionary biologists as editors. It is really a good opportunity for me to reach out to and learn from other experts via joining the editorial board. In addition, I would like to contribute my experience and knowledge from China to this community, serving the authors and readers of this high-profile journal with a long history. 

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to submit to Proceedings B?

From my point of view, conceptual novelty and solid evidence are the two priorities that the authors should mull over before submitting their manuscripts to Proceedings B.

 

Proceedings B is looking to publish more high-quality research articles and reviews in the fields of ecology and evolution. If you have an idea for a review, we strongly encourage you to submit a proposal. Find out more about the submission process https://royalsocietypublishing.org/rspb/for-authors.

Image credit: Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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