Yao, Meng

Title:Research Associate Professor

Research Direction: Molecular Ecology, Conservation Genetics

Department: Institute of Ecology

Tel: 010-62756451



Education and experience
  • 2007--2009  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the University of Michigan Medical School

  • 2000--2007  Ph.D. in Molecular Cellular & Developmental Biology, the University of Michigan 

  • 1996--2000  B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, School of Life Sciences, Peking University

Work Experience
  • 2018--present    Research Associate Professor, Institute of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University

  • 2010--2018        Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, Peking University

Fund Project

Molecular Ecology and Conservation Genetics

Main areas of research:

  1. Environmental DNA (eDNA)-based biodiversity 

  2. Molecular dietary analysis of complex food web interactions and interspecific niche relationships

  3. Population genetics of wild animals


Population Genetics

Introductory Biology

Ecology Laboratory

Genetics Discussion



Peer-reviewed publications (* corresponding author)

1.        Zhang S, Zheng Y, Zhan A, Dong C, Zhao J, Yao M* (2022) Environmental DNA captures native and non-native fish community variations across lentic and lotic systems of a megacity. Science Advances, 8(6), eabk0097. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abk0097 (IF 14.972)

2.        Chen X, Chen X, Kong Y, Zhang S, Zhao J, Li S, Yao M* (2022) Comparative evaluation of common materials as passive samplers of environmental DNA. Environmental Science & Technology, 56:10798-10807.. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c02506 (IF 11.357)

3.        Yao M*, Zhang S, Lu Q, Chen X, Zhang S-Y, Kong Y, Zhao J. (2022) Fishing for fish environmental DNA (eDNA): ecological applications, methodological considerations, surveying designs, and ways forward. Molecular Ecology, in press. (IF 6.622) Invited review.

4.        Shao X, Lu Q, Xiong M, Bu H, Liu M, Wang D, Zhao J, Li S*, Yao M* (2021) Prey partitioning and livestock consumption in the world’s richest large carnivore assemblage. Current Biology, 31: 4887-4897. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.08.067 (IF 10.900)

5.        Shao X, Lu Q, Liu M, Xiong M, Bu H, Wang D, Liu S, Zhao J, Li S*, Yao M*. Generalist carnivores can be effective biodiversity samplers of terrestrial vertebrates. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 19(10):557-563. DOI: 10.1002/fee.2407 (IF 13.780)

6.        Zheng Y, Zhang S, Lu Q, Zhang S-Y, Wang L, Hong M, Nguyen T, Zhao J, Yao M* (2021) Population genetic patterns of a mangrove-associated frog reveal its colonization history and habitat connectivity. Diversity and Distributions, 27(8):1584-1600. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.13304 (IF 5.714)

7.        Lu Q, Xiao L, Cheng C, Lu Z, Zhao J, Yao M* (2021) Snow leopard dietary preferences and livestock predation revealed by fecal DNA metabarcoding: no evidence for apparent competition between wild and domestic prey. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9:783546. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2021.783546 (IF 4.493)

8.        Shen Z*, Malanson GP, Yao M, Zhang J (2021) Editorial: Temporal patterns and mechanisms of biodiversity across scales in East Asia. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9:662454. DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2021.662454 (IF 4.493)

9.        Shi XG#, Shi XY#, Hu Q, Feng Q, Jin S, Cheng Y, Zhang J, Yao M, Li S* (2021) Spatiotemporal relationships between snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in Qionglai Mountains, Sichuan Province. Acta Theriologica Sinica, 41(2):115-127. DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.150475

10.     Wang D#, Zhang D#, Xiong M, Bu H, Wang D, Yao M, Li S, Wang R* (2021) Development and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers in the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata). Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis, 57(3):395-400. DOI: 10.13209/j.0479-8023.2021.038.

11.     Zhang S, Zhao J, Yao M* (2020) A comprehensive and comparative evaluation of primers for metabarcoding eDNA from fish. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 11:1609-1625. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.13485 (IF 8.335)

12.     Zhang S, Lu Q, Wang Y, Wang X, Zhao J, Yao M* (2020) Assessment of fish communities using eDNA: Effect of spatial sampling design in lentic systems of different sizes. Molecular Ecology Resources, 20:242-255. DOI:10.1111/1755-0998.13105. (IF 8.678)

13.     Werhahn G*, Liu Y, Yao M*, et al. (2020) Himalayan wolf distribution and admixture based on multiple genetic markers. Journal of Biogeography, 47:1272-1285. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13824 (IF 4.810)

14.     Wang W, Zheng Y, Zhao J, Yao M* (2019) Low genetic diversity in a critically endangered primate: shallow evolutionary history or recent population bottleneck? BMC Evolutionary Biology, 19:134. DOI:10.1186/s12862-019-1451-y. (IF 3.436)

15.     Lin M, Zhang S, Yao M* (2019) Effective detection of environmental DNA from the invasive American bullfrog. Biological Invasions, 21(7):2255-2268. DOI:10.1007/s10530-019-01974-2 (IF 3.605)

16.     Shao X, Song D, Huang Q, Li S, Yao M*. (2019) Fast surveys and molecular diet analysis of carnivores based on fecal DNA and metabarcoding. Biodiversity Science, 27(5): 543-556. DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018214.

17.     Lu Q, Hu Q, Shi X, Jin S, Li S, Yao M*. (2019) Metabarcoding diet analysis of snow leopards (Panthera uncia) in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province. Biodiversity Science, 27(9):960-969. DOI:10.17520/biods.2019101.

18.     Han S#, Guan Y#, Dou H, Yang H, Yao M, Ge J, Feng L*. (2019) Comparison of the fecal microbiota of two free-ranging Chinese subspecies of the leopard (Panthera pardus) using high-throughput sequencing. PeerJ, 7:e6684. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.6684 (IF 3.061)

19.     Shi X, Shi X, Hu Q, Guan T, Fu Q, Zhang J, Yao M, Li S. (2019) Evaluating the potential habitat overlap and predation risk between snow leopards and free-ranging yaks in the Qionglai Mountains, Sichuan. Biodiversity Science, 27(9):951-959. DOI:10.17520/biods.2019062.

20.     Wang W, Qiao Y, Li S, Pan W, Yao M* (2017) Low genetic diversity and strong population structure shaped by anthropogenic habitat fragmentation in a critically endangered primate, Trachypithecus leucocephalus. Heredity, 118:542-553. DOI:10.1038/hdy.2017.2 (IF 3.961; official journal of the Genetics Society of the Great Britain)

21.     Wang W, Yao M* (2017) Fine-scale genetic structure analyses reveal dispersal patterns in a critically endangered primate, Trachypithecus leucocephalus. American Journal of Primatology, 79:e22635. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22635 (IF 2.288; Official journal of American Society of Primatologists)

22.     Xiong M, Wang D, Bu H, Shao X, Zhang D, Li S, Wang R, Yao M* (2017) Next-generation sequencing-based dietary analysis of two sympatric felids in the temperate mountain forests of Southwest China. Scientific Reports,7:41909. DOI: 10.1038/srep41909(IF 5.228)

23.     Yang S, Yang Y, Zheng W, Zheng Y, Yao M. (2017) Variant and the retrieval talbe of lamprey posture. Bulletin of Biology, 52:1-3. 

24.     Zhang D, Xiong M, Bu H, Wang D, Li S, Yao M, Wang R* (2016) Sex identification of the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata) using noninvasive hair samples. Conservation Genetics Resources, 8(3):207-209. DOI: 10.1007/s12686-016-0533-z.

25.     Xiong M, Shao X, Long Y, Bu H, Zhang D, Wang D, Li S, Wang R, Yao M* (2016) Molecular analysis of vertebrates and plants in scats of leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) in southwest China. Journal of Mammalogy, 97(4):1054-1064. DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyw061.

26.     Bu H#, Hopkins III JB#*, Zhang D, Li S, Wang R, Yao M, Wang D* (2016) An evaluation of hair-snaring devices for small-bodied carnivores in Southwest China. Journal of Mammalogy, 97(2):589–598. DOI:10.1093/jmammal/gyv205.

27.     Zheng Y, Wang L, Hong M, Yao M* (2016) Isolation and characterization of 20 microsatellite markers for the crab-eating frog Fejervarya cancrivora. Conservation Genetics Resources, 8(3):251-253. DOI: 10.1007/s12686-016-0546-7.

28.     Wang W, Qiao Y, Zheng Y, Yao M* (2016) Isolation of microsatellite loci and reliable genotyping using noninvasive samples for a critically endangered primate, Trachypithecus leucocephalus. Integrative Zoology, 11:250-262. DOI: 10.1111/1749-4877.12192 (IF: 2.14)

29.     Wang W, Qiao Y, Pan W, Yao M* (2015) Low genetic diversity and strong geographical structure of the critically endangered white-headed langur (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) inferred from mitochondrial DNA control region sequences. PLoS ONE 10:e0129782. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129782.

30.     Jin T, Wang D, Pan W, Yao M* (2015) Nonmaternal infant handling in wild white-headed langurs (Trachypithecus leucocephalus). International Journal of Primatology, 36:269-287. DOI: 10.1007/s10764-015-9823-7 (IF 1.994; official journal of the International Primatological Society)

31.     Pan W, Gu T, Pan Y, Feng C, Long Y, Zhao Y, Meng H, Liang Z, Yao M* (2014) Birth intervention and non-maternal infant-handling during parturition in a nonhuman primate. Primates, 55: 483-488. DOI: 10.1007/s10329-014-0427-1.

32.     Yao M*, Yin L, Zhang L, Liu L, Qin D, Pan W (2012) Parturition in wild white-headed langurs (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) in the Nongguan Hills, China. International Journal of Primatology, 33: 888-904. DOI: 10.1007/s10764-012-9625-0 (IF 1.994; official journal of the International Primatological Society)

33.     Yao M, Hu F, Denver RJ* (2008) Distribution and corticosteroid regulation of glucocorticoid receptor in the brain of Xenopus laevis. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 508: 967-982.

34.     Yao M, Schulkin J, Denver RJ* (2008) Evolutionarily conserved glucocorticoid regulation of corticotropin-releasing factor expression. Endocrinology, 149: 2352-2360.

35.     Yao M and Denver RJ* (2007) Regulation of vertebrate corticotropin-releasing factor genes. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 153: 200-216. 

36.     Yao M, Stezel-Poore M, Denver RJ* (2007) Structural and functional conservation of vertebrate corticotropin-releasing factor genes: Evidence for a critical role for a conserved cyclic AMP response element. Endocrinology, 148: 2518-2531. 

37.     Yao M and Denver RJ* (2006) Developmental and stressor-dependent regulation of corticotropin-releasing factor genes of the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Developmental Biology, 295: 372-372, Meeting Abstract. 

38.     Yao M, Westphal N, Denver RJ* (2004) Neuroanatomical distribution and stressor-induced activation of central corticotropin-releasing factor neurons in Xenopus laevis. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 16: 880-893. 

39.     Yao M, Roh H, Denver RJ* (2004) Structural and functional analysis of corticotropin-releasing factor genes in Xenopus laevis. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 44: 763-763, Meeting Abstract. 

40.     Yao M, Westphal N, Denver RJ* (2002) Acute stress-induced elevation of corticotropin-releasing hormone expression in Xenopus laevis. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 42: 1341-1341, Meeting Abstract.

Peking University

College of Urban and Environmental Sciences

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