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Dr. Shuhai Xiao

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As a geobiologist with a broad research interest in the evolution of the Earth-life system in deep geological time, Dr. Xiao brings a deep-time dimension and a global perspective to the Global Change Center. He studies the early evolution of eukaryotes, multicellularity, and animals, as well as environmental changes in the Proterozoic, using integrated sedimentological, geochemical, and paleobiological data. Much of his recent research projects are focused on the interactions between environmental changes and evolutionary innovations at critical transitions in Earth history, particularly the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition. These research projects have brought him to examine the rock record and fossil archive in many parts of the world, including China, northern Siberia, southern Namibia, Australia, and northern India.

At Virginia Tech, Dr. Xiao has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Earth and Life through Time, Paleontology, Earth System History, and Topics in Geobiology. He has maintained a research group with a mixture of Master’s and PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and visiting scientists. A number of his former advisees have academic positions in leading research universities.