Cang Hui

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Cang Hui
A photo of Cang Hui.jpg
Born (1977-06-10) 10 June 1977 (age 39)
Fields Mathematical Ecology
Institutions Stellenbosch University
Alma mater

Xi'an Jiaotong University

Lanzhou University

Cang Hui (Chinese: 惠苍; born 10 June 1977) is a mathematical ecologist currently working at Stellenbosch University. His research interests are proposing models and theories for explaining emerging patterns of biodiversity, networks and adaptive traits in ecology and evolution.


Hui was born in Xi'an and received his BSc (1998) in Applied Mathematics from Xi'an Jiaotong University, his MSc (2001) in Applied Mathematics from Lanzhou University, and his PhD (2004) in Mathematical Ecology from the same university.[1] Hui was a Researcher at the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology from 2008 to 2013, and has remained a Core-Team Member of the center since. Hui was appointed Visiting Professor in the MOE Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems (also known as the Research School of Arid Environment & Climate Change) from 2006 to 2009 and Adjunct Professor since 2011 at Lanzhou University. In January 2014, Hui was promoted to Full Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stellenbosch University for his appointment as the South African Research Chair in Mathematical & Theoretical Physical Biosciences by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. This appointment is co-hosted by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, located at Muizenberg in Cape Town.


2014, South African Research Chair (SARChI) in Mathematical & Theoretical Physical Biosciences[2]
2011, Elsevier Young Scientist Award[3]


Nature never fails to amaze us. My continuous interest is to apply mathematics in the field of ecology for a deeper and more fundamental understanding of emerging ecological patterns. This will not only enhance our understanding in the natural sciences but also challenge the development of mathematics. Scientific research, from my perspective, endeavours to measure natural objects, to quantify patterns and structures from these measurements, and ultimately to identify the mechanisms governing these patterns and structures. This is equal to unveiling (i) what patterns exist in nature, (ii) how such patterns emerge, and (iii) why nature organizes itself in such a way. My research, thus, focuses in three specific areas. First, spatial and dynamic complexity caused by organism-environment feedback and biotic interactions (e.g., estimating rates of spread from different dispersal kernels, the consequence of niche construction, the origin of altruism via assortative interactions, and the adaptive dynamics of a co-evolving system). Second, the scaling patterns of biodiversity, with the emphasis on the profound effect of spatial scales on macroecological and community assemblage patterns (e.g., the occupancy frequency distribution and the non-randomness of species distribution and association). Finally, using biological invasions, as a natural experiment, to study how species sharpen their weaponries (invasiveness), how the native ecosystem responds to the intrusion (invasibility, resilience and stability), and how the novel ecosystem rebuilds its structure (e.g., functioning modules and nested architecture). These three areas of research all serve to clarify the interactions among patterns, scales and dynamics in the ever-evolving ecological system.[1]

His research includes:

- Scaling pattern of occupancy
- Occupancy frequency distribution
- Occupancy-abundance relationship
- Spatial analysis
- Ecological pattern formation
- Spread of invasive species and the spatiotemporal dynamics
- Ecological prisoner's dilemma game
- Niche construction
- Effect of habitat destruction on metapopulation dynamics

Representative Works[edit]


  1. ^ Advertorial Supplement: Future Stars. Mail & Guardian, 02 Sep 2011
  2. ^ African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, South Africa. Highlights, January 2014
  3. ^ Colby Riese. Elsevier Announces Winners of National Research Foundation Young Scientist Awards in South Africa. Elsevier, 08-Sep-2011

External links[edit]

- Personal webpage: [2]