Zhou graduated from Nanjing University and earned a Ph.D. in Biology in 1999 from the University of Kansas. He is the director of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and in 2010 was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
- Stokstad, Erik (12 January 2001), "Exquisite Chinese Fossils Add New Pages to Book of Life", Science, 291 (5502): 232–236, doi:10.1126/science.291.5502.232.
- KU Alumnus elected to National Academy of Sciences, News and Events, Univ. of Kansas Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, retrieved 2012-10-22.