Wei-Guo Du

Wei-Guo Du

Position: Post-Doc 2003-2004 and 2007-2010

Current Email:

Current address: Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

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Research Interests

My main research interests lie in the evolutionary ecology of reptiles. I use lizards and turtles as model systems to explore various topics on life-history evolution and behavioural ecology. I have investigated the phenotypic response of reptile embryos to their incubation environment, and the cause and consequences of phenotypic variation in life histories. I am also fascinated by how animals cope with the currently changing environment, which would include enormous cosequences related to evolution and ecology.

University of Sydney 2003-04

Wei-Guo Du

Predator-prey co-evolution has aroused many ecologists’ interest and can be studied from various perspectives. I worked with a nocturnal rock-dwelling gecko (Oedura lesueurii) that co-occurs with two species of sympatric snakes (Hoplocephalus bungaroides and Cryptophis nigrescens) that differ in foraging modes.

To understand how the geckos make decisions to minimize the risk of predation, I measured the behavourial responses of geckos to different types of predator in the laboratory. To determine the importance of prey cues (e.g. airborne scent, visual cues) for foraging of the snakes, I measured retreat-site selection of Hoplocephalus bungaroides.

China Research Projects

Wei-Guo Du

I am also interested in phenotypic variation in life histories and its proximate and ultimate causes. For my PhD, I measured reproductive output and life-history traits of eight geographically-separated populations in a Chinese lacertid lizard Takydromus septentrionalis and then manipulated in the laboratory some maternal and environmental factors, such as female body cavity and food availability, to identify the causes of the geographic variation. Females from widely-separated localities differ in a variety of life-history traits, including body sizes at maturation, fecundity, egg size, and Relative Clutch Mass. Abdomen cavity and food availability constrain female reproductive output but have little effect on egg size.



Female Takydromus septentrionalis

taky

I am also fascinated by the secret of embryonic development of reptiles. I have investigated the effects of biotic and abiotic factors experienced by reptilian embryos on hatchling traits (morphology, behaviour, growth) and survival, and eventually on the reproductive success of the females. Turtles and lizards were my favourite animals and were selected as model systems in most of my studies in this respect. The viable range of incubation temperatures differed significantly among species, which was associated with their macro- and/or micro- thermal habitat. Not only the mean but also the range of fluctuating temperatures influenced hatchling traits. To a large extent, moisture had little effect on reptilian eggs and their hatchlings.

chinese turtle eumeceschinensis

Chinese three-keeled pond turtle, Chinemys reevesii

Eumeces chinensis



Education

2000-2003
PhD in Ecology, Zhejiang University
1991-1994
Master of Ecology Degree, East China Normal University
1987-1991
Bachelor of Biology Degree, Zhejiang Normal University

Takydromus septentrionalis

Publications

# Publication
1. Ji, X., Du, W. G., Sun Ping-Yue.  1996.  Body temperature, thermal tolerance and influence of temperature on sprint speed and food assimilation in adult grass lizards, Takydromus septentrionalisJournal of Thermal Biology 21:155-161.
2. Ji, X., Sun Ping-Yue, Du, W. G.  1997.  Selected body temperature, thermal tolerance and food assimilation in a viviparous skink, Sphenomorphus indicus. Netherlands Journal of Zoology 47:103-110.
3. Ji, X., Du, W. G., Xu Wei-Qing.  1999.  Experimental manipulation of egg size and hatchling size in the cobra, Naja naja atraNetherlands Journal of Zoology 49:167-175.
4. Du, W. G., Yan Shui-Juan, Ji, X.  2000.  Selected body temperature, thermal tolerance and thermal dependence of food assimilation and locomotor performance in adult blue-tailed skinks, Eumeces elegansJournal of Thermal Biology 25:197-202.
5. Ji, X., Du, W. G.  2000.  Sexual dimorphism in body size and head size and female reproduction in a viviparous skink, Sphenomorphus indicus. Zoological Research 21:349-354.
6. Ji, X., Sun Ping-Yue, Xu Xue-Feng, Du, W. G.  2000.  Relationships among body size, clutch size and egg size in five species of oviparous colubrid snakes from Zhoushan islands, Zhejiang, China.  Acta Zoologica Sinca 46:138-145.
7. Ji, X., Xu Xue-Feng, Du, W. G.  2001. Female reproductive output and neonate characteristics in a viviparous water snake (Sinonatrix annularis). Acta Zoologica Sinica 47:231-234.
8. Ji, X., Du W. G. 2001. Effect of thermal and hydric environments on incubating eggs and hatchling traits in the cobra, Naja naja atra. Journal of Herpetology 35:186-194.
9. Ji, X., Du W. G.  2001. The effects of thermal and hydric environments on hatching success, embryonic use of energy and hatchling traits in a colubrid snake, Elaphe carinata. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 129A:461-471.
10. Ji, X., Du W. G., Xu Xue-Feng. 2001. Influences of thermal and hydric environments on incubating eggs and resultant hatchlings in a colubrid snake (Xenochrophis piscator). Acta Zoologica Sinica 47:45-52.
11. Du, W. G., Ji, X. 2001. Growth, sexual size dimorphism and female reproduction of blue-tailed skinks, Eumeces elegans. Zoological Research 22:279-286.
12. Du, W. G., Ji, X., Xu, Wei-Qing. 2001. Dynamics of material and energy during incubation in the soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis). Acta Zoologica Sinica 47:371-375.
13. Du, W. G., Ji, X. 2001. Influence of incubation temperature on embryonic use of material and energy in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis). Acta Zoologica Sinica 47:512-517.
14. Du, W. G., Ji, X.  2002. Effects of incubation temperature on duration of incubation, hatching success, and hatchling traits in the gray rat snake, Ptyas korros (Colubridae). Acta Ecologica Sinica 22:548-553.
15. Du, W. G., Ji, X.  2003. The effects of incubation thermal environments on size, locomotor performance and early growth of hatchling soft-shelled turtles, Pelodiscus sinensis. Journal of Thermal Biology 28:279-286.
16. Du, W. G., Shou, L., Liu, J. K. 2003. The effect of incubation temperature on egg survival, hatchling traits and embryonic use of energy in the blue-tailed skink, Eumeces elegans. Animal Biology 53:27-36.
17. Du, W. G., Lu, Y. W., Ji, X. 2003. Utilization of lipid in northern grass lizards, Takydromus septentrionalis, in Hangzhou in the breeding season. Zoological Research 24:392-394.
18. Ji, X., Chen, F., Du, W. G., Chen, H. L. 2003. Incubation temperature affects hatchling growth but not sexual phenotype in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis (Trionychidae). Journal of Zoology (London) 261:409-416.
19. Du, W. G., Zheng, R. Q. 2004. Egg survival and hatchling traits of the Chinese three-keeled pond turtle (Chinemys reevesii) incubated in different hydric environments. Acta Zoologica Sinica 50:133-136.
20. Du, W. G. 2004. Water exchange of flexible-shelled eggs and its effect on hatchling traits in the Chinese skink Eumeces chinensis. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 174:489-493.
21. Du, W. G., Xie, X. H. 2005. Factors affecting escape behavior of Sphenomorphus indicus. Chinese Journal of Ecology 24:461-463.
22. Du, W. G., Lin, C. X., Shou, L., Ji, X. 2005. Morphological correlates of locomotor performance in four species of lizards using different habitats.  Zoological Research 26:41-46.
23. Du, W. G., Lu, Y. W., Shen, J. Y. 2005. The influence of maternal thermal environments on reproductive traits and hatchling traits in a Lacertid lizard, Takydromus septentrionalis. Journal of Thermal Biology 30:153-161.
24 Du, W. G., Ji, X., Shine, R. 2004. Does body-volume constrain reproductive output in lizards? Biology Letters 1:98-100.
25. Du, W. G., Shou, L., Shen, J. Y., Lu, Y. W. 2005. Influence of fluctuating incubation temperatures on hatchling traits in a Chinese skink, Eumeces chinensis. Herpetological Journal 15:139-142.
26. Du, W. G., Ji, X., Zhang, Y. P., Xu, X. F., Shine, R.  2005. Identifying sources of variation in reproductive and life history traits among five populations of a Chinese lizard (Takydromus septentrionalis, Lacertidae). Biological Journal of Linnean Society 85:443-453.
27. Du, W. G. 2006. Phenotypic plasticity in reproductive traits induced by food availability in a lacertid lizard, Takydromus septentrionalis. Oikos 112:363-369.
28. Du, W. G., Ji, X. 2006. Effects of constant and fluctuating temperatures on egg survival and hatchling traits in the northern grass lizard (Takydromus septentrionalis, Lacertidae). Journal of Experimental Zoology 305A:47-54.
29. Du, W. G. 2006. Preferred body temperature and thermal tolerance of the northern grass lizard Takydromus septentrionalis from localities with different longitudes. Acta Zoologica Sinica 52:478-482.
30. Ji, X., Du, W. G., Li, H., Lin, L. H. 2006. Experimentally reducing clutch size reveals a fixed upper limit to egg size in snakes, evidence from the king rat snake, Elaphe carinata. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 144:474-478.
31. Du, W. G., Shou, L., Shen, J. Y. 2006. Habitat selection in two sympatric Chinese skinks, Eumeces elegans and Sphenomorphus indicus: do thermal preferences matter? Canadian Journal of Zoology 84:1300-1306.
32. Du, W. G., Ji, X., Zhang, Y. P. 2006. Inter-population variation in life-history traits of a Chinese lizard (Takydromus septentrionalis, Lacertidae). Herpetological Journal 16:233-237.
33. Du, W. G., Zheng, R. Q., Shu, L. 2006. The influence of incubation temperature on morphology, locomotor performance and cold tolerance of hatchling Chinese three-keeled pond turtles, Chinemys reevesii. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 5:294-299.
34. Allsop, D. J., Warner, D., Langkilde, T., Du, W. G., Shine, R.  2006.  Do operational sex ratios influence sex allocation in viviparous lizards with temperature-dependent sex determination?  Journal of Evolutionary Biology 19:1175-1182.
35. Du, W. G., Lu, Y. W., Shu, L., Bao, Y. X. 2007. Thermal dependence of food assimilation and locomotor performance in juvenile blue-tailed skinks, Eumeces elegans. Animal Biology 57:29-38.
36. Ji, X., Du, W. G., Lin, Z. H., Luo, L. G. 2007. Measuring temporal variation in reproductive output reveals optimal resource allocation to reproduction in the northern grass lizard, Takydromus septentrionalis. Biological Journal of Linnean Society 91:315-324.
37. Du, W-G., Shine, R.  2008.  The influence of hydric environments during egg incubation on embryonic heart rates and offspring phenotypes in a lizard (Lampropholis guichenoti, Scincidae).  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 151:102-107.
38. Webb, J. K., Du, W. G., Pike, D. A., Shine, R.  2009.  Chemical cues from both dangerous and non-dangerous snakes elicit antipredator behaviours from a nocturnal lizard.  Animal Behaviour 77:1471-1478.
39. Du, W. G., Webb, J. K., Shine, R.  2009.  Heat, sight and scent: multiple cues influence foraging site selection by an ambush-foraging snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides, Elapidae).  Current Zoology 55:266-271.
40. Du, W. G., Radder. R. S., Sun B., Shine, R. 2009. Determinants of incubation period: do reptilian embryos hatch after a fixed total number of heartbeats? Journal of Experimental Biology 212:1302-1306.
41. Du, W. G., Elphick, M., Shine, R.  2010.  Thermal regimes during incubation do not affect mean selected temperatures of hatchling lizards (Bassiana duperreyi, Scincidae).  Journal of Thermal Biology 35:47-51.
42. Du, W. G., Zhao, B., Shine, R.  2010.  Embryos in the fast lane: heart rates decline after turtles hatch from the egg.  PLoS ONE 5:e9557.
43. Du, W. G., Shine, R.  2010.  Why do the eggs of lizards (Bassiana duperreyi, Scincidae) hatch sooner if incubated at fluctuating rather than constant temperatures?  Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 101:642-650.
44. Du, W. G., Ji, X., Zhang, Y. P., Lin Z. H., Xu, X. F. 2010. Geographic variation in offspring size of a widespread lizard (Takydromus septentrionalis): importance of maternal investment. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 101:59-67.
45. Du, W. G. Lü, D. 2010. An experimental test of body-volume constraint on female reproductive output. Journal of Experimental Zoology 313A:123-128.
46. Du, W. G., Thompson, M. B., Shine, R.  2010.  Facultative cardiac responses to regional hypoxia in lizard embryos.  Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 156:491-494.
47. Du, W. G., Warner, D. A., Langkilde, T. Robbins, T., Shine, R.  2010.  The physiological basis of geographic variation in rates of embryonic development within a widespread lizard species.  American Naturalist 176:522-528.
48. Du, W. G., Ye, H. Zhao, B. Warner, D. A., Shine, R. 2010. Thermal acclimation of heart rates in reptilian embryos. PLoS ONE 5: e15308.
49. Du, W. G., Zhao, B., Chen, Y. and Shine, R. 2011. Behavioral thermoregulation by turtle embryos. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108:9513-9515.
50. Du, W. G., Ye, H., Zhao, B., Pizzatto, L., Ji, X., Shine, R.  2011.  Patterns of interspecific variation in the heart rates of embryonic reptiles.  PLoS ONE 6:e29027.
51. Du, W. G., Warner, D. A., Langkilde, T., Robbins, T. R., Shine, R.  2012.  The roles of pre-hatching and post-hatching growth rates in generating a latitudinal cline of adult body size in the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus).  Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106:202-209.
52. Du, W. G., Ji, X., Shine, R.  2013.  Phenotypic plasticity in embryonic development of reptiles: recent research and research opportunities in China.  Asian Herpetological Research 4:1-8.
53. Du, W. G., Tu, M-C., Radder, R. S., Shine, R.  2013.  Can reptile embryos influence their own rates of heating and cooling?  PLoS ONE 8:e67095.
54. Zhao, B., Li, T. Shine, R., Du, W. G.  2013.  Turtle embryos move to optimal thermal environments within the egg.  Biology Letters 9:20130337.
Eumeces elegans

Grants and Awards

Year Award
2003-2004 The effects of FSH on the reproductive output and hatchling’s traits in the black-bellied box turtle, Cuora flavomarginata. Zhejiang Provincial Nature Science Foundation.
2002- Visiting scholar award from Bao’s Foundation, China.
2002-2003 Reproductive life history of the Reeves’ turtle (Chinemys reevesii).  Zhejiang  Educational Bureau Research Fund.
2002-2003 Geographic variation on thermal biology and life history in the grass lizard, Takydromus septentrionalisHangzhou Governmental Award.
2001-2002 Cold tolerance of the black-bellied box turtle, Cuora flavomarginataHangzhou Normal College Research Grants.
1998-1999 Effects of temperature on eggs and hatchlings in the Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensisZhejiang Educational Bureau Research Fund.
1998-2000 Reproductive investment in egg and residual yolk of a colubrid snake, Elaphe carinata. Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation (with Xiang Ji).
1998-2000 Intra- and inter-population variations on reproductive output in the cobra, Naja naja atra. Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (with Xiang Ji).
1997-1998 Thermal biology of the blue-tailed skink, Eumeces elegans. Hangzhou Normal College Research Grants.