We’re very happy to welcome Dr. Mei Sun, School of Biological Sciences, University of Hongkong to our editorial team!
Get to know Mei Sun here:
What is your research interest?
My main research focus at the moment is on plant speciation mechanisms and biological or other features that facilitate the rate of evolutionary diversification of angiosperms, especially in the family Orchidaceae as well as the Rhizophoraceae.
Can you describe your research career?
I became interested in plant ecology when I was an undergraduate working on a final-year thesis project in the field. During my postgraduate studies at the University of British Columbia, I become more interested in plant evolutionary biology. My Ph.D. research was on evolutionary genetics of Hawaii endemic species of Bidens (Asteraceae), a morphologically and ecologically diverse group arising from a single long-distance dispersal event followed by adaptive radiation into a variety of habitats on the Hawaiian Islands.
What made you become a scientist in ecology?
I am a molecular ecologist in the broad sense. Using various molecular marker systems, We aim to address various evolutionary questions, such as the investigations of genetic structure and outcrossing rates of hermaphrodites in natural populations of Bidens to determine whether inbreeding depression is one of the major factors in the evolution and maintenance of gynodioecy (e.g., Sun & Ganders 1986 Evolution); genetic diversity and evolutionary origin of Spiranthes orchids in Hong Kong (e.g., Sun 1996,1997 American Journal of Botany; Sun 1996 Conservation Biology); genetic resources and crop evolution (e.g., Amaranthus, sweetpotato, and rice); natural hybridization and phylogeography of Rhizophoraceae. More recently, I am also interested in comparative genetic analysis to understand the evolution of invasiveness in plants that are exchanged between SE Asia and Americas.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Reading about any subject that catches my attention at the moment; listening to soundscape music; watching TV; and doing Yoga …
For a recent representative publication: please see
Mei Sun, Eugenia Y. Y. Lo 2011
Genomic Markers Reveal Introgressive Hybridization in the Indo-West Pacific Mangroves: A Case Study.
Research Article | published 11 May 2011 | PLOS ONE 10.1371/journal.pone.0019671