On November 27, 2018, at the invitation of Prof. Guang Yang, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University (NNU), academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Prof. Fuwen Wei, from the Institute of Zoology, CAS, as well as Prof. Peng Shi from Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS, came to our university for academic exchanges. At 2:30 p.m. on the third floor of the College of Life Sciences, Academician Fuwen Wei carried out an academic report entitled "Thoughts on the Scientific Construction of National Parks - Finding the Natural Proportion of Protection and Development Balance (N%)"; and then, the academic report entitled "Evolution and Genetic Mechanisms of Animal Echolocation" was presented by Prof. Shi Peng. More than 100 teachers, graduate students and undergraduates from related fields attended the symposium.
In the report, Academician Wei first introduced the global and domestic endangered status of species survival, emphasizing the serious challenges facing the status of species diversity; combined with the history of human development, from prehistoric civilization, agricultural civilization, industrial civilization to the ecological civilization, which characterized as ”harmony of human-land relationships and Sustainable development”. Next, Academician Wei took panda conservation as an example, introduced its protection status and ecosystem service value, and emphasized that natural conservation sites are the basis of biological survival and reproduction, including human beings. Then it raises the question of "how many nature reserves do we need", and leads to the concept of "N%", which is the natural proportion of the balance between protection and development. Academician Wei pointed out that the full use of conservation biology, philosophy, sociology, economics and other interdisciplinary theories and methods will be the future trend of ecological protection in China and the world, and will also promote the protection of ecological environment with global significance.
Prof. Shi Peng presented a report focuses on "echolocation", starting with studies on bats, the only mammal with flying ability, and explores the unique inner ear development pattern of bats with constant frequency echolocation. Microscopically, prestin, an inner ear motor protein related to high frequency hearing, is first introduced, and its molecular mechanism in species with echolocation is elucidated. Based on the prestin gene, the origin of echolocation in cetaceans was described in detail by Shi Peng. Then, the evolutionary and genetic mechanisms of echolocation are elaborated from the unique protective mechanism evolved from the inner ear hair cells of echolocation bats and the acoustic characteristics of echolocation in chapa pygmy dormouse. The origin of echolocation behavior in various echolocation animals is presented to us.
At the end of the report, there was a warm atmosphere for discussion. Academician Wei Fu Wen and Prof. Shi Peng had in-depth academic exchanges and discussions with participating teachers and students, and gave detailed answers to the questions raised by teachers and students. The profound knowledge, agile thinking and careful logic presented by the two researchers have greatly benefited our teachers and students.