Lei Zhao

Postdoctoral Researcher
Primary office:
Higuchi Hall

Research Interests:
I am interested in population dynamics in a food web and ecological applications of complex network theory. I am also interested in the effects of warming on aquatic communities. Currently I am working on spatial synchrony and Taylor’s law and the relationship between them. My recent or ongoing projects include: 1) spatial synchrony of phytoplankton in the California Current, and 2) the determinants of Taylor’s law slopes, as well as some new forms of Taylor’s law.


Selected Publications:

  • Lei Zhao, Huayong Zhang, Eoin J. O'Gorman, Wang Tian, Athen Ma, John C. Moore, Stuart Borrett, Guy Woodward. Weighting and indirect effects identify keystone species in food webs. Ecology Letters, 2016, 19: 1032-1040.
  • Eoin J. O’Gorman*, Lei Zhao*, Doris E. Pichler, Georgina Adams, Nikolai Friberg, Björn C. Rall, Alex Seeney, Huayong Zhang, Daniel C. Reuman, Guy Woodward. Unexpected changes in community size structure in a natural warming experiment, Nature Climate Change, 2017, 7: 659-663 (*co-first authors).
  • Daniel C. Reuman, Lei Zhao, Lawrence W. Sheppard, Philip C. Reid, Joel E. Cohen. Effects of synchrony on Taylor’s law: theoretical analyses and empirical tests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017, 114: 6788-6793.
  • Lei Zhao, Huayong Zhang, Wang Tian, Xiang Xu. Identifying compartments in ecological networks based on energy channels. Ecology and Evolution, 2017 (published in early view).
  • Huayong Zhang, Lei Zhao, Wang Tian, and Hai Huang. Stability of food webs to biodiversity loss: Comparing the roles of biomass and node degree. Ecological Indicators, 2016, 67: 723-729.
  • Anthony I Dell, Lei Zhao, Richard G. Pearson, Ross A. Alford. Population and community body size structure across a complex environmental gradient. Advances in Ecological Research, 2015, 52: 115-167.

Recent Presentations:

  • Proximate determinants of empirical Taylor’s law slopes (12th International Congress of Ecology, China National Convention Center, Beijing, August 20-25, 2017)
  • Variation and covariation of spatial and temporal Taylor's Law slopes (Quantitative Lunch, Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kansas, Lawrence, November 9, 2016)
  • Compartments in Ecological Networks and Their Roles in Stabilizing Food (The 20th CLSS-UK Annual Meeting, Queen Mary University of London, August 30, 2014)
  • Detecting Compartments in Food Webs— A new method based on energy distribution (BES Group Meeting: Aquatic Group Reboot and Detrital Dynamics in Aquatic Systems, Charles Darwin House, London, July 21-25, 2014)


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