Maowei Liang headshot
Office Address

513 Ecology Building
1987 Upper Buford Cir
Saint Paul, MN 55108
United States

Lab Address

United States


Liang, Ph.D.

Research Scientist
Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

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Research statement

I have a broad interest in community and ecosystem ecology, with a specific focus on investigating the fundamental associations between changes in ecosystem functioning and plant compositional shifts across spatial-temporal scales, such as biodiversity loss and biological homogenization, in response to climate and land-use changes.

My earlier works have centered around the interactions between rainfall variability, livestock grazing, plant community dynamics, and carbon cycling in grasslands in both Inner Mongolia and Arizona. Additionally, I use across-site datasets, such as LTER, NEON, and GGN, to synthesize the diversity-stability relationships in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems at multiple scales.

As a new Research Scientist at Cedar Creek, I will perform and publish the results of ecological research, as well as coordinate and lead ecosystem restoration and management efforts to strengthen and complement the mission of the Cedar Creek LTER program.

Selected publications

  • Liang, M., Baiser, B., Hallett, L.M., Hautier, Y., Jiang, L., Loreau, M., Record, S., Sokol, E.R., Zarnetske, P.L., & Wang, S. (2022). Consistent Stabilizing Effects of Plant Diversity Across Spatial Scales and Climatic Gradients. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 6: 1669-1675.
  • Liang, M., Liang, C., Hautier, Y., Wilcox, K. R., & Wang, S. (2021). Grazing-induced Biodiversity Loss Impairs Grassland Ecosystem Stability at Multiple Scales. Ecology Letters, 24: 2054-2064. (Featured on cover) 2022 ESA early career publication award (Ecological Restoration)
  • Yan, Y. †, Connolly, J., Liang, M., Jiang, L., & Wang, S. (2021). Mechanistic Links between Biodiversity Effects on Ecosystem Functioning and Stability in A Multi-site Grassland Experiment. Journal of Ecology, 109: 3370-3378.
  • Liang, M., Smith, N. G., Chen, J., Wu, Y., Guo, Z., Gornish, E. S., & Liang, C. (2021). Shifts in Plant Composition Mediate Grazing Effects on Carbon Cycling in Grasslands. Journal of Applied Ecology, 58: 518-527.
  • Liang, M., Feng, X., & Gornish, E. S. (2021). Rainfall Pulses Mediate Long-term Plant Community Compositional Dynamics in A Semi-arid Rangeland, Journal of Applied Ecology, 58: 708-717.
  • Liang, M. & Gornish, E. S. (2019). Rainfall Regulation of Grazed Grasslands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(48): 23887-23888.
  • Liang, M., Gornish, E. S., Mariotte, P., Chen, J., & Liang, C. (2019). Foliar Nutrient Content Mediates Grazing Effects on Species Dominance and Plant Community Biomass. Rangeland Ecology & Management, 72(6): 899-906.
  • Liang, M., Chen, J., Smith, N. G., Bai, X., Jia, C., Li, Z., & Liang, C. (2019). Changes and Regulations of Net Ecosystem CO2 Exchange across Temporal Scales in the Alxa Desert. Journal of Arid Environments, 164: 78-84.
  • Liang, M., Chen, J., Gornish, E. S., Bai, X., Li, Z., & Liang, C. (2018). Grazing Effect on Grasslands Escalated by Abnormal Precipitations in Inner Mongolia. Ecology and Evolution, 8(16): 8187-8196.

Education and background

2021-2022, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Virginia
2019-2021, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Peking University
2018-2019, Assistant Research Scientist, University of Arizona
2014-2019, Ph.D. Ecology, Inner Mongolia University & Michigan State University (Visiting Scholar)
2011-2014, M.S. Ecology, Inner Mongolia University
2007-2011, B.A. Landscape Architecture, Inner Mongolia University for Nationalities