The Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS) was founded in 1951, with its root in the former Paleontological Section, Institute of Geology (Academia Sinica) and in the Paleontological Group of the Geological Survey of China. The founding director of NIGPAS was Prof. Li Siguang (J. S. Lee), a distinguished geologist and palaeontologist.
NIGPAS conducts basic and applied research in palaeontology (invertebrate palaeontology and palaeobotany) and stratigraphy and is the only Chinese institution that specializes in these fields. The institute currently focuses on the origin and evolution of life on earth, evolutionary palaeontology, biostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy, systematic palaeontology, palaeoecology, palaeogeography and palaeoclimatology, molecular palaeobiology, geobiology, coevolution of life and environment, and applied palaeontology and stratigraphy.
NIGPAS has three research units: the Department of Systematic Paleontology, the State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, and the CAS Key Laboratory of Economic Stratigraphy and Palaeogeography. To study fossils and sedimentary strata, the institute is well-equipped with modern observational and analytical equipment and facilities such as scanning electron microscopes, genetic analyzers, stable isotope mass spectrometers and peripherals in addition to fossil preparation laboratories. NIGPAS also houses a large collection of specimens and a library of multilingual literature about geology and palaeontology.
The institute has received 27 national awards, including a National Natural Science Award 1st Prize in 2003 for the work on Chengjiang fauna and the Cambrian explosion; a National Natural Science Award 2nd Prize in 2008 for the study on Cambrian and Ordovician Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points (GSSPs) and chronostratigraphic subdivisions and a National Natural Science Award 2nd Prize in 2010 for the study on the Lopingian Series in China and end-Permian mass extinction. The institute has also received more than 170 CAS, provincial- and ministerial-level awards for its research. In addition, seven out of 10 GSSPs established in China have been defined by NIGPAS scientists. The institute has also received global attention in recent years for its work on the topics mentioned above and on Weng’an, Lantian, and Jehol Biotas; and biological radiation, extinction and recovery during major geological periods. Moreover, institute researchers have published more than 9,000 research papers and monographs since 1951.
NIGPAS currently has 141 research and technical personnel, including three CAS academicians and 38 professors. Among them, six professors have won the Outstanding Young Scientists Award (NSFC). Four professors have served as chief scientists for the Major Research Projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
NIGPAS offers master’s degrees in palaeontology and stratigraphy, geobiology, and geological engineering; Ph.D. degrees in palaeontology and stratigraphy, and geobiology; and a postdoctoral program in geology. All educational programs are open to applicants from China and abroad.
The institute publishes four peer-reviewed academic journals: Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica, Journal of Stratigraphy and Palaeoworld. The outreach programs include exhibitions in the Museum of Palaeontology, a popular science magazine Evolution of Life, and the award-winning e-magazine and forum Fossil Web.
NIGPAS is actively engaged in international academic exchange, research collaboration and cooperation in graduate education. The institute has established long-term cooperation with palaeontological and stratigraphic institutions worldwide. More than 40 NIGPAS scientists have held more than 60 positions in international academic organizations. The institute has hosted many recipients of the CAS Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists and the Fellowship for Young International Scientists. During the past several years, the institute has hosted more than 10 major international conferences, including the Second International Palaeontological Congress in Beijing in 2006.
Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
39 East Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, China
Contact: CHEN Xiaozheng