Institute of Prehistorical Life and Environmental Sciences


The Institute of Prehistorical Life and Environmental Science (IPE) mainly focuses on the teaching and research of paleontology and stratigraphy, and has undergraduate, master, and doctoral programs. Students graduated from IPE have made great success in academia (universities and research institutions), industry (oil and mining company), and consultant services (government and museums). Paleontology and Stratigraphy is a multidiscipline study of life science, Earth Science, and environmental Science, and its main scope includes, but not limit to, the origin and evolution of life, environmental changes and rock records in Earth’s history. These researches would provide historical perspective for the global change study, and is also essential for resource exploration in the petroleum and coal industry.

IPE was founded in 2002 as a new teaching and research center of the School of Earth and Space Sciences on the basis of Paleontology and Stratigraphy Division in the Geology Department, which is one of the oldest divisions (since 1909) in Peking University. The world famous geologists and paleontologists such as Professor Li Siguang (J. S. Lee) and Professor A. W. Grabau have been engaged here, and more than 20 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Science began their careers here.

IPE has 12 faculty members in 2015, including 8 full professors, one tenure-track research professor, and 3 associate professors. Professor Miman Zhang is an academician member of the Chinese Academy of Science. Professor Keqin Gao was endorsed as the Yangtze Distinguished Professor, and Dr. Bing Shen was recruited by national “1000 Young Talent Plan“ and was named as the Distinguished Young Scholars by NSFC. The faculty members are active in many international scientific communities, engaged as members of the International Palaeontological Association, Paleontological Society of China, and International Commission of Stratigraphy, and serve as associate editors and editorial committees for many domestic and international journals. 

Research in IPE covers a wide range of fields, including Precambrian geobiology, Paleozoic invertebrate paleobiology and stratigraphy, early vascular plants evolution, Mesozoic vertebrates evolution, and Cenozoic paleoclimatology and paleoceonography. Their research has been published in high-impact journals, such as Nature, Science, and PNAS. In the past 10 years, IPE has received 20-25 grants annually from NSFC, China Geological Survey, and industry.

Director: Prof. Yuanlin Sun 

Vise-director: Zuoyu Sun, Jinzhuang Xue


        Zhiqiang Bai, Keqin Gao, Baoqi Huang, Dayong Jiang, Jianbo Liu, Xueping Ma, Bing Shen, Deming Wang, Miman Zhang