UCL Division of Biosciences

Dr Ziming Zhong

Dr Ziming Zhong

Research Fellow

Genetics, Evolution & Environment

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2020

Research summary

My research interests focus on understanding how the molecular mechanisms that result in plant phenotypic variation favour the evolution and adaptation in plant evolution.


I was born in southern part of China, where I spent much of my spare time in observing plants and insects. In 2007, I went to Beijing Forestry University for my Bachelor's study in Biological science, during which I got fascinated by the co-evolution of orchids and their pollinators. After my graduation, I spent one year at the Botany Institute, Science Academy of China, where I started to know about population genetics, which led me to begin my genetic adventure. In September 2012, I went to Switzerland for my master's education. Under the supervision of Prof. Elena Conti at the University of Zurich, I investigated how an island-endemic and endangered plant in Canary Island became invasive in California from the genetic perspective. In 2015, I continued my evolutionary genetic interests and started working on quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping on a fungal wheat pathogen in the plant pathology group at ETH Zurich. We aimed to identify the genomic loci that can explain variations in pathogen virulence and environmental stresses tolerance in the pathogen. During this research, I widen my knowledge in understanding many molecular mechanisms that contribute to the phenotypic variations, which are not restricted to the DNA polymorphisms in protein-coding regions. I developed strong interests in drawing a comprehensive picture of mechanisms that can explain phenotypic variations and that allows us to model phenotypes by certain genetic data. In 2020, I got a great opportunity to explore this idea with Prof. Richard Mott at the Genetic Institute at UCL. Now I'm working on de novo assembling of Arabidopsis thaliana accessions, and trying to build a comprehensive pan-genome that could facilitate our later multi-parent genetic mapping by using multi-omic molecular traits.