Early Career Professional Award – Xinli Chen
University of Alberta
2023 CSSS Early Career Professional Award to Xinli Chen
Dr. Xinli Chen is currently a Banting postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta and a Postdoctoral Exchange Fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for Global Change Biology (IGCB). Xinli completed his Ph.D. in forest science at Lakehead University, and his M.Sc. and B.Sc. in ecology from Nanjing Forestry University. Xinli’s research focuses on understanding the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss on soil carbon and nutrient cycling and seeking strategies to mitigate the negative effects of those changes.
Xinli’s research provided the first global-scale evidence that plant diversity conservation not only enhances vegetation productivity, but also increases soil C, N, and P cycling and soil biological activity and optimises ecosystem C:N:P for diversity and productivity of today’s and future vegetation. His works further revealed that these positive species-diversity effects increase over time, highlighting that global biodiversity loss, caused by land-use change such as the conversion of species-rich forests and grasslands into species-poor systems, not only decreases plant productivity and soil C sequestration but also reduces soil N availability for the future vegetation. His results also suggest that these positive species-diversity effects are generally globally consistent across climates and ecosystem types. Xinli has published over 30 research articles in journals such as Nature, Nature Sustainability, Nature Ecology & Evolution and Global Change Biology.