Xianguang Guo joined KU Herpetology as a Visiting Post-doc Researcher from China with interests in phylogenetic systematics and biogeography of Central Asian herpetofauna. He obtained his Bachelors degree at Lanzhou University, and Masters degree at Southwest University under the advisorship of Prof. Yaoguang Zhang. Guo pursued his PhD on Molecular Phylogenetics of Ostariophysi Fishes at the Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IHB, CAS) under the advisorship of Prof. Shunping He. After graduating from IHB, he joined the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CIB, CAS) to extend his research to herpetology. Guo was then an Assistant/Associate Professor in the Department of Herpetology at CIB. His colleagues joke his career evolution as ‘from water to land’.
Guo is actively collaborating with various colleagues in Kazakhstan, Russia and USA, principally on lizards in the deserts and steppes of Central Asia. Using racerunner lacertids (Eremias) and toad-headed agamids (Phrynocephalus) as model organisms, he aims to test the hypothesis that both Mid-Miocene climate change (e.g., aridification) and the Pleistocene glacation have affected diversification and the geographic evolution. Recently, his research is focused on speciation in the viviparous racerunner lizards and its relationship to the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. In addition to this work on speciation, he is also interested in understanding the evolution of viviparity and the maternal immune system in lizards. As a Visiting Researcher in Curator Rafe Brown's lab, he is being trained to resolve stubborn polytomies in gekkonid lizards by using targeted capture with ultraconserved elements (UCEs) and enrichment with Illumina sequencing.