Professor of Zoology

Behavioral ecology, conservation biology, animal welfare, animal behavior



1984.09-1988.06, BS, Department of Biology, Lanzhou University

1988.09-1991.06, MS, Department of Biology, Lanzhou University

1993.09-1996.07, Ph. D., Department of Biology, Beijing Normal University


Working Experience

1991.07-1993.08, Lecture, Department of Geography, Lanzhou University. .

1996.08-1998.06, Department of Science & Technology, Beijing Normal University.

1998.07-2009.06, Associate professor, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University.

2004.09-2006.09, Postdoc Research Associate at Department of Psychology, Cornell University, USA.

2009.07- present, Professor of Zoology, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University,


Research Interests

I mainly study the individual recognition and underlying mechanisms of mate choice in mammals via chemical, auditory and visual modalities. In particularly, I use captive giant pandas as my subjects to test and answer some interesting questions in animal communication and sexual selection. At the meantime, I am also interested in animal cognition issues. We will design and run some experiments to examine animals’ cognitive ability in captivity. Last, we also spend more time making every effort to try to improve animal welfare in captive wildlife. The common and traditional method we used is to collect fecal and urinary samples to monitor captive animals’ stress level in addition to behavioral observation.


Selected Publications

♦ Research Articles

1. Ruoshuang Liu, Jianbin Shi*, Dingzhen Liu*, Shikui Dong, Yu Zhang, Yonglin Wu, Dongsheng Guo. 2020. Effect of group size and reproductive status on faecal glucocorticoid concentration and vigilance in a free-ranging population of Przewalski’s gazelle. Conserv Physiol, 8(1): coaa027.

2. Wenliang Zhou, Yonggang Nie*, Ronald R. Swaisgood, Y Li, Dingzhen Liu, Fuwen Wei. 2019. Ecological context influences scent-marking behavior in the giant panda. J Zool, 309: 191-199. 

3. Zixiang Li, Xuefeng Liu, Juan Zhao, Yanhui Liu, Haihong Xu, Changqing Li, Tao Ma, Bo Wang, Yanping Lu*, Barbara Padalino and Dingzhen Liu*. 2019. Prospective study on the excretion of mucous stools and its association with age, gender, and feces output in captive giant pandas. Animals, 9: 264. 

4. Wenliang Zhou, Yonggang Nie, Yibo Hu, Ronald R. Swaisgood, Dingzhen Liu*, Fuwen Wei*. 2019. Seasonal and reproductive variation in chemical constituents of scent signals in wild giant pandas. Sci Chin-Life Sci. 62: 648-660. 

5. Penglai Fan, Ruoshuang Liu, Fang Li, Tianpeng Huang, Hui Yao, Feng Wu, Dingzhen Liu*, Xuecong Liu*. 2019. Individuality in coo calls of adult male golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in a multilevel society. Anim Cognition, 22: 71-79. 


♦ Books/Chapters

1. Liu, D., Yuan, H., Wang, Z., Wei, R., Zhang, G. & Sun, L. (2013). Do urinary chemosignals code for sex, age and season in the giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca? In: Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 12 (eds. East, ML & Dehnhard, M). Springer New York, NY, pp. 207-222.

2. Liu, D. (2005). Zoos and Aquariums: Giant Pandas in Captivity. In: Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior (ed. Bekoff, M). Greenwook Publishing Group Inc. Santa Barbara, CA, pp. 1189-1192.

3. Liu, D.Z., Zhang, G.Q., Wei, R.P., Zhang, H.M., Fang, J.M. & Sun, R.Y. (2005). Behavioral responsiveness of captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) to substrate odors from conspecifics of the opposite sex. In: Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 10 (eds. Mason, RT, LeMaster, MP & Müller Schwarze, D). Springer New York, NY, pp. 101-109.


Contact Information

College of Life Sciences,

Beijing Normal University,

Beijing 100875,

P. R. China

Tel. : +86-10-58806699

E-mail: dzliu@bnu.edu.cn