Zoological systematics was the major scientific activities when the Institute of Zoology (IOZ) was established, for the predecessor of IOZ was the Fan Memorial Institute of Biology established in 1928. It mainly focused on animal collection and classification.
The Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics has been gradually growing up on the base of the Musée de Zi- Ka- wei, which was established by churchman P. M. Heude (1836-1902) in 1860. In 1996, the lab integrated the former three laboratories and 6 attached collections, the Laboratory of Entomology, the Laboratory of Invertebrate the Laboratory on Taxonomy and Faunistics, the Insect Collection, the Invertebrate Animal Collection, the Bird Collection, the Mammal Collection, the Fish Collection, the Reptiles and Amphibians Collection. It was confirmed as the Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, IOZ in 2007, and CAS in 2008, respectively.
As one of the key and long-term subjects in IOZ, under the supports of both CAS and IOZ, major topics on both zoological systematics and eEvolution has been gradually shaped in the laboratory. With various informations on morphology, molecules, fossils, geographical distribution and etc., it makes integrated studies at both the micro- and macro levels and involves both field investigations and laboratory tests.
In recent years, catching up with the international research progresses and required by the nations, the laboratory continuously adjusted its research directions, improved the condition of the laboratory, obtained voluminous research results, and trained over two hundreds doctoral and master students. It has become a national base for systematic and evolutionary research and relevant public education, and an internationally known laboratory in the same field. Through all staff member’s effort, the key laboratory is expected to become one of the most famous research centers on zoological systematics and evolution in the world in the coming 15 years.
The current director is Prof. Aiping Liang and the director of the academic committee is academician Yaping Zhang.