Department of Ecology & Evolution

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Wei Zhang
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Wei Zhang  

Wei Zhang, PhD

Room 202, Dept at Ecology & Evolution
Department of Ecology and Evolution
1101 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637



Ph.D. (07/2011) – Botany
2005.9 - 2011.7 Peking University, State Key Laboratory of Protein and Plant Gene Research, Beijing, China
B. Sc. (07/2005) – Biotechnology (Microbiology)
2001. 9 - 2005.7 Shandong University, Jinan, China


2012-Present Postdoctoral Scholar, the University of Chicago, Dept at Ecology & Evolution
2012 Research Assistant, University of Chicago, Pediatrics Hospital


2013-Present: I keep on working on the genetic basis of Batesian mimicry in Asian swallowtail butterflies and introgression in Heliconius butterflies using next-generation sequencing approaches. I am also interested in identifying candidate genes involved in wing color pigmentation in monarch butterflies.

2012-2013: I studied conserved genes in three species including Papilio glaucus, canadensis & appalachiensis based on de novo transcriptome assembly and detected a complicated gene flow among these species. I also worked on SNP detection and association mapping of mimicry supergene in Papilio polytes.

2012: I worked on sulfation sites identification of PAPS synthetase in mice.

2009-2011: I focused on the functional ncRNA in cyanobacteria based on RNA-seq and de novo genome assembly on Microcystis.

2007-2010: I studied a calcium binding protein in cyanobacteria, HetR, a key regulator of heterocyst differentiation.

2005-2008: My main work was investigating physiological function of Ca2+ in cyanobacteria Anabaena PCC 7120.


(* co-firsst authors)

  1. Zhang W, Dasmahapatra KK, Mallet J, Moreira GR, Kronforst MR. Genome-wide introgression among distantly related Heliconius butterfly species. Genome Biology, 2016 Feb 27;17(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s13059-016-0889-0.
  2. Li X*, Fan D*, Zhang W*, Liu G*, Zhang L*, Zhao L, Fang X, Chen L, Dong Y, Chen Y, Ding Y, Zhao R, Feng M, Zhu Y, Feng Y, Jiang X, Zhu D, Xiang H, Feng X, Li S, Wang J, Zhang G, Kronforst MR+, Wang W+. (2015) Outbred genome sequencing and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in butterflies. Nature Communications. 2015 Sep 10;6:8212. Doi: 10.1038/ncomms9212.
  3. Zhan S, Zhang W, Niitepold K, Hsu J, Fernández Haeger J, Zalucki M, Altizer S, De Roode J, Reppert S, Kronforst MR.(2014) The genetics of dispersal, migration, and warning coloration in the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus. Nature. 2014 Oct 16;514(7522):317-21. doi: 10.1038/nature13812. Epub 2014 Oct 1.
  4. Kunte K*+, Zhang W*, Tenger-Trolander A, Palmer D, Martin A, Reed RD, Mullen SP, Kronforst MR+.(2014) doublesex is a mimicry supergene. Nature. 2014 Mar 13;507(7491):229-32. doi: 10.1038/nature13112. Epub 2014 Mar 5.
  5. Kronforst MR, Hansen MEB, Crawford NG, Gallant JR, Zhang W, Kulathinal RJ, Kapan DD, Mullen SP.(2013) Hybridization reveals the evolving genomic architecture of speciation. Cell Reports. 5(3):666-77.
  6. Zhang W, Kunte K, Kronforst M. R. (2013) Genome-wide characterization of adaptation and speciation in tiger swallowtail butterflies using de novo transcriptome assemblies. Genome Biology and Evolution. 5:1233-1245.
  7. Yang C, Zhang W, Ren M, Song L, Li T, Zhao J. (2013) Whole-genome sequence of Microcystis aeruginosa TAIHU98, a nontoxic bloom-forming strain isolated from Taihu Lake, China. Genome Announcements. 1(3). pii: e00333-13.
  8. Hu Y, Zhang X, Shi Y, Zhou Y, Zhang W, Su XD, Xia B, Zhao J, Jin C. (2011) Structures of Anabaena calcium-binding Protein CcbP: insights into Ca2+ signaling during heterocyst differentiation. J Biol Chem. 286(14): 12381-12388.
  9. Shi Y*, Zhao W*, Zhang W, Ye Z, Zhao J. (2006) Regulation of intracellular free calcium concentration during heterocyst differentiation by HetR and NtcA in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103: 11334-11339.


Zhao J, Zhang W. Method and Application of Constructing a Type of Fatty Acid Producing Bacteria. China Patent Application No.: 201010119259X.

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