Dr. Huaigang Zhang, Director of the Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NWIPB, CAS) led a delegation to pay an eight-day visit to Switzerland and Germany from 3rd to 11th October 2010.
Dr. Zhang met with Prof. Bernhard Schmid, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science, full professor of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich on 4th October and made a brief presentation on development of the NWIPB, CAS. Prof. Guangmin Cao, head of the Research Centre of Alpine Ecology also gave an introduction on alpine ecology research and related experimental platforms in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. During 5th -7th, Dr. Zhang visited the Institute of Plant Biology, the University of Zurich and the Federal Agroscope agriculture field station. Dr. Zhang presented his research on plateau spring wheat breeding and exchanged wheat seeds with the breeders from the station. During 8th-11th in Germany, Dr. Zhang and the delegation visited the University of Tübingenand were deeply impressed by their facilities and management in the Soil Lab. Meanwhile, along with Prof. Guangmin Cao and Prof. Jin-sheng He, Dr. Zhang presented the key research fields of the NWIPB, CAS and expressed the expectations of the visit, and then Prof. Dr. Thomas Scholten, Director of the Institute of Geography, the University of Tübingen introduced the coming-up joint research program in Tibetan Plateau, and discussed the future cooperation with Prof. Jin-sheng He and Prof. Guangmin Cao. The delegation was also invited by Prof. Thomas Scholten to a field tour and did a close investigation on grassland and soil types.
The eight-day visit was fruitful and effective, through which the two institutional Memorandums of Understanding were signed respectively between the NWIPB, CAS and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environment Studies, the University of Zurich and the Institute of Geography, the University of Tübingen. According to the MOUs, two sides will jointly devote to alpine ecological &. agricultural research and biological resources studies as well in coming years, and will also reconfirm the training courses officially named the Sino- Swiss Summer School for postgraduates on ecology that will be held in turn both in the CAS Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem Research Station, Qinghai, China and the Alps Field Station, Switzerland every year. Moreover, as a part of the MOU with the University of Zurich, Prof. Shizhen Ma from the Research Centre of Plateau Biological Resources will be working as academic visitor from next January to June in the University of Zurich, Switzerland. (by Xuxia Zhao)