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Qi Liu

Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact Information

Email: qieco.liu@utoronto.ca
Phone: 647-406-7254
ResearchGate: Profile


Qi is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He now joins  Ensminger’s lab and is a member of the FastPheno project which try to combine the next generation of high-throughput drone-based phenotyping platforms, and plant ecophysiological and genomics approaches to understand forest dynamics and tree resilience to climate change impacts.

Qi received his doctorate in Ecology from Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands. His PhD thesis is focused on the ecology of a liana community in a SW Chinese rainforest: functional traits, dynamics, and distribution. He completed his master’s degree in plant eco-physiological group in the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Science in 2016.

Outside the lab, Qi enjoys photography and cycling, and he is also a father to an energetic toddler.


PhD (Ecology) – Wageningen University and Research (2017-2021).

Msc (Ecology) – Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2012-2016)

Bsc (Biological Science) Anhui Normal University (2008-2012)

Journal Publications

  • Liu, Q., Sterck, F. J., Zhang, J. L., & Poorter, L. (2024). Lianas shift towards larger sizes and more acquisitive trait values in an Asian tropical rainforest. Biotropica.
  • Liu, Qi, et al. “Abiotic and biotic drivers of liana community change in an Asian tropical rainforest.” Forest Ecology and Management 545 (2023): 121261
  • Song, Y.J., Sterck, F.J., Zhou, X.Q., Liu, Q., Kruijt, B., and Poorter, L. (2022). Drought resilience of conifer species is driven by leaf lifespan but not by hydraulic traits. New Phytologist.
  • Bai, X. L.#, Liu, Q.#, Mohandass. D., Cao, M., … Zhang, J. L. (2022). Spatial autocorrelation shapes liana distribution better than topography and host tree properties in a subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest in SW China.Biotropics. (#Equal contribution)
  • Liu, Q., Sterck, F. J., Zhang, J.-L., Scheire, A., Konings, E., Cao, M., … Poorter, L. (2021). Traits, strategies, and niches of liana species in a tropical seasonal rainforest. Oecologia.
  • Liu, Q., Sterck, F.J., Medina-Vega, J.A., Sha, L., Cao, M., Bongers, F., … Poorter, L. (2021). Soil nutrients, canopy gaps and topography affect liana distribution in a tropical seasonal rainforest in SW China. Journal of Vegetation Science.
  • Bai, X. L., Zhang, Y. B., Liu, Q., Wang, Y. S. D., Yang, D., and Zhang, J. L. (2020). Leaf and stem traits are linked to liana growth rate in a subtropical cloud forest. Forests.

Conference Proceedings

  • “Uncovering the diversity in seasonal dynamics of photosynthetic phenology at the leaf-scale among different white spruce genotypes”. Canadian Society of Plant Biologists Annual General Meeting 2023, Oral presentation.
  • “Watching from the sky: drone-based remote sensing photosynthetic traits of White spruce (Picea glauca)”. Canadian Society of Plant Biologists Eastern Regional Meeting 2023, Oral presentation.
  •  “Chlorophyll fluorescence as a tool for tracking photosynthetic phenology in spruce genotypes”. Canadian Society of Plant Biologists – Eastern Regional 2022 Meeting, Poster
  • “Lianas are increasing in dominance and water use in tropical rainforest”. Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation 2021. Lightning Talk (Online).
  • “Community strategies and local drivers are switching the liana communities”. British Ecology Meeting 2020, Oral presentation (Online).
  • “Functional traits shape liana strategies and niches”. Netherlands Annual Ecology Meeting 2020, Oral presentation.