Plant Sciences Center
Kang Ming
Highest Education PhD
Office South China Botannical Garden,No.723 Xingkelu,Tianhe,Guangzhou,China
Education and Appointments

Dr. Kang received his B.S. from Huazhong Agricultural University in 1997 and Ph.D from Wuhan Botanical Garden (WBG), Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2006. He had worked at WBG first as an assistant professor and then as an associate professor for five years (from 2002 to 2007). In the end of 2007, he moved to Guangzhou and joined South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) as a professor. After the finish of Ph.D work, he spent a 1-year postdoctoral research at the University of Queensland and the University of Adelaide. In 2010, he worked as a visiting scholar at Duke University.

Research Interest

Limestone karsts are typically natural terrestrial islands in exhibiting spatial isolation on restricted land masses. Karst habitat islands in Southeast Asia harbor a highly diverse and unique biota, and have long been regarded as “natural laboratories” for ecological and evolutionary research. The tower karsts and karst caves of southern China represent a classical example of karst terrestrial islands. Organisms within these landforms appear to exhibit particularly strong spatial and ecological isolation. These tower karsts and karst caves possess many unique, endemic species and were, therefore, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In particular, the karst landscape of southern China is a center of plant diversity and speciation, and represents an important natural environment in which to study terrestrial plant evolution and speciation.


My core research seeks to understand the biodiversity and diversification mechanisms of karst-habitat specialized plants. My recent work focuses on the adaptive evolution and speciation of the Primulina, a genus of the African violet family Gesneriaceae. My research involves field work, molecular biology, and common garden experiments. I use approaches of phylogeny, population genetics, quantitative genetics and genomics to understand the evolutionary processes that were involved in generating the species richness and endemism of Primulina species.


Primulina is simultaneously valued for a variety of horticultural and medicinal features. Many species have been introduced for domestication and breeding as ornamental plants. I also have a particular interest in genetic resource collection, conservation and plant breeding of Primulina.


Current research projects on Primulina include: 1) geographical pattern of biodiversity and ex situ conservation; 2) biogeography and phylogeny; 3) genome size evolution; 4) adaptive evolution and speciation; and 5) genome sequencing and gene discovery.
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