Education and Appointments:

2003.9-2007.6, B.Sc., Geology, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan

2007.9-2010.6, M.Sc.,Paleontology and Stratigraphy, Geology, China University of Geosciences,Wuhan

2010.9-2014.6, Ph. D., Paleontology and Stratigraphy, China University of Geosciences,Wuhan

Research grants:

  1. NSFC ‘Influence of environmental parameters on 5- and 6-methyl brGDGTs in Chinese lakes’ 2016-2019.

Current Research Interest:

  1. Using microbial lipids, in particular GDGTs, to reconstruct the paleoenvironments.
  2. Developing methods for analyzing new organic compounds.
  3. Using microbial lipids to develop proxies for paleo-reconstructions.


Associate Professor at School of Geography and Information Engeneering, China University of Geosciences

Honors and Awards:

Outstanding doctoral dissertation in Hubei Province, 2015

Best paper award in Science China: Earth Sciences, 2015

Changjiang Scholarship, China, 2007

Outstanding Postdoctorate Award, China, 2005

Professional Experience:

2014-present, Associate Professor, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China

2012.5-2012.10, Visiting student, Organic Geochemistry, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, UK

Selected Publications (* author for correspondence):

Google Scholar:


Yang, H., Xiao, W., Słowakiewicz, M., Ding, W., Ayari, A., Dang, X., Pei, H., 2019. Depth-dependent variation of archaeal ether lipids along soil and peat profiles from southern China: implications for the use of isoprenoidal GDGTs as environmental tracers. Organic Geochemistry 128, 42-56.


Tang, C#., Yang, H.#(equal contribution), Richard, D.P., Michael, L.G., Guoqiao, X., Xinyue, D., Shucheng, X., 2017. Tropical and high latitude forcing of enhanced megadroughts in Northern China during the last four terminations. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 479, 98-107.


Yang, H.*, Lü, X., Ding, W., Lei, Y., Dang, X., Xie, S., 2015. The 6-methyl branched tetraethers significantly affect the performance of the methylation index (MBT′) in soils from an altitudinal transect at Mount Shennongjia. Organic Geochemistry 82, 42-53.


Yang, H., Ding, W., Zhang, C.L., Wu, X., Ma, X., He, G., Huang, J., Xie, S.*, 2011. Occurrence of tetraether lipids in stalagmites: Implications for sources and GDGT-based proxies. Organic Geochemistry 42, 108-115.


Yang, H., Pancost, R.D., Tang, C., Ding, W., Dang, X., Xie, S.*, 2014. Distributions of isoprenoid and branched glycerol dialkanol diethers in Chinese surface soils and a loess–paleosol sequence: Implications for the degradation of tetraether lipids. Organic geochemistry 66, 70-79.


Yang, H.*, Xiao, W., Słowakiewicz, M., Ding, W., Ayari, A., Dang, X., Pei, H., 2019. Depth-dependent variation of archaeal ether lipids along soil and peat profiles from southern China: implications for the use of isoprenoidal GDGTs as environmental tracers. Organic Geochemistry 128, 42-56.


Yang, H., Pancost, R.D., Jia, C., Xie, S., 2016. The response of archaeal tetraether membrane lipids in surface soils to temperature: a potential paleothermometer in paleosols. Geomicrobiology Journal 33, 98-109.


Yang, H., Zheng, F., Xiao, W., Xie, S., 2015. Distinct distribution revealing multiple bacterial sources for 1-O-monoalkyl glycerol ethers in terrestrial and lake environments. Science China Earth Sciences 58, 1005-1017.


Yang, H., Ma, X., Li, Q., Jiao, N., Xie, S., 2009. Distributions of phospholipid and glycolipid fatty acids in two strains of different functional Erythrobacter sp. isolated from South China Sea. Frontiers of Earth Science in China 3, 91-99.


Yang, H., Xiao, W., Jia, C., Xie, S., 2015. Paleoaltimetry proxies based on bacterial branched tetraether membrane lipids in soils. Frontiers of Earth Science 9, 13-25.


Yang, H., Ding, W., Wang, J., Jin, C., He, G., Qin, Y., Xie, S., 2012. Soil pH impact on microbial tetraether lipids and terrestrial input index (BIT) in China. Science China Earth Sciences 55, 236-245.


Yang, H., Ding, W., Xie, S., 2014. Distribution of microbial fatty acids and fatty alcohols in soils from an altitude transect of Mt. Jianfengling in Hainan, China: Implication for paleoaltimetry and paleotemperature reconstruction. Science China Earth Sciences 57, 999-1012.


Yang, H., Ding, W., He, G., Xie, S., 2010. Archaeal and bacterial tetraether membrane lipids in soils of varied altitudes in Mt. Jianfengling in South China. Journal of Earth Science 21, 277.


Lei, Y., Yang, H.*, Dang, X., Zhao, S., Xie, S., 2016. Absence of a significant bias towards summer temperature in branched tetraether-based paleothermometer at two soil sites with contrasting temperature seasonality. Organic Geochemistry 94, 83-94.


Lu, J., Zang, J., Meyers, P., Huang, X., Qiu, P., Yu, X., Yang, H.*, Xie, S., 2020. Surface soil n-alkane molecular and δD distributions along a precipitation transect in northeastern China. Organic Geochemistry 144, 104015.


Liu, J., Algeo, T.J., Yang, H.*, Pan, J., Tang, C., Huang, J., Xie, S., 2018. Changes in vegetation type on the Chinese Loess Plateau since 75 ka related to East Asian Summer Monsoon variation. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 510, 124-139.


Pei, H., Wang, C., Wang, Y., Yang, H.*, Xie, S., 2019. Distribution of microbial lipids in an acid mine drainage in China: insights into microbial adaptation to extremely low pH conditions. Organic Geochemistry 134, 77-91.


Qian, S., Yang, H.*, Dong, C., Wang, Y., Wu, J., Pei, H., Dang, X., Lu, J., Zhao, S., Xie, S., 2019. Rapid response of fossil tetraether lipids in lake sediments to seasonal environmental variables in a shallow lake in central China: Implications for the use of tetraether-based proxies. Organic Geochemistry 128, 108-121.


Sun, W., Zhao, S., Pei, H., Yang, H.*, 2019. The coupled evolution of mid-to late Holocene temperature and moisture in the southeast Qaidam Basin. Chemical Geology 528, 119282.


Yang, Y., Gao, C., Dang, X., Ruan, X., Lü, X., Xie, S., Li, X., Yao, Y., Yang, H.*, 2018. Assessing hydroxylated isoprenoid GDGTs as a paleothermometer for the tropical South China Sea. Organic Geochemistry 115, 156-165.


Dang, X., Xue, J., Yang, H.*, Xie, S., 2016. Environmental impacts on the distribution of microbial tetraether lipids in Chinese lakes with contrasting pH: Implications for lacustrine paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Science China Earth Sciences 59, 939-950.


Li, Y., Zhao, S., Pei, H., Qian, S., Zang, J., Dang, X., Yang, H.*, 2018. Distribution of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in surface soils along an altitudinal transect at cold and humid Mountain Changbai: Implications for the reconstruction of paleoaltimetry and paleoclimate. Science China Earth Sciences 61, 925-939.


Lu, J., Yang, H.*, Zheng, F., Dang, X., Li, Y., Xie, S., 2016. Contrasting distributions of bacterial branched tetraethers along a soil-river-lake transect in the arid region of Northwestern China. Geochemical Journal 50, 249-265.


Tang, C., Yang, H.*, Dang, X., Xie, S., 2017a. Comparison of paleotemperature reconstructions using microbial tetraether thermometers of the Chinese loess-paleosol sequence for the past 350000 years. Science China Earth Sciences 60, 1159-1170.


Zang, J., Lei, Y., Yang, H.*, 2018. Distribution of glycerol ethers in Turpan soils: implications for use of GDGT-based proxies in hot and dry regions. Frontiers of Earth Science 12, 862-876.


Dang, X., Yang, H., Naafs, B.D.A., Pancost, R.D., Xie, S., 2016b. Evidence of moisture control on the methylation of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers in semi-arid and arid soils. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 189, 24-36.


Ayari, A., Yang, H., Wiesenberg, G.L., Xie, S., 2013a. Distribution of archaeal and bacterial tetraether membrane lipids in rhizosphere-root systems in soils and their implication for paleoclimate assessment. Geochemical Journal 47, 337-347.


Ayari, A., Yang, H., Xie, S., 2013b. Flooding impact on the distribution of microbial tetraether lipids in paddy rice soil in China. Frontiers of Earth Science 7, 384-394.


Cheng, Z., Xiao, L., Wang, H., Yang, H., Li, J., Huang, T., Xu, Y., and Ma, N., 2017. Bacterial and Archaeal Lipids Recovered from Subsurface Evaporites of Dalangtan Playa on the Tibetan Plateau and Their Astrobiological Implications. Astrobiology 17, DOI: 10.1089/ast.2016.1526.


Dang, X., Ding, W., Yang, H., Pancost, R.D., Naafs, B.D.A., Xue, J., Lin, X., Lu, J., Xie, S., 2018. Different temperature dependence of the bacterial brGDGT isomers in 35 Chinese lake sediments compared to that in soils. Organic Geochemistry 119, 72-79.


Luo, G., Yang, H., Algeo, T.J., Hallmann, C., Xie, S., 2019. Lipid biomarkers for the reconstruction of deep-time environmental conditions. Earth-Science Reviews 189, 99-124.


Jia, J., Cao, Z., Liu, C., Zhang, Z., Lin, L., Wang, Y., Haghipour, N., Wacker, L., Bao, H., Dittmar, T.,  et al., 2019. Climate warming alters subsoil but not topsoil carbon dynamics in alpine grassland. Global change biology 25, 4383-4393.


Jiao, D., Xie, S., Yang, H., Xiang, S., Wang, X., 2009. Paleofire indicated by triterpenes and charcoal in a culture bed in eastern Kunlun Mountain, Northwest China. Frontiers of Earth Science in China 3, 452-456.


Li, J., Kong, L., Yang, H., Wang, Q., Yang, X., Shen, J., Zhao, C., 2017a. Temperature variations since 1750 CE inferred from an alpine lake in the southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary International 436, 37-44.


Li, J., Naafs, B.D.A., Pancost, R.D., Yang, H., Liu, D., Xie, S., 2017b. Distribution of branched tetraether lipids in ponds from Inner Mongolia, NE China: Insight into the source of brGDGTs. Organic Geochemistry 112, 127-136.


Li, J., Pancost, R.D., David A.B., N., Yang, H., Zhao, C., Xie, S., 2016. Distribution of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids in a hypersaline lake system. Organic Geochemistry 99, 113-124

Li, J., Pancost, R.D., Naafs, B.D.A., Yang, H., Liu, D., Gong, L., Qiu, X., Xie, S., 2019. Multiple environmental and ecological controls on archaeal ether lipid distributions in saline ponds. Chemical Geology 529, 119293.


Lü, X., Chen, J., Han, T., Yang, H., Wu, W., Ding, W., Hinrichs, K.-U., 2019. Origin of hydroxyl GDGTs and regular isoprenoid GDGTs in suspended particulate matter of Yangtze River Estuary. Organic geochemistry 128, 78-85.


Lü, X., Liu, X.-L., Elling, F.J., Yang, H., Xie, S., Song, J., Li, X., Yuan, H., Li, N., Hinrichs, K.-U., 2015. Hydroxylated isoprenoid GDGTs in Chinese coastal seas and their potential as a paleotemperature proxy for mid-to-low latitude marginal seas. Organic Geochemistry 89, 31-43.


Lü, X., Yang, H., Song, J., Versteegh, G.J., Li, X., Yuan, H., Li, N., Yang, C., Yang, Y., Ding, W., 2014. Sources and distribution of isoprenoid glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) in sediments from the east coastal sea of China: Application of GDGT-based paleothermometry to a shallow marginal sea. Organic geochemistry 75, 24-35.


Qin, Y., Wang, J., Xie, S., Huang, X., Yang, H., Tan, K., Zhang, Z., 2010. Morphological variation and habitat selection of testate amoebae in Dajiuhu peatland, central China. Journal of Earth Science 21, 253.


Schouten, S., Hopmans, E.C., Rosell‐Melé, A., Pearson, A., Adam, P., Bauersachs, T., Bard, E., Bernasconi, S.M., Bianchi, T.S., Brocks, J.J., et al., 2013. An interlaboratory study of TEX86 and BIT analysis of sediments, extracts, and standard mixtures. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 14, 5263-5285.


Sun, D., Tan, W., Pei, Y., Zhou, L., Wang, H., Yang, H., Xu, Y., 2011. Late quaternary environmental change of Yellow River Basin: an organic geochemical record in Bohai Sea (North China). Organic Geochemistry 42, 575-585.


Wang, C., Bendle, J., Yang, Y., Yang, H., Sun, H., Huang, J., Xie, S., 2016. Impacts of pH and temperature on soil bacterial 3-hydroxy fatty acids: development of novel terrestrial proxies. Organic Geochemistry.


Wu, W., Ruan, J., Ding, S., Zhao, L., Xu, Y., Yang, H., Ding, W., Pei, Y., 2014. Source and distribution of glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers along lower Yellow River-estuary–coast transect. Marine chemistry 158, 17-26.


Wu, W., Tan, W., Zhou, L., Yang, H., Xu, Y., 2012. Sea surface temperature variability in southern Okinawa Trough during last 2700 years. Geophysical Research Letters 39.


Wu, W., Zhao, L., Pei, Y., Ding, W., Yang, H., Xu, Y., 2013. Variability of tetraether lipids in Yellow River-dominated continental margin during the past eight decades: Implications for organic matter sources and river channel shifts. Organic geochemistry 60, 33-39.


Xiao, W., Wang, Y., Zhou, S., Hu, L., Yang, H., Xu, Y., 2016. Ubiquitous production of branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (brGDGTs) in global marine environments: a new source indicator for brGDGTs. Biogeosciences 13, 5883-5894.


Xiao, W., Xu, Y., Ding, S., Wang, Y., Zhang, X., Yang, H., Wang, G., Hou, J., 2015. Global calibration of a novel, branched GDGT-based soil pH proxy. Organic Geochemistry 89, 56-60.


Xie, S.C., Liang, B., Gu, Y., Yang, H., 2008. Distributions of n-alkan-2-ones in Quaternary paleosols indicative of paleoclimate changes. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 47, 273-278.


Xie, S., Pancost, R.D., Chen, L., Evershed, R.P., Yang, H., Zhang, K., Huang, J., Xu, Y., 2012a. Microbial lipid records of highly alkaline deposits and enhanced aridity associated with significant uplift of the Tibetan Plateau in the Late Miocene. Geology 40, 291-294.


Xie, S., Yang, H., Luo, G., Huang, X., Liu, D., Wang, Y., Gong, Y., Xu, R., 2012b. Geomicrobial functional groups: A window on the interaction between life and environments. Chinese Science Bulletin 57, 2-19.


Xue, J., Dang, X., Tang, C., Yang, H., Xiao, G., Meyers, P.A., Huang, X., 2016. Fidelity of plant-wax molecular and carbon isotope ratios in a Holocene paleosol sequence from the Chinese Loess Plateau. Organic Geochemistry 101, 176-183.


Zeng, F., Yang, H., 2019. Temperature changes reconstructed from branched GDGTs on the central Loess Plateau during the past 130–5 ka. Quaternary international 503, 3-9.


Zhao, R., Wang, H., Yang, H., Hazel, B., 2017. Ammonia oxidizing archaea dominant over bacterial ammonia oxidizers within alkaline cave sediments. Geomicrobiology Journal, doi:10.1080/01490451.01492016.01225861.


Zheng, Y., Pancost, R.D., Naafs, B.D.A., Li, Q., Liu, Z., Yang, H., 2018. Transition from a warm and dry to a cold and wet climate in NE China across the Holocene. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 493, 36-46.