Universiteit Leiden

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Quanxiao Liu


Dr. Q. Liu MSc
+31 71 527 2727

In my PhD project, I investigated both short- and long-term effects of anthropogenic noise on development and behaviour in zebra finches. I am interested in the latent effects of rearing conditions on animal behaviour and I would like to implement novel computational approaches in animal behaviour studies.

More information about Quanxiao Liu


Animals are living in an ever-changing world, and many species have been shown to be able to develop into different phenotypes because of different rearing conditions. This type of developmental plasticity particularly attracts me as this is a widespread mechanism for animals to react, and potentially adapt, to the environment. Investigating development plasticity can help us understand how environmental, especially anthropogenic changes could affect animals in long-term. In my PhD project, I investigated the developmental and behavioural effects of highway noise in zebra finches and I would like to expand my research scope to more taxonomy groups and various rearing conditions. 

Introducing novel computational approaches, like machine learning based neural network, that can unearth behavioural patterns buried under enormous data is my other research interest. Animal behaviour studies easily generate immense data, but it has been restricted on how much and/or how finely we can analyse such data. Novel computational methods can drastically increase our capacity and resolution in data analysis. I believe introducing these methods would help us advance the field of animal behaviour.

I advocate for open science. All my current and future publications, data and codes will be freely accessible. Sharing knowledge is the way leading to more cooperation, greater scientific advance and stronger societal impact.

Brief biography

  • 2021-present: Guest researcher. Leiden University, The Netherlands

  • 2015-2021: PhD project: The effects of highway noise on development and behaviour in zebra finches. Leiden University, The Netherlands.

  • 2013-2015: MSc Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation, Leiden University, The Netherlands

  • 2008-2013: BSc Ecology, Sun Yat-Sen University, China


  • Science
  • Instituut Biologie Leiden
  • IBL Animal Sciences


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