Center for Plant Cell Biology


Bai-lian LiBai-lian (Larry) Li

Professor of Plant Ecology

Mailing Address:

Botany and Plant Sciences
Batchelor Hall /4133
University of California
Riverside, CA 92521

Phone: (951) 827-4776
Fax: (951) 827-4437
Email: bai-lian.li@ucr.edu


PhD 1986 Wuhan University
BS 1981 Hubei Agricultural University

College/Division Affiliation:

College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Center/Inst Affiliation(s):

Center for Plant Cell Biology
Institute for Research on World Systems
Center for Conservation Biology

Areas Of Expertise:

Quantitative Plant Ecology; Ecological Complexity and Modeling; Theoretical and Mathematical Ecology; Systems Ecology; Landscape Ecology; Computational Biology; Ecological Informatics

Awards / Honors:

2007 Honorary Professor, Northern University of China
2006 AAAS Fellow (American Association for the Advancement of Science)
2005 Elected Honorary Professor, Russian Academy of Sciences
1993, 1994, 1996 Visiting Scientist Award, German Ecology Centre of Kiel
1988 Elected Fellow, Institute for Human Ecology (USA)

Research Summary:

Much of the effort in 20th century biological research has been aimed at reducing biological phenomena to the behavior of molecules. Despite the enormous success of this approach, a discrete biological function can only rarely be attributed to an individual molecule. Most biological functions arise from complex interactions among many components. Our increasing understanding of complex systems demands that 21st century biological research advances beyond reductionism.

Using this holistic mechanistic view and a highly-quantitative, modeling approach to biological systems, I address questions such as, how do biological systems self-organize? What are the origins and mechanisms of emergence of scaling from gene to ecosystem levels (especially on emergence of dynamic scaling)? And what are the physical bases of non-equilibrium biological systems? I use mathematical, statistical, and computational modeling approaches as a way of exploring and answering these questions. These modeling approaches help identify general principles and basic mechanisms governing emerging properties of biological systems at multiple temporal and spatial scales based on energetic, thermodynamic and information considerations. I also occasionally work with cell and molecular biologists to develop new theories and some of the specific quantitative tools for their applications. For example, I have worked on a NIH funded project on molecular taxonomy of leukemia by developing new statistical and computational methods for identifying critical genes responsible to the cancer; I also suggested to study the dynamic nature of gene expression profiles of the cancer at different stages and believe it would help to identify the mechanism of leukemia development.

Recently, I have some interests on the development of multi-scale modeling to incorporate genomic, proteomic and metabolomic data, along with information on the associated biochemical and physiological mechanisms and pathways that control and influence biological and ecological processes. Basically, it’s kind of model hopefully to link genes to ecosystems. I have been looking into some minimal models for complex dynamics in cellular processes, genetic regulatory networks, noise in gene expression and its consequence for cellular behavior, etc.

My group's research on modeling transgenic gene flows has been funded by NSF.

Selected Publications:

List of publications from HubMed

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Center Information

Center for Plant Cell Biology
Botany & Plant Sciences Department
2150 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (951) 827-7177
Fax: (951) 827-5155
E-mail: genomics@ucr.edu