Jia Jia

I am interested in the evolutionary and developmental biology of amphibians. Currently, I am studying the morphological variations and evolutionary pathways of extant and extinct salamanders based on thousands of well-preserved articulated fossil specimens excavated from Cretaceous and Jurassic strata in Liaoning Province, Hebei Province and Inner Mongolia, China and exquisitely preserved extant ones in AMNH, FMNH and related institutes in China. As a big supporter of using cutting-edge techniques and methods, my research of phylogenetic relationships of salamanders involves using combined molecular and morphological information from Next-Generation Sequencing, Micro CT scan, and myriad of analytical methods in Systematics and Statistics.

I am also interested in exploring the mechanisms that are responsible for the evolutionary anatomical innovations and developmental novelties including regeneration ability, metamorphosis, neoteny in amphibians and primitive amphibians.

As the most primitive living amphibians, salamander has a diverse life histories and developmental trajectories. Learning the ontogenetic patterns in salamanders will definitely help interpreting their evolutionary histories and ecological variations. Using hyobranchial apparatus and limb as models, I intend to explore the genetic controlling factors of the ontogenetic diversification and morphological variations.


Jia, J., Chen, J., and Gao, K. -Q. Osteology and Ontogeny of a new Late Jurassic salamandroid (Amphibia: Caudata) from Qinglong County, northern Hebei Province, China. [In prep.]

Jia, J., Chen, J., and Gao, K. -Q. Redescription of the Middle Jurassic Salamander Pangerpeton sinensis (Amphibia: Caudata) from Liaoning, China, and reassessment of its phylogenetic relationships. [In prep.]

Chen, J., Jia, J., and Gao, K. -Q. 2013. Incorporating fossils, morphology and molecules: combined phylogenetic analyses of the Cryptobranchoidea (Amphibia: Urodela). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33 (Supp.1): 105. [Abstract]

Gao, K.-Q., Chen, J., and Jia, J. 2013. Taxonomic diversity, stratigraphic range, and exceptional preservation of Juro-Cretaceous salamanders from northern China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 50: 255-267.

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