Le Kang was elected as an AAS Fellow in 2020. As a fellow, Le Kang contributes to the development of the Academy’s strategic direction through participation in AAS activities and governance structures. . This gears the Academys vision of transforming african lives through science.
Dr. Le Kang is a CAS Distinguished Professor in Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Dr. Kang obtained his Ph. D. in ecology from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1990. He pioneers the researches on ecological genomics and adaptation of insects. He reveals the molecular mechanisms for phenotypic plasticity and adaptation of locusts at both genetic and epigenetic levels using interdisciplinary methods. He has made remarkable contributions in locust biology and his achievement has reshaped the scientific outlooks on locust biology, and provided crucial cues to develop novel control strategies against the swarming insects. His representative papers are published in Nature, Science, PNAS etc. He was repeatedly invited to write review articles by ARE (2009, 2014) and PTRS (2007, 2019). His achievements include four aspects: (1) Discovering the functions of 4VA as aggregation pheromone and PAN as olfactory aposematic signal and toxin precursor in locust swarm and group defense. Uncovering the genetic and epigenetic mechanism for locust phase changes in behaviour, body coloration, flight, metabolism, reproduction, and innate immunity; (2) Decoding the huge genome and population mt-genomes of locusts for deciphering the genome basis of swarm, feeding habits and migration, as well as revealing origin, spread, and subspecies differentiation of the migratory locust. Elucidating the adaptation of locust populations along latitude gradients through transposable elements mediated diapause traits, and the hypoxia adaptation mediated by the insulin signaling pathway; (3) Clarifying the effects of climate warming, precipitation variation, and livestock overgrazing on locust outbreaks; and (4) Genetically modifying the fungal pathogens to promote virulence to locusts and other insects for novel biocontrol agents of locusts and other pests. He has been coordinating collaborative work between China and the rest of the world and the international organizations (including IUBS and FAO) for biological science and insect pest problems.