© 2023 by Kai Wang



Bachelor's Degree in General Zoology (with honor), 2015 Washington State University

M.S. in Biology, 2017, University of Oklahoma

Ph.D in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Expected in 2021, University of Oklahoma



2013-14  Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. 


2013-14 George Van Vleet Endowment. 


2012-13 Ruth M. Coffin Endowed Scholarship. 



2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)


2017 NSF East Asian and Pacific Summer Institute (EAPSI)

2016 Mekong River Conservation Fund (From Shanshui Conservation Center)

       Rapid biodiversity survey of the upper Mekong River

2014 Auvil Award.

      Undergraduate research award for students with faculty mentor at WSU.

      Quantitative measurement of anti-predatory behavior of amphibian larvae.


2014 Undergraduate Herpetological Research Grant (From Chicago Herpetological Society)

      Species validity and phylogenetics of two recently described newts (Tylototriton yangi and Tylototriton           daweishanensis) from southern Yunnan Province: behavioral and molecular evidence. 


2014 MHS Grant in Herpetological Conservation and Research (From Minnesota Herpetological Society) 

      Species validity and phylogenetics of two recently described newts (Tylototriton yangi and Tylototriton           daweishanensis) from southern Yunnan Province: behavioral and molecular evidence.





Graduate research with Dr. Cameron Siler, University of Oklahoma. 2015–Present. 

  • Master thesis on phylogeography of agamid lizards in East Asia.


Museum-based Independent Researches with collaborators. 2013- present. Ongoing research projects with collaborators on the systematics of multiple Chinese herpetiles.


Full-Time Intern at the Laboratory of Herpetological Diversity and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China. Summer 2012, 2013, and 2015

  • Participated in the herpetofaunal diversity surveys of Tibet.

  • Worked independently under harsh conditions for over six months.

  • Responsibilities included specimen collections, species identifications, specimen photographing, voucher specimen preparations, molecular sample preservations, and vocalization recordings.

  • Helped discovered six species of herptiles new to science and two new species records of China (see Publications for details).


Volunteering and independent research with Dr. Jesse Brunner, Washington State University. Oct 2012 – 2015.

  • Designed and conducted experiments quantifying anti-predator responses of amphibian larvae 

  • Participated in the fieldworks for environmental DNA detection of Ranavirus 

  • Assisted with experiment of testing non-lethal detection methods of Ranavirus. Responsibilities included filter sample collections and viral DNA extractions.

  • Assisted with the field trips and general lab setups of the herpetology class.


Leading herpetological diversity survey in Southern Yunnan Province, China. May 2014.

  • Recorded 42 species of herptiles, with one new record of Yunnan Province.  


Independent research with Dr. Paul Verrell, Washington State University. May 2013 – 2014

  • Initiated ongoing projects on the courtship behaviors and taxonomy revisions of newts in the genus Tylototriton

  • Designed and conducted the behavioral observations independently both in the field and in captivity for Tylototriton yangi in May 2014.




Professional conferences attended

  • 2018   Annual Meeting of the Chinese Herpetological Society, Lanzhou, China
  • 2017   Annual Meeting of the Chinese Herpetological Society. Kunming, China
  • 2016   World Congress of Herpetology. Tonglu, China
  • 2015   Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR). Lawrence, Kansas,                USA.
  • 2013   Pacific Northwest region Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC). Coeur d’Alene,                  Idaho, USA

  • 2012   The 5th Asian Herpetological Conference. Chengdu, China




  • Wang K. (2018). Phylogenetic revision of Japalura sensu lato in Asia. Annual Meeting of the Chinese Herpetological Society, Lanzhou, Gansu, China.

  • Wang K. (2017). Taxonomic Review of Chinese Draconinae Lizards: Current Challenges and Future Directions. Annual Meeting of the Chinese Herpetological Society, Kunming, Yunnan, China.

  • Wang K. (2016). Herpetological Diversity of Upper Mekong River. Shanshui Conservation Center, Kunming, Yunnan, China.

  • Wang K. (2016). The Underestimated Diversity: A Taxonomic Review of the Japalura flaviceps Complex (Sauria: Agamidae: Draconinae) in Southwest China. The 8th World Congress of Herpetology, Tonglu, Zhejiang, China.


Professional MEMBERSHIPS

  • Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)

  • Chinese Zoological Society (CZS)