The State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy (SKLPS) was founded with noble goals: to reveal untold chapters of evolution and to understand our planet. In 2001, with the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, SKLPS emerged from the former Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy which was affiliated with Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. It is the only state key laboratory in China devoted to palaeontological and stratigraphical research.
SKLPS is consistently ranked among the top state key laboratories since its inception. Ground-breaking research outcomes have been achieved in diverse research fields: integrative stratigraphy, the origin and early evolution of life, the evolution of Palaeozoic marine faunas, the origin and evolution of terrestrial ecosystems, and the geological basis of sedimentary minerals. SKLPS is esteemed worldwide for its influential contributions in palaeontology and stratigraphy. Its research staff has won 15 national/provincial awards, including 3 National Natural Science Awards (one 1st class and two 2nd class). Seven research outcomes have been included in the Annual Top 10 News of Fundamental Research or Scientific and Technological progress of China since 2001. SKLPS members have published more than 20 articles in the top journals Nature and Science and made significant contributions in defining seven Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points (GSSPs).
14 SKLPS members occupy 23 important positions (chairs, vice-chairs, secretaries and voting members) at various international organizations. 32 international conferences were hosted by the SKLPS, including The Second International Palaeontological Congress; the 8th International Congress on the Jurassic System; the 7th International Brachiopod Congress, reflecting its significant international stance and influence. SKLPS brings together 99 dedicated researchers from early-career scientists to senior professors, including 3 academicians, 3 Chief Scientists of “973 Program”, 5 recipients of the National Distinguished Young Scientist Award (funded by the National Nature Science Foundation of China), 1 recipient of the Thousand Talents Program, 5 recipients of “One Hundred Talents Program”and 2 Exceptional Innovation Research Groups.
Ground-breaking research cannot be completed without cutting-edge equipment. SKLPS is equipped with world class facilities which form an open and advanced platform for conducting palaeontological, stratigraphic and environmental geochemical experiments. The Geobiodiversity Database (GBDB) hosted by the SKLPS has been formally linked to the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Palaeontological Association, and has been selected to construct the global stratigraphic data centre. In addition, the lab-based SCI journal Palaeoworld has also gained international influence.
Probing Earth mysteries, revealing life evolution. Tireless work has been put in pursuing this goal. The record of the past gives SKLPS people confidence in building China’s foremost research institute and international reputation for world-leading research in palaeontology and stratigraphy in the years ahead.