Dr. Yadong Sun

Research Assistant (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter)

Tel: +49 (0)9131 85 23422
Fax: +49 (0)9131 85 29295

Email: Opens window for sending emailyadong.sun(at)fau(dot)de


I received a Bachelor of Science degree at China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) in 2008. For my Ph.D. (five-year split-site PhD program), I spent 2.5 years at Wuhan, 2.0 years at the University of Leeds (UK) and 0.5 year at the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany) getting a multi-disciplinary training on palaeontology, sedimentology and stable isotope geochemistry. After my PhD, I received a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and continued my research at the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg from Oct. 2013 to Dec. 2015. Since June 2016, I am working as a research assistant in a DFG funded three-year project entitled “Temperature-Related Stresses as a Unifying Principle in Ancient Extinctions”

Research Interests

The Palaeozoic-Mesozoic transition is one of the most enigmatic intervals in the Phanerozoic. This intriguing interval witnessed a dramatic climate change from an ice-house Earth to a hot-house Earth, accompanied by high frequency oscillations in ocean chemistry, a shift in fauna and flora from Palaeozoic types to modern types and several major volcanic and extinction events in a ~60 Myr interval. As active member of a larger research team, I am interested in the global carbon cycle, ocean chemistry, and climate changes in this critical interval as well as oxygen isotope thermometry in biogenic apatite.

My primary interest is to study palaeoenvironmental changes during the Permo-Triassic crisis and its aftermath in order to get a better comprehension of the driving mechanisms and ecological responses to mass extinctions. The research involves multi-proxy analyses including reconstructing palaeo-seawater temperatures (Joachimski et al., 2012 Geology; Sun et al., 2012 Science) and oceanic redox conditions and sedimentological responses (Sun et al., 2015 Palaeo3). I am also interested in the characterization of “minor” environmental perturbations, such as the end-Smithian thermal maximum, the Smithian-Spathian extinction (Early Triassic), and the Carnian Pluvial Event (Late Triassic) (Sun et al., 2015 Palaeo3; Sun et al. 2016 EPSL).

Other research interests focus on oxygen isotope (δ18O) thermometry in biogenic apatite. This thermometer is particularly useful when calcifiers are rare (e.g., during the end-Permian mass extinction). I also collaborate with palaeovertabrate (dinosaur, crocodile) experts attaining valuable information concerning body temperatures and thermal regulation of ancient reptiles.

Oxygen isotope data acquisition also leads to a more analytical part of my research, including characterization multiple apatite δ18O reference materials for the gas-source isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GS-IRMS) ande secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS).

Finally, one vital aspect for all Phanerozoic studies is to place palaeontological and geochemical data into the right stratigraphy context. So, as a “side job”, I study conodont taxonomy and biostratigraphy from the earliest Permian to the latest Triassic.



    • 35.   Zhang, Z.,  Sun, Y.,  Lai, X., Joachimski, M.M., Wignall, P.B., (2017):  Early Carnian conodont fauna at Yongyue, Zhenfeng area and its implication for Ladinian-Carnian subdivision in Guizhou, South China.- Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.02.011
    • 34.   Faggetter, L.E., Wignall, P.B., Pruss, S.B., Sun, Y.D., Raine, R.J., Newton, R.J., Widdowson, M., Joachimski, M.M., Smith, P.M., 2016. Sequence stratigraphy, chemostratigraphy and facies analysis of Cambrian Series 2 – Series 3 boundary strata in northwestern Scotland. Geological Magazine 10.1017/S0016756816000947: 1-13.
    • 33.   Sun, Y.D.*, Liu, X.T., Yan, J.X., Li, B., Chen, B., Bond, D.P.G., Joachimski, M.M., Wignall, P.B., Lai, X.L.*, 2017. Permian (Artinskian to Wuchiapingian) conodont biostratigraphy in the Tieqiao section, Laibin area, South China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 465, 42-63.



      • 32.   Wang, L.N., Wignall, P.B., Wang, Y., Jiang, H.S., Sun, Y.D., Li, G., Yuan, J., Lai, X.L., 2016. Depositional conditions and revised age of the Permo-Triassic microbialites at Gaohua section, Cili County (Hunan Province, South China). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 443, 156-166.
      • 31.   Jerram, D.A., Widdowson, M., Wignall, P.B., Sun, Y.D., Lai, X.L., Bond, D.P.G., Torsvik, T.H., 2016. Submarine palaeoenvironments during Emeishan flood basalt volcanism, SW China: Implications for plume–lithosphere interaction during the Capitanian, Middle Permian (‘end Guadalupian’) extinction event. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 441, 65-73.
      • 30.   Sun, Y.D.*, Wiedenbeck, M., Joachimski, M.M., Beier, C., Kemner F., Weinzierl, C., 2016. Chemical and oxygen isotope composition of gem-quality apatites: Implications for oxygen isotope reference materials for secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). Chemical Geology 440, 164-178.
      • 29.   Sun, Y.D.*, Wignall, P.B., Joachimski, M.M., Bond, D.P.G., Grasby, S.E., Lai, X.L., Wang, L.N., Zhang, Z.T., Sun, S., 2016. Climate warming, euxinia and carbon isotope perturbations during the Carnian (Triassic) Crisis in South China. Earth Planetary Science Letters 444: 88-100.



      • 28.  Wignall, P.B., Bond, D.P.G., Sun, Y.D., Grasby, S.E., Beauchamp, B., Joachimski, M.M., Blomeier, D.P.G., 2016. Ultra-shallow-marine anoxia in an Early Triassic shallow-marine clastic ramp (Spitsbergen) and the suppression of benthic radiation. Geological Magazine 153: 316-331.
      • 27.  Brookfield, M.E., Sun, Y.D., 2015. Preliminary report of new conodont records from the Permian-Triassic boundary section at Guryul ravine, Kashmir, India. Permophiles 62: 24-25.
      • 26.  Bond, D.P.G., Wignall, P.B., Joachimski, M.M., Sun, Y.D., Savov, I., Grasby, S.E., Beauchamp, B., Blomeier, D.P.G. 2015. An abrupt extinction in the Middle Permian (Capitanian) of the Boreal Realm (Spitsbergen) and its link to anoxia and acidification. Geological Society of American Bulletin 127: 1411-1421.
      • 25.  Sun, Y.D., Wignall, P.B., Joachimski, M.M., Bond, D.P.G., Grasby, S.E., Sun, S., Yan, C.B., Wang, L.N., Chen, Y.L., Lai, X.L., 2015. High Amplitude redox changes in the late Early Triassic of South China and the Smithian/Spathian extinction. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 427: 62-78.
      • 24.  Yan, C., Jiang, H., Lai, X., Sun, Y.D., Yang, B., Wang, L., 2015. The relationship between the “Green-Bean Rock” layers and conodont Chiosella timorensis and implications on defining the Early–Middle Triassic boundary in the Nanpanjiang Basin, South China. Journal of Earth Science 26(2): 236-245.


      • 23.  Jost, A.B., Mundil, R., He, B., Brown, S.T., Altiner, D., Sun, Y.D., DePaolo, D.J., Payne, J.L., 2014. Constraining the cause of the end-Guadalupian extinction with coupled records of carbon and calcium isotopes. Earth Planetary Science Letters 396, 201-212.
      • 22.  Jiang, H., Lai, X., Sun, Y.D., Wignall, P.B., Liu, J., Yan, C., 2014. Permian–Triassic Conodonts from Dajiang (Guizhou, South China) and Their Implication for the Age of Microbialite Deposition in the Aftermath of the End-Permian Mass Extinction. Journal of Earth Science 25, 413-430.
      • 21.  Song, H., Wignall, P.B., Chu, D., Tong, J., Sun, Y.D., Song, H., He, W., Tian, L., 2014. Anoxia/high temperature double whammy during the Permian-Triassic marine crisis and its aftermath. Scientific Reports 4, DOI: 10.1038/srep04132.


      • 20.  Chen, Y., Twitchett, R.J., Jiang, H., Richoz, S., Lai, X., Yan, C., Sun, Y.D., Liu, X., Wang, L., 2013. Size variation of conodonts during the Smithian–Spathian (Early Triassic) global warming event. Geology 41, 823-826.
      • 19.  Ali, J.R., Cheung, H.M.C., Aitchison, J.C., Sun, Y.D., 2013. Palaeomagnetic re-investigation of Early Permian rift basalts from the Baoshan Block, SW China: constraints on the site-of-origin of the Gondwana-derived eastern Cimmerian terranes. Geophysical Journal International 193, 650-663.
      • 18.  Sun, Y.D., Joachimski, M.M., Wignall, P.B., Yan, C., Chen, Y., Jiang, H., Wang, L., Lai, X., 2013. Response to Comment on "Lethally Hot Temperatures During the Early Triassic Greenhouse". Science 339, 1033.
      • 17.  Yan, C., Wang, L., Jiang, H., Wignall, P.B., Sun, Y.D., Chen, Y., Lai, X., 2013. Uppermost Permian to Lower Triassic Conodonts at Bianyang Section, Guizhou Province, South China. Palaios 28, 509-522.


      • 16.  Sun, Y.D., Joachimski, M.M., Wignall, P.B., Yan, C., Chen, Y., Jiang, H., Wang, L., Lai, X., 2012. Lethally Hot Temperatures during the Early Triassic Greenhouse. Science 338, 366-370.
      • 15.  Yang, B., Lai, X., Wignall, P.B., Jiang, H., Yan, C., Sun, Y.D., 2012. A newly discovered earliest Triassic chert at Gaimao section, Guizhou, southwestern China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 344–345, 69-77.
      • 14.  Wignall, P.B., Bond, D.P.G., Haas, J., Wang, W., Jiang, H., Lai, X., Altiner, D., Védrine, S., Hips, K., Zajzon, N., Sun, Y.D., Newton, R.J., 2012. Captianian (Middle Permian) Mass Extinction and Recovery in Western Tethys: A Fossil, Facies, and d13C Study from Hungary and Hydra Island (Greece). Palaios 27, 78-89.
      • 13.  Joachimski, M.M., Lai, X., Shen, S., Jiang, H., Luo, G., Chen, B., Chen, J., Sun, Y.D., 2012. Climate warming in the latest Permian and the Permian-Triassic mass extinction. Geology 40, 195-198.


      • 12.  Chen, B., Joachimski, M.M., Sun, Y.D., Shen, S., Lai, X., 2011. Carbon and conodont apatite oxygen isotope records of Guadalupian–Lopingian boundary sections: Climatic or sea-level signal? Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 311 (3-4), 145-153.
      • 11.  Jiang, H., Lai, X., Yan, C., Aldridge, R.J., Wignall, P.B., Sun, Y.D., 2011. Revised conodont zonation and conodont evolution across the Permian-Triassic boundary at the Shangsi section, Guangyuan, Sichuan, South China. Global and Planetary Change 77 (3-4), 103-115.
      • 10.  Jiang, H., Aldridge, R.J., Lai, X., Yan, C., Sun, Y.D., 2011. Phylogeny of the conodont genera Hindeodus and Isarcicella across the Permian-Triassic boundary. Lethaia 44 (4), 374-382.


      • 9. Sun, Y.D., Lai, X., Wignall, P.B., Widdowson, M., Ali, J.R., Jiang, H., Wang, W., Yan, C., Bond, D.P.G., Védrine, S., 2010. Dating the onset and nature of the Middle Permian Emeishan large igneous province eruptions in SW China using conodont biostratigraphy and its bearing on mantle plume uplift models. Lithos 119 (1-2), 20-33.
      • 8.  Bond, D.P.G., Hilton, J., Wignall, P.B., Ali, J.R., Stevens, L.G., Sun, Y.D., Lai, X., 2010, The Middle Permian (Capitanian) mass extinction on land and in the oceans. Earth-Science Reviews 102 (1-2), 100-116.
      • 7.  Bond, D.P.G., Wignall, P.B., Wang, W., Védrine, S., Jiang, H.S., Lai, X.L., Sun, Y.D., Newton, R.J., Cope, H., Izon, G., 2010. The mid-Capitanian (Middle Permian) mass extinction and carbon isotope record of South China. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 292, 282-294.


      • 6.  Wignall, P. B., Sun, Y.D., Bond, D. P. G., Izon, G., Newton, R. J., Védrine, S., Widdowson, M., Ali, J. R., Lai, X., Jiang, H., Cope, H., Bottrell, S. H., 2009, Volcanism, mass extinction, and carbon isotope fluctuations in the Middle Permian of China, Science, 324, 1179-1182.
      • 5.  Lai, X., Sun, Y.D., Jiang, H., 2009. The relationship between volcanism of Emeishan Large Igneous Province and mass extinction during Middle-Late Permian transition. China Science Foundation 6, 353-356 (in Chinese). 


      • 4.  Sun, Y.D., Lai, X., Jiang, H., Luo, G., Sun, S., Yan, C., Wignall, P.B., 2008. Guadalupian (Middle Permian) conodont faunas at Shangsi section, northeast Sichuan Province. Journal of Earth Science 19 (5), 451-460.
      • 3.  Jiang, H., Aldridge, R.J., Lai, X., Sun, Y.D., Luo, G., 2008. Observations on the surface micro-reticulation of platform elements of Neogondolella (Conodonta) from the Upper Permian, Meishan, China. Lethaia 41 (3), 263-274.
      • 2.  Lai, X., Wang, W., Wignall, P.B., Bond, D.P.G., Jiang, H., Ali, J.R., John, E.H., Sun, Y.D., 2008. Palaeoenvironmental change during the end-Guadalupian (Permian) mass extinction in Sichuan, China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 269 (1-2), 78-93.
      • 1.  Luo, G., Lai, X., Feng, Q., Jiang, H., Wignall, P., Zhang, K., Sun, Y.D., Wu, J., 2008. End-Permian conodont fauna from Dongpan section: Correlation between the deep- and shallow-water facies. Science in China Series D-Earth Sciences 51 (11), 1611-1622.


      Book chapters

      • Sun, Y.D., Wignall, P.B., 2014. Ancient lethal hothouse. McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Techonology, 7-10.
      • Sun, Y.D., 2015. Oxygen isotope thermometry. Biogeology. [in Chinese, textbook chapter].


      Conference abstracts 

      • 13.  Faggetter, L.E., Wignall, P.B., Sun, Y.D. and Pruss, S.B., 2015. The search for ROECE in northwest Scotland. 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
      • 12.  Bond, D.P.G., Sun, Y.D., Wignall, P.B., Joachimski, M.M., Grasby, S.E., Lai, X.L., Wang, L.N., Zhang, Z.T. and Sun, S., 2015. Climate warming, euxinia and carbon isotope perturbations during the Carnian (Triassic) Crisis. 2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
      • 11.  Sun, Y.D., Wignall, P.B., Joachimski, M.M., Bond, D.P.G., Grasby, S.E. and Lai, X.L., 2015. High amplitude redox changes during the Smithian/Spathian (Early Triassic) extinction in South China. 2nd International congress on stratigraphy, Graz, Austria.
      • 10.  Sun, Y.D., Joachimski, M.M., Wiedenbeck, M., 2015. Gem-quality apatite as reference material for oxygen isotope analysis of biogenic apatite by the secondary ion mass spectrometry. 2015 Goldschmidt Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic.
      • 9.  Sun, Y.D., Wignall, P.B., Joachimski, M.M., Bond, D.P.G., Grasby, S.E., Sun, S., Yan, C.B., Wang, L.N., Chen, Y.L. and Lai, X.L., 2014. High Amplitude Redox Changes in the late Early Triassic of South China and the Smithian/Spathian extinction. 2014 GSA annual meeting, Vancouver, Canada.
      • 8.  Wignall, P.B., Bond, D.P.G., Grasby, S.E., Sun, Y.D., Joachimski, M.M., Beauchamp, B., Blomeier, D.P.G., 2014. Early Triassic redox history of the Boreal Realm (Spitsbergen) and the delayed recovery from the Permian crises. 2014 GSA annual meeting, Vancouver, Canada.
      • 7.  Sun, Y.D., 2013, Hot house climate following the end-Permian mass extinction (Keynote). World Summit on Permian-Triassic Mass Extinction & Extreme Climate Change. Wuhan, China.
      • 6.  Sun, Y.D., Joachimski, M.M., Wignall, P.B., Yan, C.B., Wang, L.N., Lai, X.L., Jiang, H.S. (invited talk), Hot House Climate Following the End-Permian Mass Extinction. 2013. Permian Strata of Svalbard. Tromsø, Norway.
      • 5.  Sun, Y.D., Lai, X.L., Wignall, P.B., Ali, J.R., Widdowson, M., Jiang, H., Bond, D.P.G., 2011. Understanding the conodont bisotratigraphy of Emeishan Large Igeous Province (South China) and its bearing on Capitanian (Mid-Permian) mass extinction. 2011 Palaeontological Association Annual Meeting (PALASS), Plymouth, England.
      • 4.  Sun, Y.D., Lai, X.L., Wignall, P.B., Ali, J., Widdowson, M., Jiang, H.S., Bond, D.P.G. Understanding the conodont biostratigraphy of Emeishan Large Igneous Province and its bearing on mid-Permian biocrisis. 2011 ICCP meeting, Perth, Australia.
      • 3.  Sun, Y.D., Wignall, P.B., Ali, J.R., Widdowson, M., Bond, D.P.G., Lai, X., 2010. Re-examining the doming uplift model of Emeishan Large Igneous Province (SW China): evidence from high-resolution conodont biostratigraphy and sedimentology. 2010 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA.
      • 2.  Sun, Y.D., Lai, X., Jiang, H., Yan, C., Wignall, P.B., 2009. The tempo and casual links between the Emeishan Large Igneous Province and Guadalupian Mass extinction. The 10th National Congress of Palaeontological Society of China (PSC)—The 25th Annual Conference of PSC, Abstract Volume, p.116
      • 1.  Yan, C., Lai, X., Jiang, H., Chen, Y., Sun, Y.D., 2009. Early Triassic Conodonts at Bianyang Section, Great Bank of Guizhou, South China. The 10th National Congress of Palaeontological Society of China (PSC)—The 25th Annual Conference of PSC, Abstract Volume, p.154