Shuhai Xiao
 VASEM Member Profile

Shuhai Xiao

Member, National Academy of Sciences
Professor of Geobiology
Virginia Tech


Shuhai Xiao is a Professor of Geobiology at Virginia Tech. Xiao’s contributions at the interface of geology and paleontology have re-envisioned our understanding of the evolutionary transformation from the mainly microbial world of the Proterozoic to the diverse multicellular life of the Ediacaran and Cambrian periods. Xiao integrates paleobiological, sedimentological, and geochemical data to shed light on important evolutionary events (such as the origin and diversification of eukaryotes, multicellular organisms, and animals), their environmental contexts, and their geobiological consequences. Xiao was a recipient of the Paleontological Society Charles Schuchert Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and the National Academy of Sciences Mary Clark Thompson Medal. He is a fellow of the Paleontological Society, the Geological Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2023, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.


  • Ph.D., Biology, Harvard University
  • M.Sc., Geology, Peking University
  • B.Sc., Geology, Peking University

    Paleontology, paleobiology, geology, geobiology