Research Chair

Cang Hui (Professor and SARChi research chair in Mathematics & Theoretical Physics BioSciences, Stellenbosch University)


Cang is a full Professor at the Department of Mathematics and a tier-1 South African Research Chair in Mathematical Biosciences. He is co-affiliated with the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) at Muizenberg, a core-tem member of the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB), and a trustee of the International Initiative for Theoretical Ecology (IITE) in London. Directly after receiving his degrees from Xi’an Jiaotong University and Lanzhou University, he came to Stellenbosch as a postdoc, followed by a Researcher appointment at the CIB till the end of 2013. In 2014, he was promoted to his current position. 


Cang’s research is situated at the interface between mathematics and biosciences. His main interests lie in proposing models and theories for explaining emerging spatio-temporal patterns in ecology. Ecology studies biodiversity in its variety and complexity. As ecological processes are highly complex and adaptive, Cang relies on the simplicity of mathematical language. His recent research focuses include unifying the scaling patterns of different biodiversity dimensions and currencies, and modelling the structure and function emergence of ecological networks, especially in face of global change drivers such as climate change and biological invasions.

Selected Publications

Hui C, Richardson DM .(2019). How to invade an ecological network. TREE,  34:121-131.

Hui C, Fox GA, Gurevitch J .(2017). Scale-dependent portfolio effects explain growth inflation and volatility reduction in landscape demography. PNAS, 114:12507-12511.

Hui C, Richardson DM .(2017). Invasion Dynamics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Hui C, McGeoch MA .(2014). Zeta diversity as a concept and metric that unifies incidence-based biodiversity patterns. Am Nat, 184:684-694.

Hui C, et al. (2013). Increasing functional modularity with residence time in the co-distribution of native and introduced vascular plants. Nat Commun, 4:2454.