Prof. Pengfei Li 

Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry,

Chinese Academy of Sciences 

Personal web in Chinese:


Google Scholar:

Research Interests

My primary research interest focuses on structural geology and tectonics, particularly in the continental deformation and geodynamic reconstruction. I try to integrate field-based geologic work with geochronological, geophysical and isotopic data, to study the temporal and spatial evolution of deformation, magmatic and metamorphic events and to link them with geodynamic processes. I am also interested in linking geodynamic evolution with the formation of ore deposits. 

  • Tectonics of orogenic belts (Eastern Australia, Central Asia, SE Asia and Himalaya)

  • Structural geology and deformation mechanisms of rocks

  • Dating magmatic, metamorphic and deformation events (U-Pb, Argon and U-Th-He geochronology)

  • Using isotope to trace tectonic processes


August 2009 – August 2013: PhD, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

August 2007 – August 2009: Masters, Northeastern University, Shenyang, China

August 2009 – August 2007: BSc, Northeastern University, Shenyang, China
  Dual Degree: Bachelor of Geology / Diploma of Business Administration


Work Experience

Jan, 2017 - Current, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Oct, 2013 - Jan, 2017, University of Hong Kong, China

Teaching Experience

Earth Processes & Geological Materials for Engineers (2013)

Advanced structural geology (2012)

Structural Geology (2010-2012)

Field trip in the Hedong gold ore district (one week, 2008)

Rock and soil engineering (2007)


40. Deng, Y., Chen, Y., Li, P., Zhang, Z., Badal, J., 2022. A Synthesis of Geophysical Data in Southeastern North China Craton: Implications for the Formation of the Arcuate Xuhuai Thrust Belt. Journal of Earth Science.

39. Wang, X., Sun, M., Li, P., Cai, K., Zhao, G., Xia, X., Liu, X., Li, Z., Luo, Y., Graham Pearson, D., 2022. Magmatic response to arc-arc amalgamation: insights from latest Paleozoic igneous rocks from the Gangou section of the Eastern Tianshan. Gondwana Res.

38. Wang, H., Cai, K., Sun, M., Xia, X.-P., Lai, C.-K., Li, P., Wan, B., Zhang, Z., 2022. Apatite as a magma redox indicator and its application in metallogenic research. Lithos 422-423, 106749.

37. Jiang, Y., Štípská, P., Schulmann, K., Aguilar, C., Wang, S., Anczkiewicz, R., Zhang, J., Li, P., Chopin, F., 2022. Barrovian and Buchan metamorphic series in the Chinese Altai: P–T–t–D evolution and tectonic implications. J. Metamorph. Geol. 40, 823-857.

36. Li, P., Sun, M., Narantsetseg, T., Jourdan, F., Hu, W., Yuan, C., 2022, First structural observation around the hinge of the Mongolian Orocline (Central Asia): implications for the geodynamics of oroclinal bending and the evolution of the Mongol-Okhotsk Ocean, Geological Society of America Bulletin, in press

35. Zhang, Y., Yuan, C., Sun, M., Huang, Z., Narantsetseg, T., Ren, Z., Li, P., Zhang, Q., 2021. Contrasting compositions between phenocrystic and xenocrystic olivines in the Cenozoic basalts from central Mongolia: Constraints on source lithology and regional uplift. American Mineralogist 106, 251-264.

34. Wang, S., Jiang, Y., Weinberg, R., Schulmann, K., Zhang, J., Li, P., Xiao, M., Xia, X.-P., 2021. Flow of Devonian anatectic crust in the accretionary Altai Orogenic Belt, central Asia: Insights into horizontal and vertical magma transfer. GSA Bulletin.

33. Hu, W., Li, P., Sun, M., Safonova, I., Jiang, Y., Yuan, C., Kotler, P., 2021. Provenance of late Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in eastern Kazakhstan: Implications for the collision of the Siberian margin with the Kazakhstan collage. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 104978. (研究生第一作者).

32. Kotler, P., Khromykh, S., Kruk, N., Sun, M., Li, P., Khubanov, V., Semenova, D., Vladimirov, A., 2021. Granitoids of the Kalba batholith, Eastern Kazakhstan: U–Pb zircon age, petrogenesis and tectonic implications. LITHOS 388-389, 106056.

31. Ling, J., Li, P., Yuan, C., Sun, M., Zhang, Y., Narantsetseg, T., Wang, X., Jiang, Y., Hu, W., 2021. Ordovician to Devonian granitic plutons in the Hangay Range, Central Mongolia: Petrogenesis and insights into the Paleozoic tectonic evolution of the westernmost Mongol-Okhotsk Orogen. LITHOS 404-405, 106463. (研究生第一作者).

30. Li, P., Sun, M., Yuan, C., Jourdan, F., Hu, W., and Jiang Y., in press, Late Paleozoic tectonic transition from subduction to collision in the Chinese Altai and Tianshan (Central Asia): new geochronological constraints, American Journal of Science, 321, 178-205.


29. Zhang, Y., Li, P., Sun, M., and Yuan, C. (2020), Late Paleozoic to early Triassic granitoids from the Rudny Altai, Central Asian Orogenic Belt: Petrogenesis and implications for continental crustal evolution, Solid Earth Sciences 5, 115-129.


28. Hu, W., Li, P., Rosenbaum, G., Liu, J., Jourdan, F., Jiang, Y., Wu, D., Zhang, J., Yuan, C., and Sun, M., 2020, Structural evolution of the eastern segment of the Irtysh Shear Zone: Implications for the collision between the East Junggar Terrane and the Chinese Altai Orogen (northwestern China): Journal of Structural Geology, v. 139, p. 104126. (研究生第一作者).


27. Li, P., Sun, M., Rosenbaum, G., Cai, K., Yuan, C., Jourdan, F., Xia, X., Jiang, Y., Zhang, Y., 2020. Tectonic evolution of the Chinese Tianshan Orogen from subduction to arc-continent collision: Insight from polyphase deformation along the Gangou section, Central Asia. Geological Society of America Bulletin132, 2529-2552.


26. Huang, Y., Jiang, Y., Collett, S., Wang, S., Xu, K., Shu, T., Li, P., Yuan, C., 2020. Magmatic recycling of accretionary wedge: A new perspective on Silurian-Devonian I-type granitoids generation in the Chinese Altai. Gondwana Research 78, 291-307.


25. Zhang, Y., Yuan, C., Sun, M., Long, X., Huang, Z., Jiang, Y., Li, P., Du, L., 2020. Two late Carboniferous belts of Nb-enriched mafic magmatism in the Eastern Tianshan: Heterogeneous mantle sources and geodynamic implications. Geological Society of America Bulletin 5, 115-129


24. Li, P., Sun, M., Shu, C., Yuan, C., Jiang, Y., Zhang, L., Cai, K., 2019. Evolution of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt along the Siberian margin from Neoproterozoic-Early Paleozoic accretion to Devonian trench retreat and a comparison with Phanerozoic eastern Australia. Earth-Science Reviews 198, 102951.


23. Zhang, Y., Yuan, C., Sun, M., Chen, M., Hong, L., Li, J., Long, X., Li, P., Lin, Z., 2019. Recycled oceanic crust in the form of pyroxenite contributing to the Cenozoic continental basalts in central Asia: new perspectives from olivine chemistry and whole-rock B–Mo isotopes. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 174, 83.


22. Chen, M., Sun, M., Li, P., Zheng, J., Cai, K., and Su, Y., 2019, Late Paleozoic Accretionary and Collisional Processes along the Southern Peri-Siberian Orogenic System: New Constraints from Amphibolites within the Irtysh Complex of Chinese Altai, The Journal of Geology, 127, 241-262.


21. Jiang, Y., Schulmann, K., Sun, M., Weinberg, R., ?típská, P., Li, P., Zhang, J., Chopin, F., Wang, S., Xia, X., and Xiao, W., 2019, Structural and Geochronological Constraints on Devonian Suprasubduction Tectonic Switching and Permian Collisional Dynamics in the Chinese Altai, Central Asia: Tectonics 38, 253-280.


20. Zhang, Y., Sun, M., Yuan, C., Long, X., Jiang, Y., Li, P., Huang, Z., and Du, L., 2018, Alternating Trench Advance and Retreat: Insights From Paleozoic Magmatism in the Eastern Tianshan, Central Asian Orogenic Belt, Tectonics 37, 2142-2164.

19. Li, P., Sun, M., Rosenbaum, G., Yuan, C., Safonova, I., Cai, K., Jiang, Y., and Zhang, Y., 2018, Geometry, kinematics and tectonic models of the Kazakhstan Orocline, Central Asian Orogenic Belt, Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 153, 42-56.

18. Li, P., Sun, M., Rosenbaum, G., Jourdan, F., Li, S., Cai, K., 2017. Late Paleozoic closure of the Ob-Zaisan Ocean along the Irtysh Shear Zone (NW China), Central Asian Orogenic Belt. Geological Society of American Bulletin 129, 547-569.

17. Yu, Y., Sun, M., Huang, X.-L., Zhao, G., Li, P., Long, X., Cai, K., and Xia, X., 2017, Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotopic evidence for modification of the Devonian lithospheric mantle beneath the Chinese Altai, Lithos 284–285, 207-221.

16. Yu, Y., Sun, M., Long, X., Li, P., Zhao, G., Kr?ner, A., Broussolle, A., and Yang, J., 2016, Whole-rock Nd–Hf isotopic study of I-type and peraluminous granitic rocks from the Chinese Altai: Constraints on the nature of the lower crust and tectonic setting: Gondwana Research 47, 131–141.

15. Li, P., Sun, M., Rosenbaum, G., Cai, K. Chen, M., He, Y., 2016. Transpressional deformation, strain partitioning and fold superimposition in the southern Chinese Altai, Central Asian Orogenic Belt, Journal of Structural Geology, 87, 64-80.

14. Li, P., Sun, M., Rosenbaum, G., Jiang, Y., Cai, K., 2016. Structural evolution of zonal metamorphic sequences in the southern Chinese Altai and relationships to Permian transpressional tectonics in the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. Tectonophysics, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2015.11.035

13. Wang, G.-G., Ni, P., Zhao, C., Wang, X.-L., Li, P., Chen, H., Zhu, A.-D., Li, L., 2016. Spatiotemporal reconstruction of Late Mesozoic silicic large igneous province and related epithermal mineralization in South China: Insights from the Zhilingtou volcanic-intrusive complex. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 121, 7903-7928.

12. Li, P., Rosenbaum, G., Yang, J-H, Hoy, D., 2015. Australian-derived detrital zircons in the Permian-Triassic Gympie terrane (eastern Australia): evidence for an autochthonous origin. Tectonics 34, doi:10.1002/2015TC003829.

11. Li, P., Sun, M., Rosenbaum, G., Cai, K., Yu, Y., 2015. Structural evolution of the Irtysh Shear Zone (northwestern China) and implications for the amalgamation of arc systems in the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. Journal of Structural Geology 80, 142-156.

10Li, P., Rosenbaum, G., 2015. Reply to comment by Offler et al. on “Does the Manning orocline exist? New structural evidence from the inner hinge of the Manning Orocline (eastern Australia)”. Gondwana Research 27, 1689-1691, doi:

9. Li, P., Yuan, C., Sun, M., Long, X, Cai, K, 2015, Thermochronological constraints on the late Paleozoic tectonic evolution of the southern Chinese Altai, Journal of Asian Earth Science 113, 51-60.

8. He, Y., Sun, M., Cai, K., Xiao, W., Zhao, G., Long, X., Li, P., 2015. Petrogenesis of the Devonian High-Mg rock association and its tectonic implication for the Chinese Altai orogenic belt, NW China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 113, 61-74.

7. Li, P., Rosenbaum, G. and Vasconcelos, P., 2014, Chronological constraints on the Permian geodynamic evolution of eastern Australia, Tectonophysics 617, 20-30.

6. Li, P., Rosenbaum, G., 2014. Does the Manning Orocline exist? New structural evidence from the inner hinge of the Manning Orocline (eastern Australia). Gondwana Research 25, 1599-1613.

5. Shaanan, U., Rosenbaum, G., Li, P., Vasconcelos, P., 2014. Structural evolution of the early Permian Nambucca Block (New England Orogen, eastern Australia) and implications for oroclinal bending. Tectonics 33, doi:10.1002/2013TC003426.

4. Wang, G.-G., Ni, P., Yu, W., Chen, H., Jiang, L.-L., Wang, B.-H., Zhang, H.-D., Li, P.-F., 2014. Petrogenesis of Early Cretaceous post-collisional granitoids at Shapinggou, Dabie Orogen: Implications for crustal architecture and porphyry Mo mineralization. Lithos 184–187, 393-415.

3. Li, P., Rosenbaum, G. and Donchak P.J.T., 2012. Structural evolution of the Texas Orocline, eastern Australia, Gondwana Research 22, 279-289.

2. Li, P., Rosenbaum, G. and Rubatto, D., 2012, Triassic asymmetric subduction rollback in the southern New England Orogen (eastern Australia): the end of the Hunter-Bowen orogeny, Australian Journal of Earth Sciences 59, 965-981.

        1. Rosenbaum, G. Li, P. and Rubatto, D., 2012. The contorted New England Orogen (eastern Australia): new evidence from U-Pb geochronology of early Permian granitoids, Tectonics 31, doi:10.1029/2011TC002960


  • Associate editor of the Geological Society of American Bulletin (2022-current)

  • Editorial board of the Journal of Earth Science (2022-current)

  • Board member of the European DRT Society (2019-current)

  • Board member of the subdivision of the Structural Geology, Tectonics and Geodynamics (Geological Society of China; 2022-current)


  • Hu Wanwan PhD (Arc-arc collision in central Asia)

  • Ling Jiaqi PhD (Magmaric response of oroclinal bending)

  • Li Zheng PhD (Tectonics of the Himalayan Orogen)

  • Zhang Chao PhD (Geodynamic origin of HT/LP metamorphism in the Chinese Altai)

  • Wang Guanglin  MSc

Honors & Distinctions

· Alexander von Humboldt fellowship

· Best Student Poster Award in the Solid Earth Sciences (SE) Section in 10th Annual Meeting of Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, Brisbane, 2013

· 2012 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad, April 2013

The Donald Tugby Postgraduate Research Prize (the best student paper prize) in School of Earth Sciences, University of Queensland, Dec 2012

· A special commendation for the best student poster award in the Gondwana-Asia international conference (IAGR/IGCP592), Adelaide, Nov 2012

· The best student poster award, School of Earth Sciences, the University of Queensland, Nov 2011

· PhD research scholarship, University of Queensland (42 months, 2009-2013)

· Jinchengxin scholarship for outstanding postgraduate students in Northeastern  University (2008)

· Liudajian scholarship for outstanding undergraduate students in Northeastern University (2006)

· Baosteel Education Fund Award for Outstanding Students, in China (Oct 2005)

· Haihua scholarship for outstanding students in Northeastern University in China (2004)

· 3 Times awarded First-Class Scholarship in the Northeastern University in China (2003-2007)

· 3 Times awarded Second-Class Scholarship in the Northeastern University in China (2003-2007)