Earth Sciences
Bo Wan
Bo Wan was born in Qinghai Province in September 1982. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Chang’an University in 2004, and Ph.D. from the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGGCAS) in 2009. He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at IGGCAS from 2009 to 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012. In 2017, he was promoted to Professor and served as Deputy director of the State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution. He has been group leader of the Tectonic Group of the laboratory since 2019.
His main research interest is in global plate tectonics, focusing on the onset timing and the driving forces of plate tectonics, as well as how plate tectonics affects the enrichment of mineral resources and environmental changes. He has received multiple grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has published more than 110 papers with over 4400 citations in top journals such as Nature Communications, Science Advances, Geology, Earth-science Reviews, and Science China: Earth Science. He was ranked 2085 on the ESI Global Highly cited Earth Scientists list. He served as secretary of the solid Earth Science section of the Asian-Oceanian Earth Science Association (AOGS), being responsible for the organization and planning of solid Earth science topics. He has served as Guest Editor of several special issues for Ore Geology Reviews, Tectonics, and G-Cubed. Currently, he is a member of the Regional Geology and Mineralization Committee of the Geological Society of China, and the Deputy Editor of Ore Geology Reviews, the journal of the International Association of Mineral Deposit Genesis.
The onset timing of plate tectonics  

Plate tectonics is widely accepted as a fundamental theory in Earth science and is hailed as an important scientific discovery of the 20th century. However, the major challenge of the theory since its foundation for half a century now is the debate over when Earth first developed plate tectonics—4 billion years ago vs. 1 billion years later—an uncertainty which spans nearly three-quarters of Earth history. Dr. Bo Wan innovatively proposed that the global subduction network is an important signpost to identify the onset of modern plate tectonics. He creatively carried out high-resolution and comprehensive geological and geophysical observations of the northern margin of the North China Craton. He first recognized key information supporting significant horizontal movement and subduction of an oceanic plate at a convergent tectonic boundary nearly 2 billion years ago, and reconstructed the position of North China in the Earth’s first supercontinent based on its iconic subduction record. He further revealed the geophysical interface preserved by the ancient continental convergence. These features are identical to the surface and deep structure of the modern Himalayan orogenic belt, indicating that North China underwent a similar geological process at 2 billion years ago. Putting the key findings from China in a global context, Wan proposed that the earth gave birth to its global plate subduction network 2 billion years ago, leading to the formation of Earth's earliest supercontinent due to the pulling forces of subduction. Only after the onset of the global plate tectonic network did the earth start the cyclic assembly and dispersal of supercontinents. Such active plate margin led to intensive mass and energy exchange between Earth’s surface and interior, which was an important driving force for maintaining planetary habitability. The onset of plate tectonics signifies the contrasting evolutionary paths between Earth and other planets.