Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and research professor at CAS Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Beijing, China.
Professor Liu is recognized as the father of paleoenvironmental research on Chinese loess-soil sequences. Liu's research over the last 5 decades has clearly demonstrated that loess provides a complete and accurate continental record of environmental change. The fine-grained dust is now widely considered one of three reliable sources of past environmental information the other two are deep-sea sediments and arctic ice cores.
Liu's accumulated work on the loess/paleosol sequences has also led to a deeper knowledge and understanding of the variability through time of the Southeast Asian monsoon system.Liu's research group was instrumental in discovering the underlying causes of Keshan disease, which affected thousands of people in China and vexed the Chinese medical community for decades. Keshan's is a debilitating disease of the heart muscle resulting in cardiovascular failure. Liu's research group linked the disease to deficiencies of trace elements in local soil and water, a problem now countered by supplements of selenium and other nutrients. These research findings have saved thousands of lives.
2002 Tyler Prize for his pioneering contributions in recognizing and using terrestrial sediments to understand global environmental change. He has been a trailblazer in developing ways to measure paleoclimatic change over the last 2.5 million years through studies of loess, a windblown dust, that forms thick deposits over much of central China.
Professor Liu has been honored with numerous prizes and awards for his scholarly research. He has three times been honored with awards from The National Natural Science Prize of China. He received the Chen Jiageng Award for Natural Sciences (Geology) in 1989 and in 1993 a distinguished award from the China Green Prize of Environmental Science and Technology. In 1991, he was elected as a fellow of Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He was a recipient of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize in Earth Sciences in 1995 and was named an Academician of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences (IEAS) in 1996. Dr. Liu is a past President of the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) and a founding member of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme on Past Global Changes (PAGES).