I study fossil plants and use them to reconstruct environments of deep time. Current projects mainly focus on the Paleogene climates of China, specifically with emphases on the early development of monsoon and aridification process of the Asian interior, and on the climate change across critical transition such as the Paleogene–Eocene thermal maximum and the Eocene–Oligocene transition.
Division of Geosciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC): Climatic conditions and driving forces of critical "greenhouse stages" through the Late Cretaceous to Paleogene (No. 41372002, 2014–2017); PI
Division of Geosciences, NSFC: Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum in northeastern China: Quantitative climate reconstruction based on plant fossils (No. 41172008, 2012–2015); PI
Young Paleontologist Award, Paleontological Society of China, 2014
Young Geologist Award, Geological Society of China, 2014
Distinguished Young Geologist Award, Ministry of Land and Resources of China, 2013
Huang YJ, Liu YS, Wen J, Quan C*, 2015. First fossil record of Staphylea L. (Staphyleaceae) from North America, and its biogeographic implications. Plant Systematics and Evolution 301:2203–2218 (PDF)
Quan C, Liu Z, Utescher T, Jin J, Shu J, Li Y, Liu YSC, 2014. Revisiting the Paleogene climate pattern of East Asia: a synthetic review. Earth-Science Reviews 139: 213-230 (PDF)
Liu Z, Zhang K, Sun Y, Liu W, Liu YSC, Quan C*, 2014. Cenozoic environmental changes in the northern Qaidam Basin inferred from n-alkane records. Acta Geologica Sinica-English Edition 88: 1547-1555 (PDF)
Wu S, Zhang F, Edwards S, Wu W, Ye J, Bi S, Ni X, Quan C*, Meng J, Organ C, 2014. The evolution of bipedalism in jerboas (Rodentia: Dipodoidea): origin in humid and forested environments. Evolution 68: 2108-2118 (PDF)
Quan C, Liu YSC, Tang H, Utescher T, 2014. Miocene shift of European atmospheric circulation from trade wind to westerlies. Scientific Reports 4: 5660 (PDF)
Su K, Quan C*, Liu YSC, 2014. Cycas fushunensis sp. nov. (Cycadaceae) from the Eocene of northeast China. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 204: 43-49 (PDF)
Wang Y, Huang C, Sun B, Quan C*, Wu J, Lin Z, 2014. Paleo-CO2 variation trends and the Cretaceous greenhouse climate. Earth-Science Reviews 129: 136-147 (PDF)
Quan C, Han S, Utescher T, Zhang C, Liu YSC, 2013. Validation of temperature-precipitation based aridity index: paleoclimatic implications. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 386: 86-95 (PDF)
Wang D, Lu S, Han S, Sun X, Quan C*, 2013. Eocene prevalence of monsoon-like climate over eastern China reflected by hydrological dynamics. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 62: 776-787 (PDF)
Quan C, Liu YSC, Utescher T, 2012. Eocene monsoon prevalence over China: a paleobotanical perspective. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 365-366: 302-311 (PDF)
Quan C, Liu YSC, Utescher T, 2012. Paleogene temperature gradient, seasonal variation and climate evolution of northeast China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 313-314: 150-161 (PDF)
Zhou ZY, Quan C*, Liu YSC, 2012. Tertiary Ginkgo ovulate organs with associated leaves from North Dakota, U.S.A., and their evolutionary significance. International Journal of Plant Sciences 173: 67-80 (PDF)
Quan C, Liu YSC, Utescher T, 2011. Paleogene evolution of precipitation in northeast China supporting the middle Eocene intensification of the East Asian monsoon. Palaios 26: 743-753 (PDF)
Wan CB, Wang DH, Zhu ZP, Quan C*, 2011. Trend of Santonian (Late Cretaceous) atmospheric CO2 and global mean land surface temperature: Evidence from plant fossils. SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences 54: 1338-1345 (PDF)
Sun Y, Liu H, Wan C, Quan C, 2010. In situ spores of Asplenium and their implications for the evolution of the Aspleniaceae: a case study from the Lower Cretaceous Changcai Formation in eastern Jilin Province, China. Cretaceous Research 31: 424-432 (PDF)
Quan C, Zhou ZY, 2010. Occurrence of Oligocene Ginkgo megafossils from Heilongjiang Province and its paleophytogeographic significance. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 49(4): 439-442 (in Chinese with English abstract) (PDF)
Quan C, Sun G, Zhou ZY, 2010. A new Tertiary Ginkgo (Ginkgoaceae) from the Wuyun Formation of Jiayin, Heilongjiang, northeastern China and its paleoenvironmental implications. American Journal of Botany 97: 446-457 (PDF)
Quan C, Sun C, Sun Y, Sun G, 2009. High resolution estimates of paleo-CO2 levels through the Campanian (Late Cretaceous) based on Ginkgo cuticles. Cretaceous Research 30: 424-428 (PDF)
Quan C, Sun G, 2008. Late Cretaceous aquatic angiosperms from Jiayin of Heilongjiang, Northeast China. Acta Geologica Sinica-English Edition 82: 1133-1140 (PDF)
Liu YSC, Quan C, 2013. Late Neogene dry climate condition in the southern Appalachians. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs 45(7): 303.
Quan C, Liu YSC, Utescher T, 2013. How dry is dry in paleoclimate? Sino–German Symposium on the Late Cenozoic Environmental Change in Eastern Eurasia and Its Impact on Past and Present Biodiversity. Xishangbanna, Yunnan.
Quan C, Liu, YSC., Utescher T, 2012. Climatic distribution of Eocene China: Planetary wind or monsoon-dominated? Japanese Journal of Palynology 58: 192.
Quan C, Liu, YSC, Utescher T, 2012. Justification, validation, and implication of aridity index for paleoclimate. Japanese Journal of Palynology 58: 193.
Liu YSC, Quan C, 2012. Vegetation change across the Eocene–Oligocene Transition (EOT): A case study from southern China. Japanese Journal of Palynology 58:133.
Liu YSC., Quan C, 2012. Cenozoic vegetation and climate changes in the subtropical East Asia: A case study from Guangxi, south China. Japanese Journal of Palynology 58:133.
Liu YSC,Quan C, Zavada MS, 2012. Late Neogene climate condition in the southern Appalachiens. GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition. Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.
Quan C, Liu YSC, Utescher T, 2012. Aridity index for paleoclimate quantification. GSA Annual Meeting & Exposition. Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.