Xiaozhu Zhang

Xiaozhu Zhang

Associate Professor (tenure-track)

Tongji University

Hey there!

I am Xiaozhu Zhang, now working as an Associate Professor at Tongji University back in Shanghai (= the beloved city I grew up in) after more than 13 years studying and doing research in Germany.

When I was a teenager, a book called “Order out of Chaos” piqued my curiosity on complex systems: complexity lies in practically everything around us, giving rise to order from disarray and certainty from randomness—it’s almost magic!

To study complex systems as a science, I travelled alone to Germany, started from Bachelor and went all the way to post-doc. With the help of all my mentors, I’ve got a much deeper understanding for complex systems, especially dynamics on complex networks. Yet I found myself facing an ever greater unknown than I was as a teenager: For instance, when and how a single transmission line failure triggers the global breakdown of a power grid with complex topological structure? How can we build more stable, safer and controllable systems by optimizing the connectivities and interactions between the units?

On and on stretched my road, long it was and far,

I would go high and go low in this search that I made.

These are 2000-years-old chantings by Qu Yuan (English translation by Stephen Owen in 1996), yet still resonate with me today.

My research interests include (but not limited to):

  • dynamics of complex networks,
  • self-organization and collective behaviour in complex systems, and
  • nonlinear dynamics

I’m currently working jointly with Prof. Gang Yan who is a distinguished scientist specialized in network science and brain-inspired systems.

We have now openings for post-docs and welcome all to apply! 😄



Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-organization

Dr. rer. nat. in Physics

May 2014 – Jan 2018 Göttingen, Germany

Dynamic Responses of Networks under Perturbations: Solutions, Patterns, and Predictions

  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Marc Timme, Head of Network Dynamics Group

Georg-August University Göttingen

M. Sc. in Physics

Oct 2011 – Sep 2013 Göttingen, Germany

Statistics, Predictability and Dynamics of Critical Transitions

  • Graduated with Distinction
  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Sarah Hallerberg

Georg-August University Göttingen

B. Sc. in Physics

Oct 2008 – Jul 2011 Göttingen, Germany

Impact of Stochastic Delays in Extremal Evolutionary Dynamics

  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jan Nagler

Fudan University

B. Sc. in Optical Science and Engineering

Sep 2003 – Jun 2007 Shanghai, China

The Dynamical Behavior of a Single Ad-atom in the Self-Diffusion on Ag(001) Surfaces

  • Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Jun Zhuang

Recent Conferences

The 10th International Scientific Conference on Physics and Control

Talk: Predicting Risks in Fluctuation Driven Power Grids

Conference on Complex Systems 2020 Satellite

Invited Talk: Topological Determinants of Perturbation Spreading in Networks and Power Grids

Localisation 2020: Anderson Localisation and Related Topics

Poster: Localized vs. Delocalized Responses in Fluctuation-driven Networks

Meet my Collaborators





Zhiyi Lv

Associate Professor at Ocean University of China