Ma Shijun, who was born in 1915 in Yanzhou, Shandong Province, graduated from the Department of Biology at Peking University in 1937. He came to the U.S. as a graduate student in 1948 and received his master’s degree in insect ecology at Utah State University one year later. He then attended the University of Minnesota and received his Ph.D. in 1950. Ma returned to China in 1952 and created the country's first insect ecology lab. He served as a researcher and director at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Experimental Biology, the Insect Ecology Research Office, Northwest Plateau Institute of Biology, the Institute of Zoology, Academic Committee, the Research Center for Eco-environmental at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Environmental Research Center. At the same time, he served as a professor at several well-known universities, including Peking University. In 1980, he was elected to be an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He also once worked as an advisor on the State Council Environmental Protection Commission and as chairman of the China Ecological Society. Internationally, Ma served as a pest expert committee member of FAO and UNEP, executive director of the International Institute of Insects, member of the International Committee of Systematic and Evolutionary Biology, Chairman of the China Committee of the International Union of Biological Sciences, Vice Chairman of International Geosphere - Biosphere Program China Committee, European Eco Academy Corresponding Member, and member of the Royal Entomological Society of England Academy.
Ma published over 150 academic journals and 7 books. He defined the concept of ecology and proposed and established major theories as "social - natural - economy" complex ecosystem and ecological projects. Ma put forward arguments for sustainable development back in the 70s. He and the Norwegian Prime Minister Ms. Brundtland jointly drafted the famous Brundtland Statement: " Our Common Future.”