Qu Zhongxiang, who was also as Kwei-Ling Chu, was born in 1905 in Tanghe, Henan province. He received a bachelor of science in biology from National Central University in Nanjing. Qu then served as a researcher at the Biology Institute of China Science Society and an associate professor at Fudan University. In 1945, Qu went to Toronto University in Canada, and then transferred to the University of Minnesota where he received a master’s degree in botany in 1948. After graduation, Qu went back to China and taught biology at Fudan University, Nanjing University, and Yunnan University.
Qu made significant contributions in the field of ecology, especially in the ecologic research of living fossil metasequoia. He published numerous articles and books, and was one of the pioneers in fields of ecologic botany and environmental sciences in China. Qu was a committed educator having taught for more than fifty years. Many of his students have become accomplished scholars and educators. He was involved in editing and translating several important textbooks.
Qu also actively participated in social activities. He served as a member of 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and the vice-chairman of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th People’s Political Consultative Conference in Yunnan province. In addition, Qu took active roles in several science societies, such as China Environment Science Society, China Ecology Society, and China Botany Society, etc.