Home» News

She inspires the world with the sound of silence

Author: 闫仙慧  Date:2018-05-05     Read:

   From: NWAFU CPC Publicity Department | By: Fu Wenting | Date: 2018-05-04

  “Never give up. Always focus. Deal with any difficulty, and if the method is not working, change to a new one.” “Failure is not worthless if it is rewarding.” This is Guo Yuewei, a proposed doctoral candidate in 2018 at the Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, a determined, diligent, positive, and open-minded girl who has fought against and never bowed to the fate for the past 26 years.


Guo Yuewei was born in 1992. Before she was able to hear anything,

she was diagnosed with congenital profound hearing loss and hearing impairment degree 1.

Her world was in silence from the start.

  To her mother Zhu Limin, who was a teacher, there was no difference between the baby girl and other children. To live a normal life, at the age of one year and half, Guo Yuewei started wearing hearing-aid. “I put her hand in front of me when I taught her Chinese pinyin so that she could feel the airflow and learn plosives. It took her over a week to grasp blade-alveolar vowel and cacuminal and to distinguish Z, C, S from Zh, Ch, Sh.” After multiple failures and attempts, Zhu Limin taught her daughter pronunciation, word, and sentence. And gradually, Guo Yuewei could speak and read lips. She received normal education like other normal kids at school and had not spent a single day in special education institution.

  After the college entrance examination in 2011, Guo Yuewei was admitted to the major of Soil and Water Conservation and Desertification Control at the College of Natural Resources and Environment in NWAFU. Her examination score surpassed the admission line of Shanxi Province with 27 points and ranked top 40 among the total of 201. With a strong interest in biology ever since high school, she chose to embark on her university education in Yang Ling.

  Guo Yuewei always sat in the first row in class because of her hearing issue. She attended lectures mainly through reading lips and listening via teachers’ dedicated mic. In experiment and practice courses, however, she had troubles observing teachers’ mouths because the teachers needed to walk around to demonstrate operations. Noticing her difficulties, teachers would try their best to help her. “Teachers always ask me during the class if I can understand, and after class, they sometimes offer me special treatment and patiently answer my questions,” Guo Yuewei said with great gratitude.

  Guo Yuewei got access to the concept of biological crust in the second year of her study. She learned that moss is an advanced plant with tiny form and structure which is often used in garden landscaping, and that it is getting much attention because of its potential in soil and water conservation, since moss crust can decrease the damage caused by rain and fix sand. Motivated by strong interest, she emailed researcher Zhao Yunge, who is the first one on the Loess Plateau to dedicate to biological crust and its ecological function research, and she expressed her willingness to study in the lab.

  Research of bryophyte ecology is still in the initial stage in China, and almost all literatures are in English. To have students keep up with the latest research, Zhao Yunge would give students an A4-paper sized collection that contained over 140 pages of English literature. Although she was only a sophomore, she was treated the same with other postgraduate students in the lab, and she was not afraid of the collection at all. She looked up every new work and often stayed up to read the literatures till two or three o’clock in the morning. Within a month, she finished reading the  whole collection.

  From others’ perspectives, Guo Yuewei has experienced many difficulties and even setbacks along her growth. But she never speaks of the reverses. She is gentle on the surface and determined inside. Throughout the four-year undergraduate study, she took 75 courses and received 174 credits, 4 points higher than the required credits.

  Guo Yuexin continued her postgraduate study as a formal member on Zhao Yunge’s team after graduation and launched research on desiccation-tolerant moss physiological ecology and its application in water and soil conservation and desertification control. Through deepening study, Guo Yuexin found that artificial cultured moss crust was receiving a lot of attention in biology crust recovery, but that because of the insufficient knowledge of inoculation material characters, the inoculation success rate was low. In her second year of postgraduate study, under the instruction of her supervisor, Guo Yuewei combined bryophyte physiology with reproduction and launched research on the influence of environment and preservation conditions on desiccation-tolerant mosses’ physiology and vegetative reproduction.

  With a year of hard work, she eventually published the paper Effects of storage temperature on the physiological characteristics and vegetative propagation of desiccation-tolerant mosses on Biogeosciences (SCI, IF="3.851)," clarifying the influence mode of mosses’ physiological characteristics on their reproduction and the proper temperature to preserve dry mosses

  Becoming a doctoral candidate, to Guo Yuewei, is a new journey. “I’m glad that I have chosen NWAFU. Here we have masters, multi-storied buildings, and great love, all of which have provided support to my dream and passion for scientific research. Because of love, I will stick to the scientific road as always and march forward courageously.”

      Translated by: Yan Xianhui