Yuhan Li




I spent my childhood in rural China surrounding by animals. I still remember these sparkling moments when a snake sneaked into the yard, tadpoles grew out legs overnight, and newborn puppies chasing with each other. This intimacy with nature and animals has thus grown vigorously within me.

It was until the last year of my PPE degree in Peking University, that I had the chance to finally step into wildlife conservation, following the mentorship of Prof. Zhi Lu. I once questioned my social science background may alien me from conservation, which turned out to be so wrong especially after I spent a year on the Tibetan Plateau working on snow leopard conservation. I see how interdisciplinary approaches located at the core to conservation, ranging from policy making, human wildlife conflict solution to many other issues. Meanwhile, nature and culture shock me with their magnificent beauty and I was extremely lucky to spot 7 individual snow leopards in one day.

Once I have discovered wildlife conservation, I am spending every day like a dream. One greatest thing of life is to pursue passion as career and bring positive impacts. In order to learn comprehensively of conservation, and compare various theory and practice across time and region, I come to Oxford with the generous support from Rhodes Scholarship. I am still very young to this field, and I am looking forward to exploring more with the BCM course and the ICCS team.


I am currently exploring various research topics. More generally, I am interested in issues that involves both development and conservation, such as community-based conservation and environmental impacts of infrastructure projects. As China has been going through several development stages and is now at the point of investing projects in other countries, I think it is important to draw together the lessons learnt and shape a green path forward.

At the same time, I have great passion for the new tools or ideas that may lead to a breakthrough in conservation practice, such as the mobilisation of citizen science and the integration of machine learning.


Snow leopard eco-tourism project in Sanjiangyuan National Park, China

As a fellow from Shanshui Conservation Center, I coordinated the first community-based snow leopard eco-tourism project in China, which is located at the headwater of the Mekong River, Sanjiangyuan National Park. 22 local families take turn to host tourists for wildlife watching and culture experience, and a series of guidelines have been developed after rounds of discussions. This project received official franchise status in 2019, which is also the very first case in China.

More on this project: https://valleyofthecats.org

For snow leopard eco-tourism guidelines, please see: http://www.globalsnowleopard.org/blog/document/principles-and-recommendations-for-tourism-in-snow-leopard-habitat/


Human wildlife conflict survey and pilot insurance scheme

The damage caused by wildlife such as the brown bear, snow leopard and wolf can be a big burden to the local families living in the Sanjiangyuan National Park. Yuhan worked on several survey to identify the physical loss as well as various attitudes, and led a pilot insurance program which compensated the loss of 222 yaks. This project is written up as a case study in Chinese and can be accessed here: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/W3G8ihNebyRotK3c3VOzLw


My MPhil research is looking into the link between Chinese communities and the illegal trade of jaguar parts in Bolivia. It will start from the English, Spanish and Chinese media discourse analysis of the issue to identify knowledge gaps, and then further examine the link with stakeholders interviews.


2018- Present MPhil student in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, School of Geography and Environment, University of Oxford (UK)

2017-2018 Fellow, manager of research station in Sanjiangyuan National Park, Shanshui Conservation Center (China)

2017 News intern, CNN Beijing (China)

2016 Research assistant, Silk Road Forum, Sate Council Development Research Center (China)

2016 Consultant, National Park for People project, WWF China (China)

2015 Founder, Intercultural communication program InterACT, MINES Paris Tech/Peking University (France&China)

2015 Chinese youth delegate to United Nations Paris Climate Conference

2015 Academic exchange, Sciences Po Paris (France)

2014 Coordinator, Stray Cat Rescue, Peking University (China)

2013-2017 Bachelor of Law in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Peking University (China)