Binbin Li, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Duke Kunshan University
Assistant Professor, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University

Conservation Biology

Wildlife Conservation

Connectivity and landscape ecology

Protected area planning and management

Human wildlife conflicts

Conservation intervention

Dr. Binbin Li is the Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences at Duke Kunshan University. She holds a secondary appointment with Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Her research focuses on loss of biodiversity, endangered and endemic species conservation such as giant pandas, priority setting and management of protected areas, and promotion of innovative technology, markets and policies to solve conservation problems and local community development. Dr. Li got her PhD in Environment from Duke University (2017), M.S in Natural Resources and Environment from University of Michigan (2012). and B.S in Life Sciences with a dual degree in Economics from Peking University (2010).

Dr. Li’s work covers the identification of conservation priorities and national parks in China, impacts of One Belt One Road on biodiversity, giant panda conservation and management via Footprint Identification Technique (FIT), impacts of oil palm and rubber plantations on biodiversity in Southeast Asia, influence of national environmental policies on human-wildlife conflicts, and behavioral study of endemic species. She is also a member of the IUCN SSC Small Mammal Specialist Group.

Dr. Li is engaged in science communication and nature education. She is a signed nature photographer at Swild in China. From 2013-2015, she was on the advisory board for Disney nature documentary “Born in China”. She is devoted in using photography, social media, drama, and other art formats to promote conservation science in the public.



Editorial Boards:

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (Associate Editor, 2020-present)

Conservation Biology (2021-present)

Biodiversity Science (生物多样性) (2019-present)

Global Ecology and Conservation (2020-present)


Guest Editor

Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (2020)


Reviewer: Science, Science Advances, PNAS, Current Biology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Conservation Letters, Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Ecology and Evolution, Science of the Total Environment, Global Ecology and Conservation, Biodiversity Science, PeerJ, Journal of Environmental Management, Integrative Zoology, 生物多样性


2022-2025   PI: “The effects and mechanism of stand age and landscape complexity on mammal diversity in the Larix kaempferi plantation of Qinling Mountains”. The National Natural Science Foundation of China

2021-2024  PI: “Camera trapping mononitoring network in Liang Shan”. Green Foundation and State Forestry and Grassland Administration.

2020-2021   Co-PI: “Investment and need of biodiversity conservation finance in China”. Global Environment Facility and Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center, Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

2019-2021   PI: “Impacts of protected areas in reducing the deforestation caused by linear infrastructure”. The National Natural Science Foundation of China

2019-2021   PI: “Spatial patterns of the railway development on deforestation and biodiversity in China”. Innovative PhD Award, Jiangsu Province, China

2019-2020   PI: “Biodiversity monitoring framework in forests”. China State Forestry and Grassland Administration Research Award

2019-2020   co-PI: “Impacts of livestock grazing on birds”. Oriental Bird Club Conservation Fund Award

2018-2022   PI: “Impacts from livestock grazing on giant pandas and potential solutions”. Hongkong Ocean Park Conservation Foundation

2018-2019   co-PI: “Use Natural-Human coupling system to protect giant panda habitats from overgrazing”. Young Conservation Leader, Birdlife International

2018-2019   PI: “Case study for environmental science of protected areas” Suzhou Education Department

2018           Section leader: “Belt and Road Biodiversity Mapping Workshop”. Duke Kunshan University ERIC Fund

2015-2017   Co-PI: “Impacts of free-ranging livestock on biodiversity in the panda habitat”. Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong

2014-2016   Co-PI: “Reducing human disturbance in protected areas”. China State Forestry Department: Giant Panda International Collaboration Fund

2014-2016   Co-PI: “Footprint Identification Technique to differentiate individuals and sex of giant pandas”. China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda

2016           International Dissertation Research Travel Award, Duke University

2016           Aleane Webb Dissertation Research Award, Duke University

2014           PI: “Using footprints to identify individual panda”, The Explorer Club

2011           Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant, University of Michigan

2011           SNRE Master’s Thesis Research Funding, University of Michigan


  • EC50-One of the fifty scientific explorers changing the world, Explorers Club (2021)
  • Outstanding editor, Biodiversity Science (2020)
  • Shuangchuang Doctor (双创博士), Jiangsu Province (2019)
  • Finalist for Young Champions of the earth from China, UNEP (2018)
  • Panda Guardian, China Association for Science and Technology and Weibo (2018-2019)
  • NASA-MSU Professional Enhancement Award, NASA-MSU (2014)
  • Best oral presentation for students, US-IALE (2014)



Teaching Interests: Ecology, Environmental History, International Environmental Policy, Qualitative Methods, and Community Based Conservation.


Current Teaching

Duke Kunshan University

ENVIRON 602K Natural Resources and Protected Area Management (graduate course)

ENVIRON 718K Environmental Sciences (graduate course)

ENVIRON 759K Environmental GIS (graduate course)

ENVIRON 601K Building an NGO Toolkit: From Design to Monitoring (graduate course)

Li B.V.*, Jenkins C., Xu W. (2021). Reducing landslide risks by protecting biodiversity. PNAS, accepted.

Huang R.M., Medina W., Brooks T.M., Butchart S.H.M., Fitzpatrick J., Hermes, D., Jenkins C.N., Johnston A., Lebbin D.J., Li B.V., Ocampo-Peñuela N., Parr M., Wheatley H., Wiedenfeld D., Wood C., Pimm S.L.*. (2021). Batch-produced, GIS-informed range maps for birds based on provenanced, crowd-sourced data 1 inform conservation assessments. PLoS One, accepted

Li B.V.*, Jiang B. (2021). Responses of forest structure, functions and biodiversity to livestock disturbances: a global meta-analysis. Global Change Biology, 27(19), 4745-4757.

Kauffman, M. J., Cagnacci, F., Chamaillé-Jammes, S., Hebblewhite, M., Hopcraft, J. G. C., Merkle, J. A., … Li B.V. …& Zuther, S. (2021). Mapping out a future for ungulate migrations. Science, 372(6542), 566-569. DOI: 10.1126/science.abf0998

Wu S., Li B. V., & Li S. (2021). Classifying ecosystem disservices and valuating their effects-a case study of Beijing, China. Ecological Indicators, 129, 107977.

Yan G., Li B.V.*(2021). Evaluation of the status, job satisfaction and occupational stress of Chinese nature reserve staff. Global Ecology and Conservation, 29, e01731.

Li B.V.*, Kim M.J., Xu. W, Jiang S., Yu L. (2021). Increasing livestock grazing, the unintended consequence of community development funding on giant panda habitat. Biological Conservation, 257:109074.

Li S., Feng J., Li B.V., Lu Z. (2021). The Giant Panda National Park: Experiences and Lessons learned from the Pilot. Biodiversity Science, 29(3):307-311. [李晟,冯杰,李彬彬,吕植 (2021)大熊猫国家公园体制试点的经验与挑战,生物多样性,29(3):307-311] DOI:10.17520/biods. 2021074

Xiao L., Lu Z.*, Li X., Zhao X., & Li, B. V.* (2021). Why do we need a wildlife consumption ban in ,China?. Current Biology, 31(4), R168-R172.

Teo H.C., Campos-Arceiz A, Li B.V., Wu M, Lechner A.M., 2020. Building a green Belt and Road: a systematic review and comparative assessment of the Chinese and English-language literature. PLoS One, 15(9), e0239009.

Li. B.V.* and Pimm S.L. (2020). How China expanded its protected areas to conserve biodiversity. Current Biology, 30(22), R1334-R1340.

Li, B. V., Reardon, K., Satheesh, N., Liu, C., & Karanth, K. K.* (2020). Effects of livestock loss and emerging livestock types on livelihood decisions around protected areas: Case studies from China and India. Biological Conservation, 248, 108645.

Dobson A.P., Pimm S.L., Hannah L, Kaufman L., Ahumada JA., Ando AW, Bernstein A., Busch J., Daszak P., Engelmann J., Kinnaird M., Li B.V., Loch-Temzelides T., Lovejoy T., Nowak K., Roehrdanz,P. and Vale MM. (2020). Ecology and Economics for Pandemic Prevention. Science, July 24, 2020. DOI: 10.1126/science.abc3189.

Li B.V. (2020) Creating synergy between biodiversity conservation and human health—One Health. Biodiversity Science, 28, 596‒605. (in Chinese with English abstract) [李彬彬 (2020) 推进生物多样性保护与人类健康的共同发展 ——One Health. 生物多样性 , 28, 596‒605.] DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020133

Shi XY, Zhang XC, Xiao LY, Li B.V., Liu JM, Yang FY, Zhao X, Cheng C, Lü Z (2020) Public perception of wildlife consumption and trade during the COVID-19 outbreak. Biodiversity Science, 28, 630‒643. (in Chinese with English abstract) [史湘莹, 张晓川, 肖凌云, 李彬彬, 刘金梅, 杨方义, 赵翔, 程琛, 吕植 (2020) 新冠肺炎时期公众对野生动物消费和贸易意愿的调查. 生物多样性, 28, 630‒643.] DOI: 10.17520/biods.2020134

Fan, F., Bu, H., McShea, W. J., Shen, X., Li, B. V., & Li, S. (2020). Seasonal habitat use and activity patterns of blood pheasant Ithaginis cruentusbe in the presence of free-ranging livestock. Global Ecology and Conservation, e01155.

Ng, L. S., Campos-Arceiz, A., Sloan, S., Hughes, A. C., Tiang, D. C. F., Li, B. V., & Lechner, A. M. (2020). The scale of biodiversity impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative in Southeast Asia. Biological Conservation, 248, 108691.

Li, B. V. (2020). Conservation: Guarding Panda Land. Current Biology30(7), R302-R304.

Hughes A.C., Lechner AM, Chitov A, Horstmann A, Hinsley A, Tritto A, Chariton A, Li B.V., Ganapin D, Simonov E, Morton K. 2020. Horizon Scan of the Belt and Road Initiative. Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

Zhang L., Pacifici M., Li B.V., Gibson L. (2020). Vulnerability among China’s ungulates and mitigation offered by protected areas. Conservation Science and Practice, 2(4), e177.

Brooks TM, Pimm SL, Akçakaya HR, Buchanan GM, Butchart SH, Foden W, Hilton-Taylor C, Hoffmann M, Jenkins CN, Joppa L, Li B.V. (2019). Measuring terrestrial area of habitat (AOH) and its utility for the IUCN red list. Trends in ecology & evolution.

Stuart L. Pimm, Clinton N. Jenkins and Binbin V. Li. (2018). How to protect half of Earth to ensure it protects sufficient biodiversity? Science Advances, 10.1126/sciadv.aat2616.

李彬彬. 互惠共利:物种保护与生态旅游,旅游学刊 (2018). Doi:10.3969/j.issn.1002-5506.2018.08.003

Li., B.V.*, Pimm, S.L., Li, S. Luo, C. & Zhao, L. (2017) Free-ranging livestock threaten the long-term survival of giant pandas. Biological Conservation, 216: 18-25.

Li, B.V., Alibhai, S., Jewell, Z.,* Li, D. & Zhang, H. (2017) Using footprints to identify and sex giant pandas. Biological Conservation 218:83-90.

Pimm, S.L.. Harris, G., Jenkins, C.N., Ocampo-Peñuela, N. & Li, B.V. (2017) Unfulfilled promise of data-driven approaches: response to Peterson et al. Conservation Biology, DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12928

Belasen, A., Brock, K., Li, B., Chremou, D., Valakos, E., Pafilis, P. & Foufopoulos, J. (2017). Fine with heat, problems with water: microclimate alters water loss in a thermally adapted insular lizard. Oikos, 126(3), 447-457.

Ocampo-Peñuela, N., Jenkins, C. N, Vijay, V., Li, B.V., & Pimm., S.L. (2016) Incorporating explicit geospatial data shows more species at risk of extinction than the current Red List. Science Advances, 2(11), e1601367.

Li, B. V., Hughs, A., Jenkins, C. N, Ocampo-Peñuela, N. & Pimm., S.L.* (2016) Remotely sensed data informs Red List evaluations and priorities mountainous areas for endemism conservation in Southeast Asia. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0160566. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160566.

Li, B., & Pimm, S. L. (2015). China’s endemic vertebrates sheltering under the protective umbrella of the giant panda. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12618

Li, B.*, Belasen, A., Pafilis, P., Bednekoff, P., & Foufopoulos, J. (2014). Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences281(1788), 20140339.

Li, B., Belasen, A. and Foufopoulos, J. (2012) Geographic distribution: Chalcides ocellatus. Herpetol Rev. 43(1): 102.