李彬彬，昆山杜克大学环境环境研究中心环境科学助理教授，美国杜克大学尼古拉斯环境学院助理教授。美国杜克大学博士，硕士毕业于美国密西根大学，本科毕业于北京大学。李彬彬教授主要从事保护生物学研究，通过交叉学科的方式，研究人与自然耦合系统框架下的生物多样性保护，探究可持续发展方式。主要方向为中国及东南亚特有物种保护及保护优先区的规划与管理评估。研究范围包括保护地管理成效，濒危物种如大熊猫的栖息地保护, 足迹识别野生动物个体技术开发，社区发展对特有物种熊猫保护影响，一带一路对生物多样性影响评估等。其研究地区包括中国四川、陕西、云南、青海等地；国外包括在希腊研究野猫对于岛屿爬行类的影响，参与美国国家地理大型猫科保护项目(Big Cats Initiative)中的全球豹类评估，人兽冲突解决方案调查等，具有丰富的生态学及保护生物学背景。IUCN物种生存委员会专家，迪斯尼电影“诞生在中国”科学顾问，西南山地科学顾问及签约摄影师，致力于通过多媒体手段进行科学传播。
Dr. Binbin Li is the Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences of the Environmental Research Center 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. During 2013-2015, she served as a science advisor 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.
How protecting pandas protect other species?
Umbrella species has been an important idea in conservation. Giant pandas are one the most famous umbrella and flagship species in the world. With the vast amount of resources has been put into the iconic and endangered giant panda conservation, we asked, would this benefit the other species or not? It was the first study quantifying the umbrella species effect. Our results showed that 96% of panda habitats overlapped with endemic centers in forests. By protecting panda habitats, we could protect 70% of endemic forest birds, 70% of mammals and 30% of amphibians.
Livestock grazing and giant panda conservation
Livestock grazing has become the most prevalent human disturbance in giant panda habitats. In this project, we are looking at the impacts of free-ranging livestock on panda habitats, socio-economic drivers for increasing livestock in forests and potential solutions. We are seeking a balance of local community development, sustainable natural resources use and panda conservation.
Footprint Identification Technology (FIT) for giant pandas
Footprints can be used to identify individuals. We are developing a cost-effective, non-invasive individual identification technology collaborating with WildTrack, JMP and China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda for giant pandas. Our initial results also show high accuracy of using this techonology to identify individuals as well as sex discrimination. FIT provides an innovative tool to study the population dynamics and promote panda conservation.
Remotely Sensed Data Informs Red List Evaluations and Conservation Priorities in Southeast Asia
Tropical, mainland Southeast Asia is under exceptional threat, such as rubber and oil palm plantation that greatly reduce the biodiversity. We used remote sensing to identify the area of natural forests and excluded these species-poor plantations. This information further informed a species’s risk of extinction. We evaluated the current risk level of all endemic forest birds, mammals and amphibians in this area and did a GAP analysis using current protected areas. We mapped the future conservation priorities and developed a quick and simple method to identify and modify the priority setting in a landscape where natural habitats are disappearing rapidly and so where conventional species’ assessments might be too slow to respond.
Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in Island reptiles: Insights from an ancient introduction
Feral cats have driven the extinction of many island species and are listed as the top 100 worst invasive species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets on the contrary showed lower level of antipredator behaviors, which could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation.
Conserving Biodiversity – Belt and Road Initiative
China has proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a development strategy that covers 64 countries. It is unclear how the the potential development will impact the biodiversity in these areas. We are collaborating with researchers from Duke and Duke Kunshan university to look at the potential impacts and identify highly vulverable areas.
Tree plantation and biodiversity
Tree plantation, especially monoculture has been deemed as “green desert”, because the lack of biodiversity. Many plantation have been left unmanaged after shifting from logging firms to protected areas. Together with Peking University, we are answering this question, how does the aging and matrix of these plantations influence its supporting function of biodiversity?