Key Labs
International Cooperation
Education & Training
Scientific Database
Hosted Societies
Eye on Chinese Geography
Join Us


Location: home > People/Professors

Name:ZHANG, Yili 

Professor of Physical Geography and Biogeography 

Head of Department of Land Science Change and Biogeography 

Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation 

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) 

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)   


  Address: Jia 11, Datun Road, Cho-Yang-Qv, Beijing  

  Postcode: 100101 

  Telephone: 0086-10-64856505 (O) 

  Email: zhangyl@igsnrr.ac.cn  





Research Areas  

Land Use and Land Cover Change (LULCC)Plant Geography; Biogeography; Physical Geography 

Research Interests  

Synthesis study of physical geography, the application of remote sensing and GIS to studies on land cover change, land Use and Land Cover Change, Interaction of Impacts of Environment Factor and Land Cover Change, Floristic Geography, Plant Geography, Bio-diversity. 


M.S.    1987 Bio-diversity and Plant Geography, Beijing Normal University, China 

B.S.    1984 Biology, Department of Biology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China 


Work Experience 

Head, Department of Land Science Change and Biogeography, IGSNRR of CAS since 2014 

Deputy Director, the Division of Physical Geography and Global Change IGSNRR of CAS from 2008 to 2014 

Head, Department of Land-use & Land-cover Change and Land Resources Research (LUCCR) of IGSNRR of CAS from 1999 to 2014 

Professor of Biogeography and Physical Geography, IGSNRR of CAS since 1999 

From 1987 to 1999, Appointed to Department of Physical Geography at the Institute of Geography of CAS as Assistant Professor in Physical Geography in 1987, Associate Professor from 1993 to 1999,  Professor since 1999. (Visiting Scholar of the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences in 1992. Visiting Professor of the Faculty of Geography of Marburg University, Germany from 1997 to 1998.)  

Teaching Experience 

Professor of Physical Geography, Graduate University of the CAS from 2001 to 2012 

Professor of Physical Geography, University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) since 2012. 


Physical Geography 

Progress in Tibetan Plateau Research 

Honors & Distinctions  

2014 Holder of 6thOutstanding S&T Worker of China”, the China Association for Science and Technology 

2014 Holder of 2nd “Geographic Outstanding S&T Worker of China”, the Geographical Society of China 

2012 Holder of Progressive Science and Technology Award of Ministry of Environmental Protection, P.R. China 

2010 Holder of Progressive Science and Technology Award of Xizang Autonomous Region, China  

2005 Holder of Natural Sciences Award of China 

1998 Holder of Natural Sciences Award of CAS 

1993 Holder of Progressive Science and Technology Award of CAS 

1993 Holder of 2nd “Excellent Youth Geographer of China”, the Geographical Society of China 


Executive Member of the Council, Deputy Secretary-General, the China Society of Tibet Plateau since 2008 

Member of the council of Geographical Society of China (GSC) since 2008, Chairman of Physical Geography Committee of GSC since 2004, Deputy Chairman of Youth Geographer Committee of GSC from 1999 to 2004, Member of Mountain Research Committee of GSC since 1999 

Secretary general of Group of Land Change Science of the CNC-IGBP and CNC-IHDP since 2005, Secretary general of Land-use and Land-cover Change Committee of the CNC-IGBP from 2002 to 2005. 

Member of China Council of the WCRP/CliC and IUGG/IACS since 2008 

Member of the Council, the China Society of Natural Resources since 2014 

Editorial Board Member, Acta Geographica Sinica since 2015 

Editorial Board Member, Journal of Mountain Sciences since 2010 

Editorial Board Member, Geographical Research since 2002 to 2014 

Editorial Board Member, Progress in Geography from 2002 to 2014 

Major Research Projects: 

[1]     Environmental effects of ecological constructions for safety shield on Tibetan Plateau (CAS Strategic Priority Programme (B), 2012~2017) 

[2]     Land use and land cover change processes and its regional difference in a trans-boundary basin of the middle Himalaya (National Natural Science Foundation of China(abbr. NSFC), 2014~2017) 

[3]     Adaptation strategy of environmental changes on Tibetan Plateau (National Basic Research Program of China(abbr. NBRPC), 2005~2010) 

[4]     Technique research for conversation, restoration and management on wetland in Lhasa River basin (Key Technologies R&D Program of China, 2007~2010) 

[5]     Assessment of environmental effects of Qinghai-Tibet railway (NSFC, 2003~2005) 

[6]     Land-use and land-cover change and rehabilitation of degraded environment in specific regions of Tibetan Plateau (NBRPC1998~2003) 

Selected Publications  


[1]     Deng Wei, Zhang Yili (Editors, eds.).Resources, Environment and Development of Koshi River Basin.Chengdu: Science and Technology of Sichuan Press, 2014(in Chinese with English) 

[2]     Zhang Yili (ed.).Land Use & Land Cover Change and the Climate Change Adaptation in Tibetan Plateau. Beijing:China Meterological Press, 2012  

[3]     Zheng Du, Zhang Yili, et al. Ecological and Environmental Security along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. Hangzhou: Zhejiang Science and Technology Publishing House, 2009(in Chinese with English Abstract) 

[4]     Mihe, Georg and Zhang Yili (eds.).Environmental Changes in High Asia. Marburg/Lahn:Marbuger Geographische Schriften, 2000 (in English with Chinese Abstract) 

[5]     Wang Hesheng, Wu Zhifen, Zhang Yili. Floristic Geography on North China. Beijing: Science Press, 1997 (in Chinese)  

Book Chapters 

[1] Zhang Yili, Cheng Shengkui, Bai Wanqi, Xu Zhengrang, Wu Xue, Zhao Zhilong, Lu Chunxia, Hua Xiaobo, Luo Lei and Zhang Hua. Land System Change and Regional Development Strategy the Tibetan Plateau. In China Society on Tibet Plateau (edited), Report on Advances in Tibetan Plateau Research 2012-2013. Beijing: Science and Technology of China Press, p240-266,278-279,2014.(in Chinese with English Abstract)  

[2] Zhang Yili, Ding Mingjun, Wang Li, Xie Gaodi, Xv Baiqing, Wu Yingying, Lu Chunxia, Xiao Yu and Zhen Lin. Resources, Environment and Regional Sustainable Development of the Tibetan Plateau. In China Society on Tibet Plateau (ed.), Report on Advances in Tibetan Plateau Research. Beijing: Science and Technology of China Press, p161-191, 2010.(in Chinese with English Abstract)  

[3] Zhang Yili, Zhu Huiyi, Wang Xiuhong, Ding Mingjun, Yang Xuchao, Xu Xuegong, Li Shuangcheng, Yan Lei, Wang Jun and Duan Xiaofeng. Physical Geography. In Cai Yunlong (ed.), Recent Progress of Geography in China--A Perspective in 21st Century. Beijing: The Commercial Press, p46-91, 2008.  

[4] Zhang Yili, Zheng Du, Liu Xiaodong, Zhao Xinyi, Zhang Xueqin, Wang Ninglian, Zhao Lin, Xie Gaodi, Li Shuangcheng, Li Lifeng, Bai Wanqi, Bao Weikai, Shen Zhenxi, Tang Ya, Liu Shiyin, Pu Jianchen, Chu Duo, Lu Chunxia, Xiao Yu and Huang Chengmin. Region ecosystem and environment change on the plateau. In: Zheng Du et al. Uplifting of Tibetan Plateau with Its Environmental Effects. Beijing: Science Press, p459-554. 2004. (in Chinese with English abstract)  


[1]     Zhang Hua, Wang Zhaofeng, Zhang Yili (Corresponding author, ca), et al. Identification of traffic-related metals and the effects of different environments on their enrichment in roadside soils along the Qinghai–Tibet highway. Science of Total Environment, 2015. Doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.03.054 

[2]     Ding Mingjun, Li Lanhui, Zhang Yili (ca), et al. Start of vegetation growing season on the Tibetan Plateau inferred from multiple methods based on GIMMS and SPOT NDVI data.. Journal of Geographical Sciences (J Geogr Sci), 2015, 24(2): 131-148. 

[3]     Zhang Yili, Qi Wei, Zhou Caiping, et al. Spatial and temporal variability in the net primary production of alpine grassland on the Tibetan Plateau since 1982. J Geogr Sci, 2014, 23(2): 269-287. 

[4]     Liu Fenggui, Mao Xufeng, Zhang Yili (ca) et al. Risk analysis of snow disaster in the pastoral areas of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. J Geogr Sci, 2014, 23(3): 411-426. 

[5]     Zhang Yili, Gao Jungang, Liu Linshan, et al. NDVI-based vegetation changes and their responses to climate change from 1982 to 2011: A case study in the Koshi River Basin in the middle Himalayas. Global and Planetary Change, 2013, 108: 139-148. 

[6]     Gao Jungang, Zhang Yili (ca), Liu Linshan, et al. Climate change as the major driver of alpine grasslands expansion and contraction: a case study in the Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) National Nature Preserve, the southern Tibetan Plateau. Quaternary International, 2014, 336:108-116. 

[7]     Zhang Yili, Wang Zhaofeng, Wang Xiuhong, et al. Land cover changes in the key regions and self-reflection on ecological construction of the Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Journal of Nature, 2013, 35(3):187-192. (in Chinese with English abstract)  

[8]     Qi Wei, Zhang Yili (ca), Gao Jungang, et al. Climate change on the southern slope of Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) Region in Nepal since 1971. J Geogr Sci,2013, 23(4):595-611.  

[9]     Zhang Xueru, Zhang Yili, Liu Linshan, et al. Zoning by land types based on SOFM network: A case study on transect of eastern Tibetan Plateau. 2013, 32(5):839-847. (in Chinese with English abstract)  

[10] Ding Mingjun, Zhang Yili (ca), Sun Xiaomin, et al. Spatiotemporal variation in alpine grassland phenology in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau from 1999 to 2009. Chin Sci Bull, 2013, 58(3):396-405 

[11] Gao Jungang and Zhang Yili (ca). Incorporating spectral data into logistic regression model to classify land cover: a case study in Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) National Nature Preserve. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 2012, 26(10): 1845-1826. 

[12] Nie Yong, Zhang Yili (ca), Ding Mingjun, et al. Lake change and its implication in the vicinity of Mt. Qomolangma (Everest), central high Himalayas, 1970–2009. Environ Earth Sci, 2012, Doi 10.1007/s12665-012-1736-6  

[13] Zhang Hua, Wang Zhaofeng, Zhang Yili (ca), et al. The effects of the Qinghai–Tibet railway on heavy metals enrichment in soils, Science of the Total Environment, 2012, 439:240–248 

[14] Zhang Hua, Zhang Yili, Wang Zhaofeng(ca), Ding Mingjun. Heavy metal enrichment in the soil along the Delhi–Ulan section of the Qinghai–Tibet railway in China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2012. DOI 10.1007/s10661-012-2957-6 

[15] Bai Wanqi, Zhang Yili(ca), Liu Linshan, et al. Adaptation of Tibetan Nomadism to Climate Change in the Source Region of the Yellow River. Journal of Natural Resources, 2012, 27(12):2030-2038 (in Chinese with English abstract) 

[16] Zhang Jiping, Zhang Yili (ca), Liu Linshan, et al. Predicting potential distribution of Picea smithiana, a rare species in the Qomolangma (Everest) National Nature Preserve, using a Maximum entropy niche-based model. Chinese Geographical Science (Chin Geogra Sci), 2011, 21(4):417-426  

[17] Zhang Yili, Wang Chunlian, Bai Wanqi, et al. Alpine wetland in Lhasa river basin, China. J Geogr Sci, 2010, 20(3):375-388  

[18] Nie Yong, Zhang Yili (ca), Liu Linshan, et al. Glacial change in the vicinity of Mt Qomolangma (Everest), central high Himalayas since 1976. J Geogr Sci, 2010, 20(5):667-686  

[19] Yan Jianzhong, Wu Yingying, Zhang Yili (ca), et al. Livelihood diversification of farmers and nomads of eastern transect in Tibetan Plateau. J Geogr Sci, 2010, 20(5) :757-770 

[20] Chu Duo, Zhang Yili (ca), Liu Linshan, et al. Land use dynamics in the Lhasa Area, China. J Geogr Sci, 2010, 20(6):1-14 

[21] Yan Jianzhong, Zhang Yili(ca), Zhang Liping, et al. Livelihood Strategy Change and Land Use Change—Case of Danzam Village in Upper Dadu River Watershed, Tibetan Plateau of China. Chin Geogra Sci, 2009, 19(3):231-240  

[22] Yang Xuchao, Zhang Yili(ca), Liu Linshan, et al. Sensitivity of surface air temperature change to land use/cover types in China. Science in China (D), 2009,52(8):1207-1215 

[23] Zhang Liping, Zhang Yili(ca), Yan Jianzhong, et al. Livelihood diversification and cropland use pattern in agro-pastoral mountainous region of eastern Tibetan Plateau. J Geogr Sci, 2008, 18(4) :499-509 

[24] Lin Xuedong, Zhang Yili(ca), et al. The trend on runoff variations in the Lhasa River Basin. J Geogr Sci, 2008, 18(1):95-106 

[25] Zhang Yili, Wang Zhaofeng, Luo Kunli, et al. The spatial distribution of trace elements in topsoil from the northern slope of Qomolangma (Everest) in China. Environmental Geology, 2007,52:679-684 

[26] Zhang Wei, Zhang Yili (ca), Wang Zhaofeng, et al. Vegetation change in the Mt Qomolangma Natural Reserve from 1981 to 2001. J Geogr Sci, 2007, 17(2):152-164 

[27] Ding Mingjun, Zhang Yili (ca), Shen Zhenxi, et al. Land Cover Change along the Qinghai-Tibet Highway and Railway from 1981 to 2001. J Geogr Sci, 2006, 16(4):387-395 

[28] Yan Jianzhong, Zhang Yili (ca), et al. Land Cover Changes Based on Plant Successions: Deforestation, Rehabilitation and Degeneration of Forest in the Upper Dadu River Watershed. Chinese Science (D), 2005, 48(12) :2214-2230 

[29] Zhang Yili, Yan Jianzhong, Liu Linshan, et al. Effects of Qinghai-Xizang Highway on Land use and Landscape pattern Change--from Golmud to Tangulashan Pass. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2002, 57(3): 253-266 (in Chinese with English abstract).  

[30] Zhang Yili, Li Bingyuan and Zheng Du. A Discussion on the Boundary and Area of the Tibetan Plateau in China. Geographical Research, 2002, 21(1):1-10. (in Chinese with English abstract)  

[31] Zhang Yili, Li Xiubin, Fu Xiaofeng, et al. Urban Land Use Change in Lhasa. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2000, 55(4):395-406 (in Chinese with English abstract) 

Updated on March 23, 2015 

Copyright © Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS
Address: 11A, Datun Road ,Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100101, China   Email: weboffice@igsnrr.ac.cn