Y (Yanning) Qiu

Y (Yanning) Qiu


I am a PhD candidate studying the ecosystem restoration of drylands. My work seeks to bridge two distinct disciplines of ecology, i.e. theoretical ecology and restoration ecology, to better inform restoration potentials as well as develop suitable planting and monitoring strategies in drylands in China.

China possesses a large area of drylands, and has suffered from severe degradation due to unlimited overexploitation in history. To reverse the degradation trend and improve environmental conditions, large-scale restoration projects have been implemented since 1950s. Recent satellite images have revealed a significant greening trend, demonstrating the efficiency of those restoration projects but there are also debates about the sustainability and future depletion of these practices. 

My project aims to use a combination of remote sensing, field surveys and mathematical modelling to assess the potentials and outcomes of the large-scale ecological restoration practices in the sand dunes systems in China, and explore the links between theoretical expectations and practical outcomes.



  1. Qiu, Y., Xu, Z., Xu, C., & Holmgren, M. (2022). Can remotely sensed vegetation patterns signal dryland restoration success?. Restoration Ecology, e13760.
  2. Wang, L., Qiu, Y., Han, Z., Xu, C., Wu, S. Y., Wang, Y., ... & Xu, Z. (2022). Climate, topography and anthropogenic effects on desert greening: A 40-year satellite monitoring in the Tengger desert, northern China. Catena209, 105851.