Universiteit Leiden

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Yali Si

Assistant Professor

Dr. Y. Si
+31 71 527 2727

Yali Si is an ecologist who tries to 1) understand spatiotemporal ecological patterns and processes, 2) quantify the environmental mechanisms and global change impact on bird distribution, movement and diversity, ecosystem functioning, and disease patterns, and 3) develop sustainable measures to safeguard wildlife and human development.

More information about Yali Si

Professional experience

Yali quantifies spatiotemporal ecological patterns and processes using multidisciplinary methodologies including mathematic modelling, spatial analysis and statistics, Geographic Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing, and biologging. She received her BA in Land Resources Management at Henan Agricultural University, China and her MSc in Geo-information for Natural Resources and Environment Management at the International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC, University of Twente), The Netherlands.

She completed her PhD in Global Change and Spatial Ecology in 2011 at Twente and Wageningen University. After that, Yali worked as a lecturer, assistant professor, and associate professor in the Department of Earth System Science at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Since 2021, she works as an assistant professor in the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) at Leiden University.

She investigates the environmental mechanisms of the spatiotemporal bird distribution, migration, and biodiversity patterns, ecosystem functioning and disease patterns, and the impact of human activities including climate and land use change on these patterns and processes.

Research topic

Yali explores three main research lines:

  1. Global change impacts on bird distribution and movement. Yali develops evidence-based methodological frameworks and combines the use of field observation, modelling, and geospatial technologies including satellite tracking to understand these patterns and processes to best conserve wildlife.
  2. Biodiversity conservation in human-dominated landscapes. Yali quantifies the environmental drivers and landscape change impacts on spatiotemporal bird diversity and ecosystem stability and determines how to best manage the environment to maintain biodiversity and ecosystem functions.
  3. Spatial epidemiology of infectious and non-communicable diseases. Yali investigates the environmental risk of spatiotemporal disease occurrence, maps the disease risk, and develops measures to maintain a healthy environment and support sustainable development.


Yali teaches courses for Biology students: Ecosystem Ecology (bachelor) and Orientation on Biodiversity and Sustainability (master). She also teaches a bachelor course for Urban Studies: Sustainable City: Biodiversity in the city. At Tsinghua University, she taught a master course for Ecology students: Geospatial Analysis and Ecological Applications.

For an overview of the publications of Yali's work before CML, please follow  this link

Assistant Professor

  • Science
  • Centrum voor Milieuwetenschappen Leiden
  • CML/Environmental Biology

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number A3.14


  • No relevant ancillary activities
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