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School of Ecology and Environmental Science

Updated: 2020-04-03


The logo of the School of Ecology and Environmental Science at Yunnan University. [Photo/sees.ynu.edu.cn]

The School of Ecology and Environmental Science at Yunnan University was established based on YNU’s goal of developing into a world-class university with world-class disciplines and establishing a top ecology discipline in Chinese higher education.

As an international first-class discipline recognized by the Ministry of Education, Yunnan University began to train graduate students in ecology as early as 1956 and was qualified to offer doctoral degrees in 1989. In 2002, ecology at YNU was selected as a national key discipline and ranked second (tied) in the 2012 national discipline evaluation.

At present, the school has two undergraduate majors in ecology and environmental science and engineering, of which ecology and environmental science are national specialty and key majors in Yunnan province. It provides bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral programs.

The ecology discipline of YNU began in 1937. When the world-renowned mathematician and educator Professor Xiong Qinglai served as president of YNU, he believed that Yunnan's biological resources and ecological environment had unique advantages and that the development of biological and ecological research had advantages and had a great academic impact. The Department of Biology was established in 1938, when a number of elites in the domestic biological sector gathered at YNU and achieved important results in various fields such as biological resource surveys, plant and animal taxonomy and systematic studies, plant community taxonomy and distribution and biodiversity.

The development of ecology flourished in the 1950s, when the department became an important place cultivating professionals in the ecology sector.

In 1997, the School of Life Science and Chemistry was established by combining the departments of biology and chemistry. In April 2002, the Department of Biology was reorganized into the School of Life Science. In 2014, the School of Life Science restructured the teaching staff engaged in ecology and environmental research and established the School of Ecology and Environmental Science.

Following more than 70 years of development, ecology has achieved an important academic impact at home and abroad. In the 1990s in particular, ecology developed into the only national key discipline in Southwest China. The biology discipline was also listed as a national first-level discipline in 2011, responding to and supporting the national ecological civilization development strategy.

The school currently has 55 faculty members, including 28 professors, five doctoral supervisors and 29 master supervisors. More than 90 percent of teachers have a doctorate, host national research projects and have overseas study experience.

The school maintains good cooperation and exchanges with many well-known universities and international organizations, including in the United States, Canada, Germany, Belgium and Japan.

It also boasts two national key laboratory training bases and several provincial key research platforms -- such as the Yunnan Key Laboratory of Plateau Mountain Ecology and Degraded Environment Restoration, the Yunnan Ecological Civilization Construction Think Tank, the Yunnan Provincial Ecological Construction and Sustainable Development Research Base and the Yunnan University Plateau Mountain Ecology and Resource Environment Key Laboratory.

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