Master of Environmental Science, Yale University
Bachelor of Biological Science, Peking University
Gao Yufang is a Chinese conservationist specializing in the interdisciplinary research and practice of wildlife conservation. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Peking University and an M.S. in Environmental Sciences from Yale University, and he is currently pursuing a combined doctoral degree in wildlife conservation and sociocultural anthropology. Before starting his doctoral studies, Gao was the executive director of the Qomolangma (Mt. Everest) Snow Leopard Conservation Center. He has also actively participated in the global efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade. His published research into the illegal ivory trade has helped the international community to achieve a more comprehensive and contextual understanding of China’s ivory markets, thereby contributing to a more broad and effective coalition for African elephant conservation.
Gao actively shares his work with scholars, conservationists, decision-makers, and the general public. He was the winner of the "best talk" prizes in both the Student Conference on Conservation Science in New York (2013) and in Australia (2015). He was invited to speak at the IUCN African Elephant Summit (2013) in Botswana, the CITES-Chinese Government International Workshop on Demand-side Strategies for Curbing Illegal Ivory Trade (2015) in China, the Jackson Hole Wildlife Symposium (keynote, 2017) among other conferences. Besides, he has delivered lectures and public speeches to thousands of people in China and abroad to raise public awareness for conservation. He is a research associate of the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, a National Geographic Society explorer and the winner of the 2016 Marsh Award for Terrestrial Conservation Leadership.
Gao's dissertation project is concerned with the conditions of possibility of human-wildlife coexistence. It will look into the complex interactions between local people and large carnivores on the Tibetan Plateau through an interdisciplinary approach which combines environmental anthropology, semiotics, conservation biology, and the policy sciences. He is passionate about working with concerned individuals and groups to promote nature conservation and human dignity in China and worldwide.
Recent media coverage (selected, English-language)
- April 2017, Scientific American, The Hard Truth about the Rhino Horn "Aphrodisiac" Market.
- January 2017, The Guardian, Ending the Illegal Ivory Trade in China Requires a Holistic Approach.
- January 2017, The New York Times, In Banning Ivory Trade, China Saw Benefits for Itself, Too.