Gao Yufang

Ph.D. candidate in wildlife conservation and sociocultural anthropology

Photo of Gao Yufang



Master of Environmental Science, Yale University
Bachelor of Biological Science, Peking University



Gao Yufang is enthusiastic about integrating knowledge and practice to help achieve harmonious human-wildlife coexistence on a healthy planet. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Peking University and an M.S. in Environmental Science from Yale University, and he is currently pursuing a combined doctoral degree in wildlife conservation and sociocultural anthropology at Yale. Before starting his Ph.D. program, he had worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Shanshui Conservation Center (a Chinese national NGO), Nyanpo Yutse Conservation Association (a Tibetan grassroots organization), and Qomolangma (Mount Everest) Snow Leopard Conservation Center on a variety of projects related to wildlife conservation on the Tibetan Plateau. Besides, he has researched on the illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn in several countries in Africa and Asia, and he remains an active participant in the global efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade. His studies have appeared on National Geographic, The Washington Post, Scientific American, and many other international and Chinese media. 

Gao Yufang actively shares his work with scholars, conservationists, decision-makers, and the general public. He was the winner of the "best talk" prizes in the Student Conference on Conservation Science in New York (2013) and 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), the Jackson Hole Wildlife Symposium (keynote, 2017) and other conferences. He also frequently delivers public lectures to people in China and abroad to raise public awareness for conservation. He is a National Geographic Explorer, a research associate of Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, and a winner of the 2016 Marsh Award for Terrestrial Conservation Leadership in the UK.  

Selected media coverage (English-language)

• December 2018, Yale University, F&ES Student Talk Honored at American Anthropological Association Meeting.  

• May 2018, Yale University, F&ES Doctoral Student Receives 2018 Yale Public Scholar Award

• January 2018, Yale University, Solving the Ivory Deadlock.

• December 2017, National Geographic, China Shuts Down Its Legal Ivory Trade.

• December 2017, The Christian Science Monitor, Can Competing Schools of Elephant Conservation Find Common Ground?.

• 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