2002 - 2009 Ph.D. in Zoology, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing
1998 - 2002 B. S. in Plant Molecular & Developmental Biology, College of Life Science, Peking University, Beijing
2015 - present Assistant Professor, PI. School of Life Sciences, Peking University, China
2011 - 2014 Research Associate. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Institution, USA
2011 - 2013 Post-doctoral Research Fellow. Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
2009 - 2011 Visiting Scientist. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Institution, USA
IUCN Species Survival Commission: Cat Specialist Group (2009-present), Deer Specialist Group (2013-present), Dhole Working Group (2014-present)
We are living in an era of rapid and dramatic changes in land use and climate. The enormous economic growth and rapid increase of human demands on natural resources has deeply shaped the environment humans share with other living beings, and this is especially true in China. In order to achieve a more sustainable future, it is important and urgent to understand the changes of ecosystems and the mechanisms underlying those ecosystem processes through sound scientific research and management.
I focus on long-term ecological research to address the questions of how biophysical parameters and human activities structure the large animal communities in a changing landscape, how wildlife populations and communities respond to human disturbance, and how to develop effective conservation strategies accordingly. I am motivated by questions about population dynamics, distribution patterns, and habitat needs of vertebrate species (particularly large mammals and forest birds). I have recently extended my study to include permanent large forest dynamics plots to obtain a more holistic understanding of how mammals and birds interact with their forest habitats. My present and future research will address two main questions:
At the local scale, what are the driving mechanisms shaping the structure and pattern of large animal communities, the ecological function of large fauna (particularly ungulates and carnivores) in temperate forests, and the impact of defaunation on forest structure and composition?
At the regional scale and beyond, what are the mechanisms determining the pattern and process of large animal communities (particularly large mammals and birds), and how will they be impacted by predicted changes in climate, human activities and land use?
Accordingly, my research will take a hierarchical approach ranging from field-based studies to macroecological analyses. The results obtained from fine-scale studies will provide valuable insights to better understanding of both the observed and the predicted patterns at broader spatial and temporal scales. The main research topics include:
Local scale study: Identifying the underlying mechanisms shaping the structure and pattern of large animal communities in the targeted temperate forest ecosystems, and exploring the interactions between large fauna (particularly ungulates and carnivores) and their forest habitats and their ecological function ;
Regional scale study: Examining the spatial distribution patterns of large fauna in China and exploring the potential drivers and mechanisms and the linkage between local and regional patterns;
Strategic study: Providing pragmatic solutions to promote wildlife conservation and the management effectiveness of protected areas in China.
Representative Peer-Reviewed Publications
Wang F., Winkler J., Vina A., McShea WJ., Li S., Connor T., Zhao Z., Wang D., Yang H., Tang Y. & Liu J. The hidden risk of using umbrella species as conservation surrogates: A spatio-temporal approach. Biological Conservation 253: 108913.
Shao X., Lu Q., Liu M., Xiong M., Bu H., Wang D., Liu S., Zhao J., Li S.* & Yao M.* Generalist carnivores as effective biodiversity samplers of terrestrial vertebrates. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. In press.
Li S., McShea W., Wang D., Gu X., Zhang X., Zhang L. & Shen X. Retreat of large carnivores across the giant panda distribution range. Nature Ecology & Evolution 4: 1327-1331.
Shen X.﹟, Li S.﹟, McShea W.J., Wang D., Yu J., Shi X., Dong W., Mi X. & Ma K. Effectiveness of management zoning designed for flagship species in protecting sympatric species. Conservation Biology 34(1): 158-167.
Fan F., Bu H., McShea W., Shen X., Li B. & Li S.* Seasonal habitat use and activity patterns of blood pheasant Ithaginis cruentusbe in the presence of free-ranging livestock. Global Ecology & Conservation 23: e01155.
Yang R., Cao Y., Hou S., Peng Q., Wang X., Wang F., Tseng T-H., Yu L., Carver S., Convery I., Zhao Z., Shen X., Li S., Zheng Y., Liu H., Gong P. & Ma K. Cost-effective priorities for the expansion of global terrestrial protected areas: setting post-2020 global and national targets. Science Advances 6: eabc3436.
Li J., Weckworth B., McCarthy T., Liang X., Liu Y., Xing R., Li D., Zhang Y., Xue Y., Jackson R., Xiao L., Cheng C., Li S., Xu F., Ma M., Yang X., Diao K., Gao Y., Song D., Nowell K., He B., Li Y., McCarthy K., Paltsyn M., Sharma K., Mishra C., Schaller G., Lu Z., Beissinger S. Defining priorities for global snow leopard conservation landscapes. Biological Conservation 241: 108387.
Bu H., Shen X. & Li S.* Predation patterns on artificial nests of ground nesting pheasants in the montane forest, Southwest China. Acta Ornithologica 54(1): 35-43.
Zhang L., Wang Q., Yang L., Li F., Chan B., Xiao Z., Li S., Song D., Piao Z. & Fan P. The neglected otters in China: distribution change in the past 400 years and current conservation status. Biological Conservation 228: 259-267.
Fang G., Li M., Liu X., Guo W., Jiang Y., Huang Z., Tang S., Li D., Yu J., Jin T., Liu X., Wang J., Li S., Qi X. & Li B. Preliminary report on Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana roxellana) at Laohegou Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China. Scientific Reports 8: 16183.
Wang F., McShea W.J., Li S. & Wang D. Does one size fit all? A multispecies approach to regional landscape corridor planning. Diversity and Distributions 24(3): 415-425 (Cover story).
Li B., Pimm S.L., Li S., Zhao L. & Luo C. Free-ranging Livestock Threaten the Long-term Survival of Giant Pandas. Biological Conservation 216: 18-25.
Wang W., Qiao Y., Li S., Pan W. &Yao M. Low Genetic Diversity and Strong Population Structure Shaped by Anthropogenic Habitat Fragmentation in a Critically Endangered Primate, Trachypithecus leucocephalus. Heredity 118: 542-553.
Xiong M., Wang D., Bu H., Shao X., Zhang D., Li S., Wang R. & Yao M. Molecular Dietary Analysis of Two Sympatric Felids in the Mountains of Southwest China Biodiversity Hotspot and Conservation Implications. Scientific Reports 7: 41909.
Laguardia A., Kamler J.F., Li S., Zhang C., Zhou Z. & Shi K. The Current Distribution and Status of Leopards Panthera pardus in China. Oryx 51(1): 153-159.
Bu H., Wang F., McShea W.J., Lu Z., Wang D.* &, Li S.* Spatial Co-occurrence and Activity Patterns of Mesocarnivores in the Temperate Forest of SW China. PLoS One 11(10): e0164271.
Bu H., Hopkins III J.B., Zhang D., Li S., Wang R., Yao M. & Wang D. An Evaluation of Hair-snaring Devices for Small-bodied Carnivores in Southwest China. Journal of Mammalogy 97: 589-598.
Xiong M., Shao X., Long Y., Bu H., Zhang D., Wang D., Li S., Wang R. & Yao M. Molecular Analysis of Vertebrates and Plants in Scats of Leopard Cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) in Southwest China. Journal of Mammalogy 97: 1054-1064.
Shen X., Li S.*, Wang D. & Lu Z. Viable Contribution of Tibetan Sacred Mountains in Southwestern China to Forest Conservation. Conservation Biology. In Press.
Wang F., McShea W.J., Wang D. & Li S.* Shared Resources between Giant Panda and Sympatric Wild and Domestic Mammals. Biological Conservation 186: 319-325.
Guan T., Wang F., Li S.* & McShea W. J. Nature Reserve Requirements for Landscape-dependent Ungulates: the Case of Endangered Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) in Southwestern China. Biological Conservation 182: 63-71.
Malcolm K. D., McShea W. J., Garshelis D. L., Luo S., Van Deelen T. R., Liu F., Li S., Miao L., Wang D. & Brown J. L. Increased Stress in Asiatic Black Bears Relates to Food Limitation, Crop Raiding, and Foraging beyond Nature Reserve Boundaries in China. Global Ecology & Conservation 2: 267-276.
Wang F., McShea W.J., Wang D., Li S., Zhao Q, Wang H. & Lu Z. Evaluating Landscape Options for Corridor Restoration between Giant Panda Reserves. PLOS One 9(8): e105086.
Huang Z., Qi X., Garber P. A., Jin T., Guo S., Li S. & Li B. The Use of Camera Traps to Identify the Set of Scavengers Preying on the Carcass of a Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana). PLOS One 9(2): e87318.
Li S.*, Wang D., Xiao Z., Li X., Wang T., Feng L. & Wang Y. Camera-Trapping in Wildlife Research and Conservation in China: Review and Outlook. Biodiversity Science 22(6): 685-695. (invited review. in Chinese with English abstract)
Li S.*, Zhang X., Chen P., Wang J., Xiang D., Dong W., Zhang X., He B., Sun R., Zhao N. & Wang D. The Community Structure and Evelvational Patterns of Forest Ungulates at the Southern Slope of the Qinling Mountains, China. Chinese Journal of Zoology 49(5): 633-643. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Li S.*, Chen L. & Chen W. 2014. First Report on the Nest and Nesting Habitat of Rare Rusty-throated Parrotbill Paradoxornis przewalskii, China. Chinese Journal of Zoology 49(3): 435-437. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Xiao Z., Li X., Wang X., Zhou Q., Quan R., Shen X. & Li S. Developing Camera-trapping Protocols for Wildlife Monitoring in Chinese Forests. Biodiversity Science. 22(6): 704-711. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Wen C., Hang D., Li S., Shen X., Chen W., Wang H., Zhu X., Xiao L., Liu M. & Lu Z. The Community Structure of Birds at Yanyuan, Peking University. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis (ASNUP) 50(3): 416-428. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Powell D., Speeg B., Li S., Blumer E. & McShea W. An Ethogram and Activity Budget of Captive Sichuan Takin (Budorcas taxicolor tibetana) with Comparisons to Other Bovidae. Mammalia 77(4): 391-401.
Guan T., Ge B., McShea W. J., Li S., & Song Y. & Stewart C. Seasonal Migration by A Large Forest Ungulate: A Study on Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) in Sichuan Province, China. European Journal of Wildlife Research 59: 81-91.
Liu F., Li S. & Li D. The review of methods for mapping species spatial distribution using presence/absence data. Acta Ecologica Sinica 33(22): 7047-7057. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Wang D., Li S., Jin T. & Shao L. How Important is Meat in the Diet of Giant Pandas, the Most Herbivorous Bear? International Bear News 21: 7-9.
Li S.*, McShea W. J, Wang D., Huang J. & Shao L. A Direct Comparison of Camera-trapping and Sign Transects for Monitoring Wildlife in a Giant Panda Reserve, China. Wildlife Society Bulletin 36: 538-545.
Li S.*, McShea W. J., Wang D., Lu Z. & Gu X. Gauging the Impact of Management Expertise on the Distribution of Large Mammals Across Protected Areas. Diversity and Distributions 18: 1166-1176.
Guan T., Ge B., McShea W. J., Powell D., Li S., & Song Y. Does a Temperate Ungulate that Breeds in Summer Exhibit Rut-induced Hypophagia? Analysis of Time Budgets of Male Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) in Sichuan, China. Behavioural Processes 89: 286-291.
Shen X., Li S., Nyima, Li S. Z., McShea W. J. & Lu Z. Does Science Replace Traditions? Correlates between Traditional Tibetan Culture and Local Bird Diversity in Southwest China. Biological Conservation 145: 160-170.
Li M., Li S.*, Wang D., McShea W. J., Guan T. & Chen L. The Daily Activity Patterns of Takin Budorcas taxicolor in Winter and Spring at Tangjiahe Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province. Sichuan Journal of Zoology 30: 850-855. (in Chinese with English abstract)
Li S.*, Wang D., Gu X. & McShea W. J. Beyond Pandas, the Need for A Standardized Monitoring Protocol for Large Mammals in Chinese Nature Reserves. Biodiversity and Conservation 19: 3195-3206.
Li S.*, Wang D., Lu Z. & McShea W. J. Cats Living with Pandas: the Status of Wild Felids within Giant Panda Range, China. Cat News 52: 20-23.
Li S.*, McShea W. J., Wang D., Shao L. & Shi X. The Use of Infrared-triggered Cameras for Surveying Phasianids in Sichuan Province, China. IBIS 152: 299-309.
Wang D., Li S., Sun S., Wang H., Chen A., Li S. Z., Li J. & Lu Z. Turning Earthquake Disaster into Long-term Benefits for the Panda. Conservation Biology 22: 1356-1360.
Garshelis D. L., Wang H., Wang D., Zhu X., Li S. & McShea W. J. Do Revised Giant Panda Population Estimates Aid in Their Conservation? Ursus 19: 168-176.
Wang D., Li S., McShea W. J. & Li M. Use of Remote-trip Cameras for Wildlife Surveys and Evaluating the Effectiveness of Conservation Activities at a Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, China. Environmental Management 38: 942-951.