Yingjie Li

Yingjie Li

Postdoctoral Scholar

Stanford University


Yingjie is a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University, where he is dedicated to advancing cutting-edge science connecting nature exposure to human health and developing open-source tools for informing urban planning and public health policy. As an interdisciplinary scholar, Yingjie has broad interests in ecosystem service flows, international trade, and land-food-energy-water nexus. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Science & Policy, as well as Fisheries and Wildlife, from the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University, where he studied how telecouplings shape global sustainability and impact nations’ progress toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • Urban Nature and Health
  • Environmental Footprints
  • Sustainability
  • SDGs
  • Telecoupling
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Remote Sensing
  • Social Sensing
  • PhD in Environmental Science & Policy (dual major), 2017 - 2022

    Michigan State University

  • PhD in Fisheries and Wildlife, 2017 - 2022

    Michigan State University

  • MS in Geography, 2014 - 2017

    Shaanxi Normal University

  • BSc in Land Resource Management, 2010 - 2014

    Hunan Normal University


Stanford University
Postdoctoral scholar
Sep 2022 – Present Stanford, California
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Young Scientist
Jun 2021 – Sep 2021 Laxenburg, Austria
Future Earth Coasts
Jul 2021 – Present
Michigan State University
Research Assistant
Aug 2017 – May 2022 East Lansing, Michigan


Remote Sensing
Geospatial Analysis
Google Earth Engine

Selected Publications

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Assessing progress towards sustainable development over space and time
This study suggests the need to track the spatio-temporal dynamics of progress towards SDGs at the global level and in other nations.


Thrive Nature and People in Cities
Over half of humanity lives in cities. Nature-deprived urban lifestyles increase already massive health burdens and risks. This project aims to reveal where and how nature provides greatest benefits to people, and what actions need to take to enhance urban nature and improve health, equity, livability, and sustainability of cities.
Interlinked Global Coasts
Summary Spreading hypoxic dead zones in the global coasts increasingly threatens marine ecosystem health and essential ecosystem services (e.g., fisheries, aquaculture, and recreation). Intensive agriculture to meet increasing needs is recognized as one of the major causes for growing dead zones in the Gulf.
Metacouplings and SDGs
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Metacoupling Science - Interdisciplinary Frontiers and Global Applications
Teaching assistant & Guest Lecturer
Jan 2021 – May 2021 East Lansing, Michigan