I am a PhD candidate of the University of Groningen (RuG), based at the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. My PhD research focuses on migratory shorebirds staging along the coasts of China. By sampling benthic prey of intertidal mudflats, and observing the behavior of shorebirds, I try to investigate the influence of long-term aquaculture on benthos communities, and how benthos and shorebirds affect each other in this area with enormous human disturbances (most importantly: land claim, aquaculture, and pollution). I am funded by the China Scholarship Council. All my research falls under the umbrella of Global Flyway Network, with support from Fudan university and Beijing Normal University.

I started to work on shorebirds in the spring of 2011, as a volunteer, helping to study the foraging behaviour of Great Knots in Yalu Jiang (Yellow Sea), one of the most important fueling sites for shorebirds in China. In autumn 2011, I started my Masters at Fudan University. Using radio tracking, I investigated the adjustment of migration schedules of Great Knots in the Yellow Sea area. Based on the banding data and re-sighting data, I also study on how Great Knots with different migratory strategies response to the habitat loss in the East Asian – Australasian Flyway. I start my PhD research in 2015, supervised by Theunis Piersma, with the help from a great team, to more comprehensively understand the utilization of the coastal wetlands of China by Great Knots and other shorebirds.

Profile photo: Qingquan Bai