Puyang Li

Ph.D. Geography
TEMPE Campus

Student Information

Graduate Student
The College of Lib Arts & Sci


Puyang Li is a Ph.D. student in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at the Arizona State University. Trained as an interdisciplinary researcher, he is interested in China’s approaches and practices in African agricultural development and the sustainability implications for land changes and local impacts. Exploring the socioecological matrix – the links between environmental conservation and community development in particular – constitute the core essences of his research. He applies experimental, observational, participatory, and modeling approaches to test theories on coupled human-natural systems and sustainability. He has conducted empirical research on subsistence and biophysical systems in East Africa (Tanzania in particular). His most recent research project focuses on the impacts of China’s large-scale land transactions on food security, smallholder wellbeing, and ecosystem services in sub-Saharan Africa as well as their outreaching connections with broader systems that transcend spatiotemporal and institutional scales.


2010-2012 - Research Assistant, Department of Geography, Michigan State University

2010 - M.S. in Human Geography, Department of Urban/Reigonal Planning, Sun Yat-sen University

2006 - B.S. in Economic Geography,  Department of Urban/Reigonal Planning, Sun Yat-sen University

Research Interests

Land system science, land acquisition, human-environmental sciences, Africa


Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
GCU 350 The Geography of World Crises
GCU 351 Population Geography


Guest Lecture

GCU 432_Geography of China: Economic Geography of China Feb 2014
GCU 102_Geography of Food and Agriculture Oct 2015
GCU 102_Urbanization and Global Urban System Nov 2015
China Agricultural University May 2016
GCU 121_Physical Geography of China Oct 2017
ASU China Students & Scholars Union: Fieldwork in Africa Nov 2017

Conference presentation

2012 African Enclaves in a Globalizing City: the Case of Guangzhou, China - Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, New York City
2013 The Global South Relations and Power Balance: Chinese Farmers in Africa - Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA


2003 The Second-class SYSU Scholarship for Excellent Student
2004 The Third-class SYSU Scholarship for Excellent Student
2005 The First-class SYSU Scholarship for Excellent Student
2005 Scholarship Sponsored by Sumitomo Shoji Company LTD.
2006 1987 Economic Geography Scholarship for Excellent Student
2008 Graduate Scholarship of Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU)
2012 Travel Award of Graduate Office Fellowship for Pre-dissertation Research Graduate School, Michigan State University 

2015 M.G. Bailey Scholarship Award, Arizona State University (ASU)
2015 Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Travel Grant, ASU
2015 GPSA Fall 2015 JumpStart Grant
2016 GPSA Research Grant
2016 Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Travel Grant, ASU


Professional Associations

Association of American Geographers (AAG) 2011 - present

Geographical Society of China 2008 - present

American Geographical Society (AGS) 2015 - present

Work History

2006 - 2008 undergraduate advisor/consultant, School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University

Expertise Areas