Dr Tong Li

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Soi

School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability
Faculty of Science

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Soi

School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability
Faculty of Science


Dr. Li has been making noteworthy strides as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Queensland since June 2023, demonstrating his broad expertise in environmental science. His current research endeavors are focused on soil organic carbon, mentored by the university's esteemed soil research group.

His scholarly journey was rooted in Shandong University, where he acquired a Bachelor's degree in Soil Science (2011-2015). His intellectual curiosity drove him to the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he accomplished a Master's degree in Soil Ecology (2015-2018) and later a Ph.D. in 2022. Simultaneously, he pursued a second Ph.D. at Griffith University from 2020 to 2023. This rigorous academic pathway led him to a brief but enriching Postdoctoral tenure at the Technical University of Denmark from February to May 2023.

Dr. Li's research portfolio is a testament to his intellectual versatility and commitment. It encompasses a variety of critical environmental issues, ranging from sustainable livelihoods for pastoralists in grassland ecosystems to geospatial pattern analysis, grassland degradation management, soil organic carbon studies, and wood decay fungi and community ecology. He also excels in employing bibliometric/scientometric and machine learning analysis in ecological studies. With such a wide gamut of expertise, Dr. Li stands at the nexus of several environmental science disciplines, poised to make substantial contributions.

In recognition of his academic excellence, Dr. Li has earned prestigious accolades. He received the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad in 2021, ranking him among the top 500 worldwide. The following year, he was distinguished with the President's Award for Excellence from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, positioning him in the top 400 recipients.

Research Interests

  • Low cost carbon stock estimation using proximal and remote sensing
    One of my primary research interests lies in the integration of proximal and remote sensing technologies for cost-effective carbon stock estimation. Under the guidance of Dr. Yash, I am currently working on a national project that aims to utilize these cutting-edge techniques more accurately and efficiently measure carbon stocks. This project underscores my commitment to utilizing advanced remote sensing technology in ecological research, contributing to the broader goals of environmental sustainability and carbon management.
  • Sustainable Grassland Management
    Another focal point of my research revolves around sustainable grassland management, specifically addressing the issue of grassland degradation on the Tibetan Plateau. Through the integration of remote sensing data, statistical analysis, and questionnaire responses, I delve into the sustainable livelihoods of pastoralists in the heart of the Tibetan Plateau, the three-river headwater region. My research endeavors to systematically dissect spatial change characteristics and identify key influencing factors. The findings from this study hold immense potential to enhance the theoretical framework and practical applications of sustainable development management in pastoral areas. Hence, my research is not only academically stimulating but also carries significant implications for the betterment of sustainable practices within pastoral communities.
  • The application of machine learning and artificial intelligence for soil ecology study
    In my pursuit of uncovering trends in soil ecology, I harness the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence, amalgamating these advanced techniques with conventional scientometric tools. My expertise lies in conducting comprehensive analyses of the extensive body of soil/ecology literature. This approach allows me to effectively characterize emerging research trends, identify key thematic elements, and spotlight burgeoning hotspots of inquiry. Consequently, my work not only contributes to the advancement of the field but also aids fellow researchers in navigating the vast expanse of scholarly literature, thereby facilitating more targeted and impactful studies in soil ecology.

Research Impacts

Dr. Li's research impact in the fields of ecology and sustainability science is both substantial and continually expanding. This is clearly demonstrated by his successful publication of approximately 30 peer-reviewed articles over the past five years. Remarkably, more than half of these scholarly contributions were led by Dr. Li as the first author, showcasing not only his commitment to propelling knowledge in these critical areas but also his leadership and project management abilities. His publications span a vast array of subjects, ranging from sustainable livelihoods for pastoralists in grassland ecosystems to bibliometric/scientometric analysis, each one enriching the academic community's comprehension of vital environmental challenges. Furthermore, his focused research on soil organic carbon, geospatial pattern analysis, grassland degradation management, and wood decay fungi and community ecology has furnished valuable insights and pragmatic solutions to pressing issues pertaining to ecological health and sustainable development. The influence of Dr. Li's research to date is significant, and he remains devoted to furthering these critical fields of study in his current role as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Queensland.

Beyond his scholarly pursuits, Dr. Li also plays a pivotal role in the academic community. He serves as a reviewer for numerous esteemed scientific journals, including Land Use Policy, Ecological Indicators, Journal of Soils and Sediments, Environment Science and Pollution Research, and Environmental Science and Ecotechnology. Additionally, he is making strides as a youth Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Integrative Agriculture and Watershed Ecology and Environment, highlighting his professional engagement and leadership in the field.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of the Chinese Academy of Science


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Wang, Yanfen, Liu, Yali, Shan, Liwen, Du, Jianqing, Liu, Yuexian, Li, Tong and Cui, Xiaoyong (2024). Ecosystem Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in Drylands. Dryland Social-Ecological Systems in Changing Environments. (pp. 139-157) Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore. doi: 10.1007/978-981-99-9375-8_5

Journal Article