Bachelor, Economics, Shanghai International Studies University
Ph.D., Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
Hongyan Gu joined the UNU Institute for Advanced Studies’ Biodiplomacy Initiative Programme as a JSPS-UNU Postdoctoral Fellow in September 2010, with an adjunct affiliation to Sophia University, Tokyo. Hongyan’s research interests lie in the intersection of environmental history, politics and sociology of knowledge. Her current research project explores the relationship between traditional forest-related knowledge and biodiversity conservation in southwest China — one of the world’s most biologically and culturally diverse areas. It aims to promote greater understanding of traditional knowledge with a view to reconciling the tension between development and environment.
Hongyan was born in Shanghai, China and received a Bachelor of Economics degree from Shanghai International Studies University in 2002. She then worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte in their Shanghai offices. During her work-related travels, Hongyan became acutely aware and interested in environmental issues in China and neighbouring East Asian countries. This motivated her to embark on doctoral studies at the Department of Government and International Relations in the University of Sydney. Her Ph.D. thesis examines the co-constitutive relationship between state-making and environmental knowledge-making in China and Japan. It was awarded the University of Sydney 2009 Best Social Sciences Ph.D. Prize. Her previous awards include Japan Foundation doctoral fellowship (affiliated with Nagoya University, 2007-2008) and Sasakawa Peace Foundation scholarship (2001). Hongyan is a native speaker of Mandarin and is fluent in English and Japanese.