The Rolex Awards for Enterprise
Known internationally as one of China’s leading conservation biologists and most prominent authorities on biodiversity, Lu Zhi has spent the last two decades spearheading research on the complex sustainability issues that face the Chinese people as they struggle to live in balance with nature. “My ultimate goal is to have people know what we should really care about in our lives and what kind of lives we really want to live,” says Lu Zhi, who has been curious about the natural world since she was a child. Lu Zhi is considered a world expert on the giant panda, which she studied as part of her Ph.D in animal ecology and conservation at Peking University. From 1992 to 1995, she conducted research at the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. and later (2000–2002) was a fellow at the Harvard University Center for Population and Development and taught at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Today, she serves as a professor of conservation biology at Peking University where she is also executive director of the interdisciplinary Center for Nature and Society. In 2007, Dr Lu founded the Shan Shui Conservation Center, an NGO focusing on developing community-based, grassroots solutions to conservation in western China. In addition to her role as chief scientist for Shan Shui, Lu Zhi has led programmes for NGOs such as WWF and Conservation International, as well as conducting field projects on the snow leopard, Przewalski’s gazelle and Tibetan brown bear, along with the giant panda and other endangered species. An active participant at international conferences on conservation, Dr Lu has written and edited five books and dozens of articles, including a cover story in National Geographic, on the giant panda and conservation in China.
Published in 2014