Bingrun Zhu (Drew)

PhD student

I am a PhD candidate at Beijing Normal University (BNU), China, and University of Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands; under the supervision of Profs. Zhang Zhengwang (BNU) and Theunis Piersma (RUG). I conduct my fieldwork in Bohai Bay, and Huolin Gol, Inner Mongolia, China, and mainly focus on the migration & breeding ecology of Black-tailed Godwits in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway (EAAF).

When I finished undergraduate school in 2008 in my hometown Lanzhou, Gansu Province, I moved to Beijing, and worked during three years on shorebirds and wetlands conservation at the China office of Wetlands International. I worked toward understanding the needs of birds and managing their habitats accordingly. During this period bird watching also became part of my life. All of this encouraged me to take a step further and in 2011 I entered North-east Forestry University. During my postgraduate study, my topic was ‘Habitat selection of Eurasian Spoonbill in Hei Longjiang Province, China’. I received my master degree in Wetlands & Avian Ecology in 2014.

I started my PhD research at Beijing Normal University in the same year, and because I couldn’t wait until the new semester would begin, I joined my colleagues’ team as a helper, to gain field experience, meanwhile looking for a topic I was interested in. April 2014, I saw two Black-tailed Godwits with remarkably different body size foraging together, that was the moment I started to plan my PhD project on ‘Black-tailed Godwits in the EAAF’.

My Phd project is funded by National Air and Water Conservation Fund (National Geography) and the Natural Science Foundation (China). In 2016, I received additional funds from the China Scholarship Council, to study at RUG as a joint-training PhD candidate.