Shoudong Zhang

I am a PhD candidate at Fudan University (FDU), China, and University of Groningen (RUG), The Netherlands. Under the supervision of Profs. Ma Zhijun (FDU) and Theunis Piersma (RUG), I conduct my fieldwork in the Yalujiang coastal wetland, China. I mainly focus on the stopover ecology of Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway (EAAF).

When I finished undergraduate school at Shandong University (SDU) in 2012, and I entered Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in the same year. During my postgraduate study, my topic was ‘Study on the characteristics of the Food choice and Food utilization of plateau zokors (Eospalax baileyi)’. I received my Master degree in 2015.

I started my PhD research at Fudan University in the same year, this is my first time for shorebirds research. Since I had limited knowledge of shorebirds at that time, I participated in expedition of AWSG in Broome, NW Australlia, in the spring of 2016 as a volunteer.


In Roebuck Bay, Broome. Photo: Qingquan Bai

The Yalujiang coastal wetland is one of the most important staging sites along the EAAF, the food condition of shorebirds (especially Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots) have dramatically declined from 2013. I try to investigate how Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots response to the food decline by sampling benthic prey, observing the behavior of shorebirds, and studying the size of the gizzard, and how benthos and shorebirds affect each other in this area through benthic mapping and bird mapping. My PhD project is funded by the Natural Science Foundation (China). In 2017, I received additional funds from the China Scholarship Council, to study at NIOZ as a joint-training PhD candidate.

photo by Yueyu Liang

Shoudong with David Melville in Yalujiang, China. Photo: Yueyu Liang

Profile photo: Qingquan Bai