Biodiversity and Ecology in Yunnan 15hp

The course focuses on factors and processes that influence biological diversity. Why are some areas ”biodiversity hotspots” and how to use resources in a sustainable way? Is ecotourism a good alternative to manage and utilize the biological heritage? These questions, and ecology in tropical environments, will be studied by means of a field course to one of the world’s most biodiverse areas: Yunnan in southwestern China.

Course content

The theoretical course take place in Uppsala before the field course, includes lectures and seminars that will cover among other things: definition of biodiversity, speciation, tropical ecology, ethno biology, quantative and qualitative research techniques, history and culture of China, ecotourism, rubber plantations, plants/insects/birds/other animals in Yunnan etc.The course is in Period 1 of the spring semester, January 21 - March 25.

The field course (3 weeks) take place from the middle of February to the beginning of March, and includes three optional days in Beijing (see below)

Kunming (A): Meeting with researchers and students. Visit to paleontological collections. Excursion to Xi Shan

Xishuangbanna (B): Excursions to different types of forests and reserves in the area. Seminar with local conservation agency. Field work in XTBG

Gaoligongshan (C): Visit to field station. Excursions in mountainous forests

Dali (D): Excursion in mountainous forest. Visit to pagodas and old town.

Back in Uppsala: (1,5 weeks) preparation for final poster session, where the three main course assignments are presented: a) Flora and fauna of Yunnan, b) An ecological field project and c) Man and the environment.


The course involves a cost paid by the student of SEK 16 000. This includes flights Arlanda-Beijing-Kunming and back, local transportation in China, hotels, local guides and experts, visa costs and insurance. It does not includes vaccination and food. We also offer an optional 3 days stop in Beijing, including a visit to the Great Wall of China, for an additional  SEK 1500 (including hotel and transport to the Wall).