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About Lily Zeng

Lily Zeng

Lily Zeng is a Master’s student at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She received her BSc from Queen’s University in Environmental Biology, where she studied population genetics and biodiversity conservation before developing a strong interest in the role of religion in environmental issues. Her current research focuses on the ecological and cultural importance of sacred groves called “holy hills” protected by indigenous Dai people in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. She works with the Dai to probe interdisciplinary questions regarding the potential for holy hills to act as species refugia as well as the ways in which recent economic development affects the relationship between Dai people and their sacred landscapes. She will be continuing this research for her doctoral studies at Yale University.