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Hong Yang

Photograph of Hong Yang
  • Postgraduate research (PhD) supervision
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching
  • Research in air pollution, water pollution, carbon cycle, climate change and education for sustainable development (ESD)
  • Collaboration with Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST), China: Programme director of Reading-NUIST BSc GIS/Human and Physical Geography, Examination Officer of BSc Reading-NUIST Environmental Engineering
  • Co-Chair of the University BAME Network

Areas of interest

  • Air Pollution
  • Water Pollution
  • Carbon Cycle
  • Climate Change
  • Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
  • GIS and RS applications in Environmental Science
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Environmental Science and Geography

Postgraduate supervision

Hong currently supervises (lead-supervisors) the following PhD projects:

  • Henry Akinola: Air pollution in Lagos, Nigeria
  • Marta O’Brien: Air pollution at Reading schools
  • Isaac Ogundare: Household and Community Adaptation to Climate Change
  • Abdul Lebbie: Risk Assessment of Water Supply Infrastructure for Sustainable and Resilient Systems
  • Beth Gifford: Modelling the Unsaturated Flow Mechanics of Coarse Graded Gravels
  • Nick Aifuwa-Morgan: Assessing E-Waste Impact on Business Performance in Developing Countries

Hong is always looking for enthusiastic and professionally curious PhD students with an academic background in environmental pollution, water resource, climate change, biogeochemistry, RS, GIS, AI, or modelling. If you are interested in the areas mentioned above, please contact him

PhD scholarship can be found at Doctoral and Researcher College PhD Studentships.

Students from Reading or the surrounding area can apply for the Regional PhD Bursaries.

Students from Commonwealth Countries can apply for the Commonwealth Scholarship.

Students from China can apply for the China Scholarship Council and University of Reading PhD Scholarship.

Students from Islam countries can apply for the Islam Bank Scholarship.


If you have a PhD and are interested in an academic visit or postdoctoral fellowship, Hong is also happy to discuss and assist with the application for fellowships.

Research centres and groups

Research projects

Hong is currently leading the following projects (PIs):

  • Citizen Science Research for UN Sustainable Development Goals, NERC Discipline Hopping for Discovery Science, 2022-2023
  • Developing community-level policy to manage mould-affected homes under climate change, Research England, 2022-2023
  • Climate change, floods and mould risk, NERC Research Experience Placement Project, 2023
  • Climate Change Education for All, John Sykes Foundation and University of Reading, 2022-2023
  • Enhancing Authentic Assessment to Address the Challenges Posed by ChatGPT on Student Evaluation, Teaching and Learning Enhancement Project, 2023 - 2024
  • Students and staff partnership to decolonise a Geography and Environmental Science module and develop a decolonising curriculum toolkit, Partnerships in Learning & Teaching (PLanT) Project, 2022-2023
  • Promoting BAME staff career development and progression, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative Fund, 2022-2024
  • Carbon emissions and air quality simultaneous modelling using hybrid deep learning framework, Royal Society, 2022-2024
  • Real Time Wearable Air Quality Sensors for the Prevention and Management of Children’s Asthma, Health Innovation Partnership Project, 2022-2024
  • University campuses as living labs for Education for Sustainable Development, Teaching and Learning Enhancement Projects, University of Reading, 2022-2023
  • Integrating meteorological factors for better modelling urban air quality using mobile monitoring, NERC Research Experience Placement Project, 2022
  • Developing Community-Level Policy and Practice to Improve Air Quality at Schools, Research England, 2021-2022
  • World Class Laboratory Funding, UKRI, 2021
  • Citizen Science to Improve Air Quality at Schools in Reading, University Community Fund, John Sykes Foundation, University of Reading, 2022-2023
  • Ventilation, indoor air quality and people health in care homes, Breathing City Fund, UKRI, 2021-2023
  • Educational Hardware Hackathon to Foster Students’ Professional Skills, Teaching & Learning Innovation Funding, University of Reading, 2022
  • Decolonising the Geography and Environment Science Curriculum through Immersive Field Teaching outside Europe, Teaching and Learning Enhancement Projects, University of Reading, 2021-2022
  • Embedding Employability through Project-based Learning in Environmental Science and Geography, Teaching and Learning Enhancement Projects, University of Reading, 2020-2021
  • Water-energy-food nexus in Upstream of Mekong River in China, Universities’ China Committee in London, 2018-2019



Hong has published more than  200 papers in Nature, Science, PNAS, Science Advances, Nature Ecology and Evolution, Environmental Science & Technology and Water Research, with total citations of more than 7600 and H-index of  48.

For more information on Hong’s research, please see Hong’s

For more information on Hong's research, please see his personal website.

If you would like to collaborate with him or for the full text of papers, please contact him at

Selected publications

Earlier Publications

  • Yang, H., Ma, M., Thompson, J.R., Flower, R.J. (2017). Reform China’s fisheries subsidies. Science 356 (6345), 1343-1343.
  • Yang, H., Ma, M., Flower, R.J. (2017). Heritage status could safeguard fossil beds. Nature 546, 210-210.
  • Yang, H., Ma, M., Thompson. J.R., Flower, R.J. (2017). Protect coastal wetlands in China to save endangered migratory birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 114, 5491-5492.
  • Yang, H., Shen, X., Lai, L., Huang, X., Zhou, Y. (2017). Spatio-temporal variations of health costs caused by chemical fertilizer utilization in China from 1990 to 2012. Sustainability 9 (1505), DOI:10.3390/su9091505.
  • Zhao, S., Cong, D., He, K., Yang, H., Qin, Z., (2017). Spatial-Temporal Variation of Drought in China from 1982 to 2010 Based on a modified Temperature Vegetation Drought Index (mTVDI). Scientific Reports. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-17810-3
  • Yang, H., Xia, J., Flower, R.J. (2017). Locals embrace China nuclear project. Nature 542, 414 - 414.
  • Yang, H., Xia, J., Thompson, J., R, Flower, R., J. (2017). Urban construction and demolition waste and landfill failure in Shenzhen, China. Waste Management, 63, 393- 396.
  • Li, X., Zhao, S., Yang, H., Cong, D., Zhang Z. (2017). A Bi-Band Binary Mask Based Land-Use Change Detection Using Landsat 8 OLI Imagery. Sustainability, 9(3), 479, doi:10.3390/su9030479
  • Li J., Huang X., Yang H., Chuai X., Wu C. (2017). Convergence of carbon intensity in the Yangtze River Delta, China. Habitat International 60, 58-68.
  • Zhu, X., Ma, M., Yang, H., Ge, W. (2017). Modeling the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Gross Domestic Product in China Using Extended Temporal Coverage Nighttime Light Data. Remote Sensing 9 (626), doi:10.3390/rs9060626
  • Hu, M., Sayama, T., Zhang, X., Tanaka, K., Takara, K., Yang, H. (2017). Evaluation of low impact development approach for mitigating flood inundation at a watershed scale in China. Journal of Environmental Management 193, 430-438.
  • Hirsch, P.E., Eloranta, A.P., Amundsen, P.-A., Brabrand, Å., Charmasson, J., Helland, I.P., Power, M., Sánchez -Hernánde z, J., Sandlund, O.T., Sauterleute, J.F., Skoglund, S., Ugedal, O., Yang, H. (2017) Effects of water level regulation in alpine hydropower reservoirs: An ecosystem perspective with a special emphasis on fish. Hydrobiologia 794, 287-301.
  • Yang, H., (2016) China’s soil plan needs strong support. Nature 536, 375-375.
  • Yang, H., Huang, X., Thompson, J.R., Bright, R.M., Astrup, R. (2016). The crushing weight of urban waste. Science 351 (6274), 674-674.
  • Yang, H., Clarke, J.L., Thompson, J.R., (2016). Nuclear energy: Improve collaboration, Science 353, 1107-1107.
  • Lai, L., Huang, X., Yang, H., Chuai, X., Zhang, M., Zhong, T., Chen, Z., Chen, Y., Wang, X., Thompson, J. R. (2016). Carbon emissions from land-use change and management in China between 1990 and 2010. Science Advances 2, (11), e1601063. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601063
  • Yang, H., Huang, X. J., Thompson, J. R., Flower, R. J. (2016). Chinese landfill collapse: urban waste and human health. Lancet Global Health 4, e452.
  • Yang, H., Flower, R.J., Huang, X., (2016). Brexit threatens China collaboration, Nature 537, 167-167.
  • Li, J., Huang, X., Yang, H., Chuai, X., Li, Y., Qu, J., Zhang, Z., (2016). Situation and determinants of household carbon emissions in Northwest China, Habitat International 51, 178-187.
  • Li, N., Yang, H., Wang, L., Huang, X., Zeng, C., Wu, H., Ma, X., Song, X., and Wei, Y., (2016). Optimization of industry structure based on water environmental carrying capacity in Huai River Basin within Shandong Province, China. Journal of Cleaner Production. 112, 4594–4604.
  • Yang, H., Andersen, T., Dörsch, P., Tominaga, K., Thrane, J.E., Hessen, D.O. (2015) Greenhouse gas metabolism in Nordic boreal lakes. Biogeochemistry 126, 211-225.
  • Yang H., Thompson J. R., Flower R. J. (2015). Olympics will make water scarcity worse. Nature 525, 455-455.
  • Yang, H., Thompson, J.R., Flower. R.J. (2015). Improve oversight of  fracking  in  China. Nature 522, 34-34.
  • Yang, H., Huang, X., Thompson, J. R., Flower, R. J. (2015). Enforcement key to China's environment. Science, 347, 834-835.
  • Yang,  H.,  Huang,  X.,  Thompson,  J.  R.,  (2015). Biochar:  pros  must  outweight  cons. Nature, 518: 483-483.
  • Yang, H., Huang, X., Yang, Q., Tu, J., Li, S., Yang, D., Xia, H., Flower, R.J., Thompson, J.R. (2015). Water requirements for shale gas fracking in Fuling, Chongqing, Southwest China. Energy Procedia, 76, 106-112.
  • Wu, C., Huang, X., Yang, H., Lu, Q., Xu, G., Li, L., Li, J. (2015). Embodied carbon emissions of foreign trade under the global financial crisis: A case study of Jiangsu province, China. Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy 7 (043110), 1-19.
  • Zhang, M., Huang, X., Chuai, X., Yang, H., Lai, L., Tan. J. (2015). Impact of land use type conversion on carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems of China: A spatial-temporal perspective. Scientific Reports 5, 1-13. DOI:10.1038/srep10233
  • Lu, Q., Yang, H., Huang, X., Chuai, X., Wu, C. (2015). Multi-sector decomposition in decoupling industrial growth from carbon emissions in the developed Jiangsu Province, China. Energy, 82:414-425.
  • Liu J., Kattel G., Arp H. P. H., Yang H. (2015). Towards threshold-based management of freshwater ecosystem in the context of climate change. Ecological Modelling. 318: 265- 274.
  • Yang, H., (2014). China must continue the momentum of green law. Nature, 509, 535- 535.
  • Yang, H., Huang, X., Thompson, J. R., Flower, R. J. (2014), Soil pollution: urban brownfields, Science, 344, 691-692.
  • Yang, H., Thompson, J. R., Flower, R. J. (2014). Earthshaking energy development plans. Science, 346, 710-711.
  • Yang, H., Thompson, J. R. (2014). Shale gas is a fraught solution to emissions. Nature, 513, 315-315.
  • Yang, H., Huang, X., Thompson, J. R. (2014). Tackle pollution from solar panels. Nature, 509, 563-563.
  • Bain R., Cronk R., Hossain R., Bonjour S., Onda K., Wright J., Yang H., Slaymaker T., Hunter P., Prüss-Ustün A., Bartram, J. (2014). Global assessment of exposure to faecal contamination through drinking water based on a systematic review. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 19(8): 917-927.
  • Liu Y, Huang X., Yang H., Zhong T. (2014). Environmental effects of land-use/cover change caused by urbanization and policies in Southwest China karst area - A case study of Guiyang. Habitat International. 44. 339-348.
  • Bain R., Cronk R., Wright J., Yang H., Slaymaker T., Bartram J. (2014). Fecal contamination of drinking-water in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Medicine, 11, e1001644.
  • Battarbee R.W., Simpson G.L., Shilland E.M., Flower R.J., Kreiser, A., Yang, H., Clarke, G. (2014). Recovery of UK lakes from acidification: An assessment using combined palaeoecological and contemporary diatom assemblage data. Ecological Indicators, 37, 365-380.
  • Yang,  H., Flower,  R.  J., Thompson,  J.  R. (2013). Sustaining  China's   water   resource. Science, 339, 141-141.
  • Yang,  H., Flower,  R.  J., Thompson,  J.  R. (2013). Shale  gas:  pollution  fears  in  China. Nature, 499, 154-154.
  • Yang, H., Wright, J.A., Bain, R.E.S., Pedley, S., Elliott, J., Gundry, S. (2013). Accuracy of the H2S test: a systematic review of the influence of bacterial density and samplevolume. Journal of Water and Health, 11(2), 173-185.
  • Yang, H., Flower, R. J., Thompson, J. R. (2013). Shale-gas plans threaten China's water resources. Science, 340, 1288-1288.
  • Yang, H., Bain, R. E. S., Bartram, J., Gundry, S., Pedley, S., Wright, J. A. (2013). Water safety and  inequality  in  access  to  drinking-water  between  rich  and  poor  households. Environmental Science & Technology, 47, 1222-1230.
  • Yang, H., Flower, R. J., Thompson, J. R. (2013). China's  new  leaders  offer  great  hope. Nature, 493, 163-163.
  • Yang, H., Flower, R. J., Thompson, J.R. (2012). Rural factories won’t fix Chinese pollution. Nature, 490. 342-343.
  • Yang, H., Wright, J.A., Gundry, S.W. (2012). Improving  access  to  sanitation  in  China. Nature, 488.32-32.
  • Yang, H., Xie, P., Ni, L., Flower, R. J. (2012). Pollution in the Yangtze. Science, 337, 410-410.
  • Yang, H., Wright, J.A., Gundry, S.W. (2012). Boost water safety in rural China. Nature, 484, 318-318.
  • Yang, H., Flower, R. J. (2012). Potentially massive greenhouse-gas sources in proposed tropical dams. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10: 234–235.
  • Wright, J.A., Cronin, A., Okotto-Okotto, J., Yang, H., Pedley, S., Gundry, S. (2012). A spatial analysis of pit latrine density and groundwater source contamination. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185: 4261-4272.
  • Wright, J. A., Yang, H., Rivett, U., Gundry, S. W. (2012). Public perception of drinking water safety in South Africa 2002-2009: a repeated cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 12, 556 (2012). doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-556
  • Yang, H., Flower, R. J. (2012). Effects of light and substrate on the benthic diatoms in an oligotrophic lake: a comparison between natural and artificial substrates. Journal of Phycology, 48. 1166-1177.
  • Bain, R.E.S., Gundry, S.W., Wright, J. A., Yang, H., Pedley, S., Bartram, J.K., (2012). Accounting for water quality in monitoring the Millennium Development Goal on access to safe drinking-water: lessons from five countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 90, 228-235.
  • Wright, J.A., Yang, H., Walker, K. (2012). Do international surveys and censuses exhibit ‘dry season’ bias? Population, Space and Place, 18, 116-126.
  • Wright, J.A., Yang, H., Walker, K., Pedley, S., Elliott, J., Gundry, S.W. (2012). The H2Stest versus standard indicator bacteria tests for faecal contamination of water: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 17, 94-105.
  • Yang, H., Wright, J.A., Gundry, S. (2012). Household water treatment in China. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 86, 554-555.
  • Yang, H., Xie, P., Ni, L., Flower, R.J. (2011). Underestimation of CH4 emission fromfreshwater lakes in China. Environmental Science & Technology, 45, 4203-4204.
  • Yang, H., Flower, R.J., Battarbee, R.W. (2010). An improved coverslip method for analysing epipelic diatom. European Journal of Phycology, 45, 191-199.
  • Yang, H., Flower, R.J., Battarbee, R.W. (2009). Influence of environmental and spatial variables on the distribution of surface sediment diatoms in an upland loch, Scotland. Acta Botanica Croatica. 68, 367-380.
  • Yang, H., Flower, R. J. (2009). A portable hand-operated sampler for shallow water surface sediments with special reference to epipelic communities. Journal of Paleolimnology, 42, 317-324.
  • Yang, H., Xing, Y., Xie, P., Ni, L., Rong, K. (2008). Carbon source/sink function of a subtropical, eutrophic lake determined from an overall mass balance and a gas exchange and carbon burial balance. Environmental Pollution 151, 559-568.
  • Xing, Y.P., Xie, P., Yang, H., Wu, A.P., Ni, L.Y. (2006). The change of gaseous carbon fluxes following the switch of dominant producers from macrophytes to algae in a shallow subtropical lake of China. Atmospheric Environment 40, 8034-8043.
  • Yi, C. L., Liu, H.F., Rose, N. L., Yang, H., Ni, L. Y., Xie, P. (2006). Sediment sources and the flood record from Wanghu Lake, in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River. Journal of Hydrology, 329: 568-576.
  • Zhang, M., Xie, P., Xu, J., Liu, B.Q., Yang, H. (2006). Spatiotemporal variations of internal P-loading and the related mechanisms in the large shallow Lake Chaohu.  Science in China Series D-Earth Sciences 49, 72-81.
  • Yang, H., Xie, P., Xing, Y.P., Ni, L.Y., Guo, H.T. (2005). Attenuation of photosynthetically available radiation by chlorophyll, chromophoric dissolved organic matter, and tripton in lake Donghu, China. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 20, 575-581.
  • Yang, H., Yi, C., Xie, P., Xing, Y., Ni, L. (2005). Sedimentation rates, nitrogen and phosphorus retentions in the largest urban Lake Donghu, China. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 267, 205-208.
  • Xing, Y.P., Xie, P., Yang, H., Ni, L., Wang, Y., Rong, K. (2005). Methane and carbon dioxide fluxes from a shallow hypereutrophic subtropical Lake in China. Atmospheric Environment 39, 5532-5540.
  • Xu, J., Xie, P., Zhang, M., Yang, H. (2005). Variation in stable isotope signatures of seston and a zooplanktivorous fish in a eutrophic Chinese lake. Hydrobiologia 541, 215- 220.
  • Xing, Y.P., Xie, P., Yang, H., Ni, L.Y., Wang, Y.S., Tang, W.H. (2004). Diel variation of methane fluxes in summer in a eutrophic subtropical lake in China. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 19, 639-644.


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