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The ups and downs of an intrepid scientist

By Hou Liqiang/Li Yingqing | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-16 11:19
Yang Xiaojun makes a bird specimen during a scientific expedition in Yunnan province in 2003. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A field researcher for 35 years, Yang Xiaojun has experienced some of Yunnan's wildest terrains

Field expeditions are a must for most scientists who study the protection of diverse environments. It's not unusual for them to trek over mountains and cross rivers to look for flora and fauna in sparsely populated areas.

The work sounds fascinating for those who like outdoor adventures. But the experiences of veteran field researcher Yang Xiaojun tell a very different story.

A researcher with the Kunming Institute of Zoology, an auxiliary of the China Academy of Sciences based in Yunnan's provincial capital, Yang embarked on his first field expedition only days after joining the institute in 1985.

In those days, what to eat and where to sleep while on an expedition in remote areas were major considerations. In addition to notebooks and telescopes he carried in his travel bag, Yang always took along supplies of brown sugar during his field trips in the 1980s and '90s.

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