Professor Ph. D Fangdong Li is Director of Paulownia R&D Center of China, Chinese Academy of Forestry (Non-timber Forest R&D Center, CAF), Ph.D adviser of both CAF and Central South University of Forestry and Technology. His research fields fucused on new cultivar selection and high-yielding silviculture of non-timber forest trees, breeding population establishment and genetic improvement of Paulownia trees.
He has been incharged of implementations of more than 20 scientific projects from state level to provicinal level, including joint project funded by UNDP “Enhancing Paulownia research capacity”, national eighth five-year plan to elewenth five-year plan of science and technology support program of China, etc. in recent years, he became a project leader of twelfth five-year science and technology support program of China “Research and demonstration of key technology of high yielding of non-timber forest trees”. The budget of this project was 49 millions RMB Yuan. Tree species included Walnut, almond, apricot, persimmon, chestnut, jujube, etc.
He pioneered the introduction and selection of new cultivars of Apricot and plum interspecific hybrid, and registered 7 of them which filled the gap of this field in China. As a team lead, he selected more than 30 cultivars of Eucommia, kernel-apricot , and almond. In Paulownia breeding, he collected 300 genetic resources of Paulownia species, variants, variation types, provenence,etc.
He achieved 4 scientific awards, including one first prize awarded by Henan province, one second national , 16 national invented patents, 10 scientific fruits, and registered 22 cultivars. He published 60 papers (3 papers covered by SCI, 16 articles covered by EI ) and 3 books.