Yuzhou Du

Department of Landscape Architecture

PhD Student


Full contact details

Yuzhou Du
Department of Landscape Architecture
Arts Tower
Western Bank
S10 2TN

Global warming significantly changes our environment. For the UK urban landscape, plants previously introduced from China may no longer adapt to the UK urban environment. Yet as a biodiversity hot spot, rapidly changing topography in western China supports habitats from tropical to frigid zones that may still provide potential plants for the UK.

At present, the introduction of plants to the UK still follows the 19th-century method. A new methodology for determining potential plants for future UK urban environments is required to reduce the loss of blindly introducing. This methodology should broadly view the relationship between plants and their habitats. Multiple methods for analysing suitable environments for plants have been developed based on big data. Yet most of these methods are too complicated or too abstract for landscape practitioners. My research interest is to develop an easy-to-apply and relatively accurate model for landscape practitioners based on previous species distribution models developed for ecologists.

A field experiment is also essential. The future urban landscape requires less input with higher output, including aesthetics, ecology and mental health benefits. Naturalistic planting is one of the exploration directions. The idea of plant community and layers helps produce higher ecology and aesthetic benefits. Yet, an applicable artificial community is produced from a long-term experiment. The newly introduced plants should be tested in these communities to understand their adaptability and competablity in communities. The field experiment is my other research topic. My three-year field experiment will help me to understand the performance of the "potential plants" determined by the model I developed.

I also cooperate with other researchers to explore the public preference for my experiment plants and communities by new methods.


2013-2017 Bachelor Of Agriculture in Landscape Architecture, Nanjing Forestry University, China
2017-2019 MA Landscape Architecture, the University of Sheffield

Research interests

The effects of soil moisture and designed canopy structure on the fitness of Western Chinese herbaceous perennials in the UK

Research group


  • Professor James Hitchmough
  • Dr. Sally O'halloran
  • Dr. Joseph Claghorn
Teaching activities

LSC 6008 Maintaining Green Infrastructure, Graduate teaching assistant