In February 2014, Yang started his Ph.D. research as a member of the ERC project on land based institutions in China (www.recoland.eu), supervised by Prof. Peter Ho and Prof Meine Pieter van Dijk. His dissertation revolves around mining institutions and social conflicts induced by mining land expropriation, land subsidence, and adverse environmental impacts. For his research, he has conducted extensive fieldwork in China, including in-depth interviews with officials and activists, as well as supervising a team of undergraduate students on a national survey, and collaborating with a Dutch colleague with fieldwork on forest tenure in rural China. Yang obtained his bachelor degree in Sichuan University, China, and master degree in Engineering and Policy Analysis, TU Delft, the Netherlands. Yang was awarded full scholarships, covering both tuition fee and living expense, for both his bachelor and master studies. In between studies, he has worked as industry analyst and engineer for three years in Shanghai. In his spare time, he likes running, and finishes a full marathon and two half-marathon.