Long Li was born in Northwestern Part of China and completed his undergraduate major in soil science and agrochemistry with a bachelor degree in agriculture (1984) and master degree in crop nutrition and fertilization major in agriculture (1996). He earned Ph.D degree majored in plant nutrition (1999) at the China Agricultural University (CAU) in Beijing, working on interspecific competition and facilitation in intercropping systems.
After his bachelor degree, he got positions in Institute of Soil and Fertilizer, Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (GSAAS), as a junior, afterwards a senior research scientist for15 years. After completion of his Ph.D, he did postdoctoral works at the University of Western Australia with Professor Zed Rengel and Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Science with Professor Peng An, working on nutrient utilization as affected by interspecific interactions between intercropped species. After two years of postdoctoral fellow, he was back in China Agricultural University, he was offered an Associate Professor in the University, and promoted to full Professor in 2002. He was once visiting scientist or visiting professor in the the University of Adelaide, Hannover University, Wageningen University and Research Center, the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and the University of Montana, USA.
Whenever he worked in GSAAS, Master degree, Ph.D, postdoc projects or research projects in CAU, around 30 years, he continuously worked on intercropping in terms of interspecific competition and facilitation on nutrients between crop species, overyielding, root distributions, rhizosphere processes, phosphorus mobilization, biological N2 fixation and soil fertility etc. There were more than 25 postgraduate (Ph.D and Master) students worked in these topics under his supervision after he joined CAU. He endeavored to combine the knowledge of agricultural intercropping into more broaden context in ecology, which targeted at more better understanding of intercropping systems. His teaching activities have been in the Biodiversity Science for undergraduate and postgraduate students for more than 10 years.