Distinguished Professor Bai's research focuses on several frontiers of urban sustainability science and policy, including drivers and consequence of urbanisation, structure, function, processes, and evolution of urban socio-ecological systems, urban metabolism, urban sustainability experiments and transition, cities and climate change, and urban environmental policy and governance, and cross scale translations between planetary level boundaries and targets into cities.
Professor Bai has authored/co-authored over 100 publications, including several in Nature and Science. She served as a Lead Author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Global Energy Assessment, and is a Lead Author for IPBES Global Assessment and IPCC AR6.
She is a Fellow of Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia since 2017, and was named one of the World's 100 Most Influential People in Climate Change Policy in 2019. She is the 2018 Laureate of the Volvo Environment Prize, and the 2021 Global Economy Prize.