Yan completed her bachelor degree in Environment Engineering in 2005 at Shenyang Agricultural University in China, followed by a master degree of Marine Chemistry at Dalian Maritime University in China in 2009. Yan joined QAEHS in 2012 working as a research assistant and participated in a wide range of research and consultancy projects. She started her PhD journey in 2016 working on assessing early-life exposure to organophosphate pesticides and pyrethroids for Australian and New Zealand general population.