MSc opportunity: Conservation of Megapodius cumingii [BurungTambun] on the Mantanani Islands, Sabah, Malaysia

MSc opportunity: Project Tambun

Project Tambun, a community project for the conservation of the Philippine megapode Megapodius cumingii [BurungTambun] on the Mantanani Islands, Sabah, Malaysia is proposed by the Sabah Society, Camps Borneo & Lord Cranbrook. See details in this document: Project Tambun MSc proposal.pdf

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This topic is suitable for the “Lady Yuen Peng McNeice Graduate Fellowship” at the National University of SIngpore, which is awarded to outstanding students keen to pursue research in the Southeast Asian Biodiversity. This award is open to Singapore Citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents and graduates of an Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) university.

Details of the award are available at NUS’ Faculty of Science webpage.

Please contact Professor Rudolf Meier of the Department of Biological Sciences if you are keen to apply for the Fellowship.


Andie Ang receives inaugural grant from the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund

Congratulations to Andie Ang on her award of the inaugural grant from the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund (WRSCF)!

Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund


Our intrepid monkey-chaser recently completed her Master’s thesis on the banded leaf monkeys in Singapore, after two  grueling years of following monkeys through swamps, forest vines and dense undergrowth.

Much of her results (including exclusive videoclips of monkeys going through their daily routines) can be found regularly updated here and the latest findings from her thesis on the reproduction and infant development of the monkeys are now available in the latest issue of Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

Banded Leaf Monkey Research@NUS


This WRSCF grant will support her continued efforts to investigate population changes and feeding ecology of the local population of banded leaf monkeys for an additional year. This will yield important information on their reproduction and genetics, which will help in their conservation in Singapore.

Way to go, Andie!

Huang Danwei secures a Young Explorers grant from National Geographic

Chou Loke Ming writes:

Danwei who is over at Scripps on the NUS-Overseas Graduate Scholarship was successful in securing a Young Explorers grant (US$5000)from the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration in support of his proposed project “Biogeography of the Faviidae family of hard corals in the Indo-Pacific.”

This will expand the research that he started on Singapore Faviidae and allow him to take a wider regional analysis. The funding is not large but coming from a prestigious institution, it does say something about the recognition that he is getting.”

His research abstract is as follows:

Huang Danwei

Corals in the family Faviidae are one of the most important hermatypic coral species in Indo-Pacific reefs, comprising the highest number of genera and, in some habitats, the greatest overall abundance. While other coral families have already been utilized for the study of large-scale marine biological processes, the taxonomy and phylogeny of the faviid species are still largely unresolved. Processes that generate biodiversity and the spatial distribution of coral reef organisms can be better understood by resolving their phylogeny at geographical scales.

From records of coral taxa in the Indo-Pacific, there are several regions that contain very high number of species, such as the waters surrounding the Philippines and the Great Barrier Reef. Separated by thousands of kilometers, each of these areas contains a mix of wide-ranging and localized species, necessitating a thorough examination of the faviid family’s distribution.

Field work will be carried out at the reefs of Japan, Philippines, Singapore and Australia, spanning the latitudinal range of the faviid corals. For each coral, photographic, skeletal and soft tissue samples will be collected for morphological and molecular analysis. The evolutionary relationships of various species will be identified. Findings from this study will address key questions in marine biogeography and further our understanding of speciation in the oceans. Potentially, results will contribute to conservation strategies in the region, as resource managers need to look beyond ecosystem-based management paradigms towards a more biogeographic approach in mitigating global reef degradation.

Links – Danwei @ SCRIPPS.