Environment and Ecology

Members: Dr. Robyn Wilson (adjunct), Dr. Holly Barclay, Dr. Foo Su Chern, Dr. Yek Sze Huei, Zoe

Our research focuses on tropical terrestrial and aquatic ecology. Our staff have expertise in ecosystem functioning of forests, streams and wetlands, peat swamp forests where staff and students are investigating nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. We are particularly interested in the role of applications of new genomics to tropical freshwater biology. We are using metagenomics to study tropical peat swamp microbes and DNA Barcodes to identify invertebrate taxa and to identify vertebrates using minimal samples such as water samples to identify fish. In addition, members of our group are investigating impacts of oil palm plantations on aquatic invertebrates and stream ecosystem function.

In regard to forests we are investigating the impact of habitat loss on the distribution and abundance of mammals and birds in peninsula Malaysia and Borneo; this includes identifying factors involved in their decline and methods of mitigation. Our current research is focused on hornbills and small carnivores, particularly otters.