My name is Catharina and I submitted my PhD thesis in January 2018 under the title “Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians on Mount Kinabalu”. My Phd was conducted at National University of Singapore in the Theoretical Ecology and Modeling lab under Dr Ryan Chisholm, I was also co-supervised by Dr David Bickford. I am originally a behavioural ecologist, but I am now geared more towards the theoretical side of ecology. I work on existing modelling tools as well as developing new mathematical models to help in animal conservation. I enjoy statistics and playing around with coding. I still do a lot of fieldwork, or I would not have any data. The large scale datasets needed for the kind of questions I have does not exist for Southeast Asia at the current time for amphibians. I have spent most of the PhD trying to figure out how to get this data collected and ensuring that it is standardised so that it can be used across study sites.
I mainly use amphibians and tropical mountain systems for my research. Currently I work on community and co-occurence data and trying to assess why these change and what is a natural variation and what is not. Mountains present a special challenge, not only do they tend to hold a greater biodiversity and endemism, but they are inherently difficult to survey and collect data from. Tropical areas are also in dire need of extensive basic data collection (such as what species are where) needing to be done over the next few years, necessitating new approaches to be coupled with the old classical survey techniques. I thereby try to utilise technology and more automated techniques for data collection and work on standardisation of some of these techniques or how they compare to our classical methods. As I am currently based in Singapore this is an ideal location to try some of these out before we move testing of things like data relay from monitoring stations into more hard to reach areas. I am interested in why amphibian species are where they are? What other species are present and why and when does the amphibian community shift and is this due to the other species or variation in the environment around them?
I have a BSc Hons in Animal Behaviour and Ecology & Conservation from Anglia Ruskin University, an MRes in Ecology, systematics and conservation from Imperial College and a MSc in Ecology from Uppsala University. I am currently a red listing intern with IUCN working on newly described species from South Asia. I still work on a meta-analytic study on statistical power in conservation biology and I hope its an area that I can continue to work in. During my studies I have done work on Alpine Ibex in Italy, the systematics of Cameroon caecilians (British Natural History Museum), conservation genetics of a rare coastal European plant (Kew Gardens) and on malaria infections in the Collared Flycatcher. My full CV can be found here: KarlssonCV
My work has so far been funded by the following organisations: