My name is Catharina and my PhD was finished in August 2018 under the title “Ecology and Conservation of Amphibians on Mount Kinabalu” at National University of Singapore. I am originally a behavioural ecologist, but I am now geared more towards ecology. 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 data sets needed for amphibians for the kind of questions I have does not exist for Southeast Asia. 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. See the video below for some information about one of my projects.
I mainly use amphibians and tropical mountain systems for my research. Currently I work on community and co-occurrence 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. 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?
My work has so far been funded by the organisations below.