About the Lead Scientist: Dr. David Bickford



I am an evolutionary ecologist, a conservation biologist, and a tropical herpetologist. Dedicated to scientific exploration, inspired teaching, evocative research, and conservation of biodiversity, my lab and I strive to combine the four pursuits. My interests are broad but my personal research focuses on amphibians, their ecology and evolution, understanding adaptive radiations, and biogeography. I approach questions in an organismal and evolutionary context and use methods from behavioral ecology, comparative biology, and biological inventory and monitoring. I incorporate observations and experiments to answer behavioral and ecological questions in the field, model study organisms for environmental monitoring, and molecules to elucidate evolutionary relationships.

My current research deals with cryptic species in Southeast Asia, the latitudinal species gradient, the adaptive radiation of microhylid frogs from the Philippines to Australia (mostly on New Guinea), their parental care behaviors and feeding systems, global drivers of amphibian endangerment, and many other projects. My future plans branch into applied research in water quality, historical comparisons, and climate change.


Email me at: rokrok@nus.edu.sg



Supporting Staff


Morgany d/o Thamgavelu
Lab Technologist
Email: dbsmt@nus.edu.sg



I currently collaborate on a variety of projects with many scientists. Among these are cryptic speciation and regions of undescribed biodiversity in Southeast Asia (with Rudolf Meier, Peter Ng, David Lohman, and Navjot Sodhi), fragmentation and frog populations (with Ng Tze How, Qie Lan, Enoka Kudavidanage, Corey Bradshaw, and other international collaborators), the evolution of amphibian feeding systems (with Jim O’Reilly), microhylid frog phylogeny (with David Cannatella), drivers of amphibian extinction and decline (with Navjot Sodhi, Arvin Diesmos, Tien Ming Lee, Lian Pin Koh, Barry Brook, Cagan Sekerkioglu, and Corey Bradshaw), Co-related features of ecological characteristics of amphibians (with Thomas Wenger, Reid Tingley, Christina Romagosa, Fred Kraus, Ben Phillips and Richard Shine), frog population inventory and monitoring (with many local and regional collaborators), possible molecular explanations for the latitudinal species richness gradient (with Jeremy Brown), snake toxicology and evolution of venoms (with R. Manjunatha Kini and his lab), and tropical biodiversity surveys (with Djoko Iskandar and others). I also work with the labs of Rafe Brown, Jim McGuire, and David Gower to help detect and describe new species and complete the systematics and taxonomy of the herpetofauna of Southeast Asia.


photo from Raffles Museum News