David is an evolutionary ecologist, a conservation biologist, and a tropical herpetologist. He grew up camping, canoeing, and backpacking in Minnesota - learning from being outside, observing the natural world, and appreciating the wonders of evolution and ecology from an early age. The Lab's interests are broad (and include a variety of animal taxa, methods, and systems) but his personal research focuses on amphibians and reptiles, their ecology and evolution, understanding diversity as well as the processes of diversification and extinction. While much research focuses on applications for conservation, the Bickford Lab approaches questions in an organismal and evolutionary perspective and uses methods from behavioral ecology, comparative biology, modeling, and biological inventory and monitoring to answer important questions.
Morgany d/o Thangavelu
Morgany is currently working as a Laboratory Technologist in the Department of Biological Sciences and holds a Diploma in Horticulture. She is interested in anything related to flora and fauna and enjoys helping out in the field.
Mary-Ruth was a former undergraduate in this lab and is currently a Research Assistant. Herpetologist by passion, her work involves radio-telemetry on snakes in Singapore.
Erica Sena Naves (Erica)
Erica works on understanding disease ecology. Her work focusses on identifying emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and finding mitigation strategies. EID's pose a significant public health challenge globally, with severe economic, social, and health consequences. The frequency of epidemics caused by newly emerging and re-emerging pathogens and the likelihood of rapid global spread have increased dramatically in recent decades, with Southeast Asia considered a hot spot for future emergence events. She uses a combination of field surveillance, ecological analysis, laboratory diagnostics, evolutionary genomics, bioinformatics, and predictive modeling and mapping to identify pathogens present in Singapore small mammals.
Fatma Gözde Çilingir (Gogo)
Gozde (Gogo) is mainly interested in molecular ecology and conservation genetics. She has studied various taxa such as European honey bees, Japanese macaques, fallow deer and brown bears so far and integrated field-based studies with lab-based ones. For her PhD she will be working on the conservation genetics of endangered freshwater turtles and tortoises endemic to Myanmar. She is also interested in the social science theory of conservation and development, which would be the critical aspect for moving toward more environmentally and socially sustainable projects and policies.
Koh Jun Min Joshua (Josh)
Josh is studying the ecology and impacts of the wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Singapore. Little is known about its role in our forests, how it affects the environment or about its current population numbers. It is a controversial topic as the wild boar population is a problem in Singapore. In June 2012, two wild boars were sighted in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in the morning; with one of them charging at a CISCO security officer and a child. The focus of my research will be to estimate the wild boar population size on Singapore, assess their impacts, determine if control measures are necessary and finally develop an effective control method.
Seshadri K S (Sesha)
Seshadri has been captivated by the sheer beauty and complexity of nature. His fascination of nature grew when he started out as a bird watcher. Since then, he has spent much of his time being in "the field" and observing nature. He has studied several ecological systems ranging from dragonflies to epiphytes in the tall forest canopies in the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot of India. In the recent past, his focus has been on amphibians and has been studying ecology, behavior and means to conserve frogs. For his doctoral thesis, he will be working on the ecology and behavior of bamboo nesting frogs in South Asia.
Co-supervised Graduate Students
Catharina Gallacher (Catharina)
Catharina decided early on in her career that she wanted to work with amphibians in the future. A lot of the species are rapidly declining or have a lot of information missing at the same time as this taxa have evolved very complex behaviours, habitat requirements and reproductive modes and this combination makes it fascinating taxa to study. Since her summer internship on statistical power in 2010 she also developed a thorough interest for statistics. This has now grown to include modelling. In her PhD she is pursuing various modelling techniques to try and answer questions relating to the ecology and conservation of amphibians with co-supervison of Ryan Chisholm.
Luke is a PhD candidate in Mo Donnelly's lab. He has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Hawaii, Hilo and has spent several years as a zoo keeper at Minnesota Sealife Aquarium and Omaha`s Henry Doorly Zoo, where he was involved in several ex-situ conservation projects. His dissertation research is an extension of his previous ex-situ amphibian conservation work. He is broadly interested in the long term effects of captivity on wildlife, illegal trade in herps, amphibian husbandry, and the conservation of extremely endangered species. He is currently involved in several projects involving the study of dispersal behavior of captive bred, reintroduced Wyoming toads (Anaxyrus baxteri), which are one of the world`s rarest and most endangered amphibians. In winter, he is based in our lab and is studying the dispersal behaviour of native frogs using radio telemetry. His work is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation EAPSI Fellowship, and other smaller grants. In his spare time, he shows off his amphibian wrestling skills--as can be seen from the above picture with a five foot Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus), his favorite amphibian!
Every year, several undergraduate students work in our lab towards completing their final year projects. You can know more about their work here