Faculty

HWANG Wei Song

Instructor

Contact Information:

Department of Biological Science
National University of Singapore
14 Science Drive 4
Singapore 117543

6516 2720
6779 2486
dbshws@nus.edu.sg

Academic Qualifications

Ph.D. Entomology (UC Riverside)
B.Sc. (Hons), NUS

Teaching Modules

LSM1303 - Animal Behaviour
LSM1302/GEK1527 - Genes & Society
ULS2202 - Evolution

Research Areas

Systematic Entomology (Phylogenetics and Taxonomy of Insects),
Morphology, Behaviour and Molecular Evolution of Assassin Bugs (Reduviidae, Heteroptera)
Vector Ecology and Evolutionary Interactions between Insect Vectors and their Parasites

Research Interests

Southeast Asia encompass 4 of the 25 Biodiversity Hotspots of the world - areas with the highest amount of endemic species and also facing the greatest threat of extinction. This holds true especially for the insect fauna that has so far been poorly documented, with many waiting to be discovered. My research interest includes improving the taxonomic status of heteropteran insects with a focus on assassin bugs (Reduviidae) as well as gathering knowledge on their natural history in this region. Assassin bugs are one of the largest group of predatory insects (6,800 described species) with the highest species richness in the tropics. Southeast Asia contains some of the most enigmatic assassin bugs with unique predatory behaviour (e.g., ant/termite/millipede/blood specialist) and others with unknown feeding habits. My research focus on integrating morphological and ecological data with their underlying evolutionary history to reveal the biological factors that led to the successful diversification of this insect group.

Publications

  1. W.S. Hwang, C. Weirauch (2012) Evolutionary history of assassin bugs: insights from divergence dating and ancestral state reconstruction, PLoS ONE 7(9): e45523.

  2. B. A. Smith, C. Conlan, W.S. Hwang, C. Weirauch (2011) Polymerase Chain Reaction detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in suboptimally preserved vectors and comparative infection rates 2007-2010 in Escondido, South California, Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases 11(12):1603-1604.

  3. W.S. Hwang, G. Zhang, D. Maslov, C. Weirauch (2010) Infection rates of Triatoma protracta (Uhler) with Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas) in Southern California and molecular identification of trypanosomes. American Journal of Tropical Diseases and Hygiene 83(5):1020-1022.

  4. W.S. Hwang & C. Weirauch (2010) Revision of the Malagasy Durevius Villiers with descriptions of two new species (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Reduviinae). Insect Systematics and Evolution 41:123-141.

  5. G.S. Lim, W.S. Hwang, S. Kutty, R. Meier, P. Grootaert (2009) Mitochondrial and nuclear markers of Oriental species support the monophyly of Dolichopodidae and suggest a rapid origin of the subfamilies (Diptera: Empidoidea). Systematic Entomology 35(1):59-70.