Current / Past Research / Research By Category

Publications 01.09.15

We review the species of the Brachymeles bonitae Complex (B. bonitae and B. tridactylus) and describe an additional two new species in this highly specialized, limb-reduced, endemic Philippine clade of fossorial lizards. For more than 4 decades, B. bonitae has been recognized as a single ‘‘widespread’’ species, a perception that has persisted as a result of limited sampling and similar overall morphology...


Publications 12.21.14

Recent phylogenetic analysis of false geckos, genus Pseudogekko, revealed unrecognized diversity within these exceedingly rare and enigmatic Philippine forest geckos. Newly available genetic datasets revealed that two of the four currently recognized species are complexes of multiple, deeply divergent evolutionary lineages. In this paper we evaluate species diversity in the Pseudogekko compresicorpus Complex and describe three new species in this unique clade of endemic Philippine...


News 12.17.14

Lasting thoughts Overall, my summer expedition to the eastern Philippines reinforced my strong believe that it is imperative for the research and conservation communities to emphasize the importance of the Philippine rainforest to such an amazing diversity of life. As reported by Conservation International, “this country is one of the few nations that is, in its entirety, both a biodiversity hotspot and...


News 12.11.14

They all come out at night… In a tropical region, the lush jungle, hot and humid climate, and high volume of rain usually make for the most productive herpetological field surveys, or the best “herping” (searching for reptiles and amphibians). Some people go fishing in their free time, but us “crazy” amphibian and reptile people go herpin’. And some times, as in...


News 12.04.14

Let’s talk insects So I found myself in an incredible forest at the foot of Mt. Huraw in northern Samar Island (eastern Philippines). The price of beauty for this rarely seen primary and secondary growth forest in the country was definitely the climate and insects. It was either about 100 degrees with 99% humidity, or about 90 degrees with torrential, down-pouring rain...


News 11.28.14

Biodiversity Survey in the Philippines This summer, I was fortunate enough to join a team of international biologists and participate in a four-week biodiversity study on the island of Samar in the southeastern Philippines. This expedition was funded by an NSF RAPID grant and lead by the University of Kansas (KU; my alma mater), and the University of Oklahoma (OU), both of...


Research 10.06.14

While new species are always being discovered, it is very uncommon to discover a completely new species of large-bodied vertebrates. Most large vertebrates have been discovered because there are so few places for them to remain hidden, with all the exploration that people and scientists have performed. Every year, there are fewer and fewer uncharted regions. Because it is so difficult for...


Research 09.30.14

The Philippines have an incredible level of biodiversity and a great need for conservation. The islands’ amphibians are among the top priorities for vertebrate conservation. The vast majority of Philippines amphibians occur nowhere else in the world, and many are greatly limited in their geographic ranges. There are many secretive species that are poorly known to researchers. We have a poor understanding...


Research 09.22.14

Habitat destruction is a problem for all species, but it is especially detrimental to conservation efforts of large vertebrates with highly specialized habitats. Large-bodied sailfin lizards, which require lowland, costal and mangrove forests, have seen their suitable habitats shrink, leaving them with little area to live. In the past 75 years, degradation of the coastal forests and mangroves has lead to a...


Publications 09.12.11

Platymantis spelaeus is endemic to southern Negros Island, Philippines, and is one of four recognized species of Philippine limestone forest frogs. While conducting fieldwork in the Philippines, we observed newly metamorphosed juvenile Platymantis spelaeus inside a small cave system, 2–4 m from the entrance to the cave....