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...


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...


Publications 11.05.14

We describe two new species of morphologically cryptic monitor lizards (genus Varanus) from the Philippine Archipelago: Varanus dalubhasa sp. nov. and V. bangonorum sp. nov. These two distinct evolutionary lineages are members of the V. salvator species complex, and historically have been considered conspecific with the widespread, northern Philippine V. marmoratus. However, the new species each share closer phylogenetic affinities with V....


Research 11.03.14

We provide the first report on the diversity of amphibians and reptiles of the northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range, northeast Luzon Island, Philippines. Based on new data from extensive previously unpublished surveys, fieldwork, and museum records we can tell that this region is quite diverse. At least 101 herp species are present and now well documented in this region (29 amphibians, 30...


Research 11.01.14

Adaptive radiations are the rapid accumulation of new species accompanied by adaptation to a diversity of habitats and environments that have specific requirements for habitation. This adaptation is typically observed through different corresponding physical changes. By broadly framing evolutionary radiations as the accumulation of both lineages and observable characteristics, comparisons among groups become focused not on the absolute number of lineages or...


News 10.02.14

Such a beautiful species, Hylarana luzonensis occurs in the northern Philippines. Due to continued loss of its primary habitats around pristine river and stream systems, this species appears to be threatened in certain regions of its distribution. Females of this species are considerably larger than males, with greatly expanded toe pads....


Publications 09.15.14

Despite rampant coastal development throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific, studies of conservation genetics and ecology of vulnerable, coastal species are rare. Large bodied vertebrates with highly specialized habitat requirements may be at particular risk of extinction due to habitat degradation and fragmentation, especially if these habitats are naturally patchily distributed, marginal, otherwise geographically limited, or associated in space with high human...


Publications 09.15.14

Aim To highlight the significant conservation challenge of evaluating peripheral endemic vertebrates in island archipelago systems and to assess empirically the complexities of approaches to conservation genetic studies across political and biogeographic boundaries. To demonstrate the poignant need for international collaboration and coordination when species delimitation problems with high conservation concern involve island endemics with biogeographically peripheral ranges. Location Southeast Asia, Lanyu...