Science Directorate, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, London
Co-Director of MSc Programmes and Researcher (2021-present)

Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia
Affiliated Researcher (2021-present)

Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia
Senior Lecturer (2012-2021)

Laboratory of Tropical Ecology, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic
Visiting Fellow (2012)

Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, UK
Postdoctoral Researcher (2011-2012)

Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK
Affiliated Postdoctoral Researcher (2011-2013)


2022 – present  PGCAP (Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice) Queen Mary University of London, UK

2007 – 2011      PhD (Zoology) Insect Ecology Group, University Museum of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK

2004 – 2007      MSc (Conservation Biology) Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah

2000 – 2004      BSc (Conservation Biology) School of Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sabah  2nd Class Upper (3.10)


July 2012 – present         Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia

Exploring responses of animal and plant communities to gradients of altitude and anthropogenic habitat degradation. Including investigation of vertical stratification of ant communities with logging, fragmentation and conversion to oil palm of rain forest, and of altitudinal stratification of ants and associated nutrient redistribution rates. Running my own research group, including generation of new research directions, securing of funding, recruitment of new staff members, management of group finances and supervision of students.

July 2011 – July 2012      Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, UK

Postdoctoral researcher. Conducting research on canopy and leaf litter ant communities in fragmented and converted forest landscapes in Sabah, Malaysia. Research is carried out in collaboration with the SAFE (Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystem) Project.

May 2007 – May 2011     Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK

PhD research investigating community structures of ants in the high canopy of tropical rainforest using a range of approaches including field collections, laboratory based manipulative experiments and developing new methods of sampling invertebrates from the canopy. Acquired expertise in SE Asian ant taxonomy.

Sept 2004 – Apr 2007     Inst. Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah

Two and a half year MSc project investigating the ecology and conservation value of small mammal fauna in peat swamp forest. Acquired experience in building an independent research project and further skills in small mammals taxonomy.

Feb 2004 – May 2004     Danum Valley Conservation Area, Yayasan Sabah

As part of two months of industrial training for the completion of undergraduate requirements. Gained experience in designing a database for Birds of Danum Valley Conservation Area. Also helped with ongoing research of forest regeneration and restoration in the Ulu Segama Forest Reserve.

May 2000 – Nov 2003     School of Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sabah

Undergraduate research project assessing the small mammal fauna of the Crocker Range. Investigated small mammal distribution and diversity along altitudinal gradients of montane forest. Acquired skills in small mammal taxonomy.


See main “Publications” webpage


Do entomopathogenic fungi drive arthropod diversity gradients via host negative density dependence? (2021-2023) Czech Science Foundation (GACR) Standard Grant (External collaborator; £336,000)

Impacts of experimental forest fragmentation and land use change on ant communities in tropical rainforest (2019-2021). Universiti Malaysia Sabah, UMSGReat Grant (Principal Investigator; £2600)

Investigating the impact of climber cutting on ant community assemblages in secondary forests (2019-2021) Universiti Malaysia Sabah, UMSGReat Grant (Principal Investigator; £1700)

Incorporating weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) into oil palm plantation integrated pest management to improve ongoing plantation sustainability (2019-2021) Universiti Malaysia Sabah SKIM DANA NIC Grant (Principal Investigator; £14,900)

Ant-mediated seed dispersal in Bornean rainforests (2019-2020) Fulbright Program, US Fulbright Student Researcher grant (Supervisor; £11,100)

Persistence of Crematogaster-Macaranga mutualistic relationships along altitudinal gradients in Crocker Range, Sabah, Malaysia (2016-2018) Universiti Malaysia Sabah, UMSGReat Grant (Principal Investigator; £1700)

Assessment of entotourism potential and promotion in Tawau Hills Park (2016-2018) Universiti Malaysia Sabah, UMSGReat Grant (Team member; £2500)

The impacts of tropical forest degradation and fragmentation on ant-plant mutualisms, and consequences for plant community dynamics (2016-2018) Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GACR) Standard Grant (External collaborator; £370,000)

Tropical rainforest degradation, networks of ant-plant mutualisms, and forest regeneration (2014-2017) Malaysian Department of Higher Education, Fundamental Research Grant (Principal Investigator; £17,000)

Ecosystem quality and herbivore dynamics in tropical rainforests fragmented by deforestation (2014-2016) Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project grant (Research Associate; £211,000)

Changes in ant-mediated nutrient redistribution rate along an altitudinal gradient (2014-2015) Universiti Malaysia Sabah Research Grant Scheme (Principal Investigator; £1700)

How do changes in species interaction networks affect ecosystem function when tropical forests are degraded? (2014-2016) Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GACR) Standard Grant (External Collaborator; £246,000)

Center for Tropical Biology (2014-2018) Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GACR) Center of Excellence consortium grant (Key Collaborator; £3,104,000)


Presented work at international conferences in Cairns, Australia (2014), Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (2013), Birmingham, UK (2012), Bali, Indonesia (2010), Bangalore, India (2009), Zurich, Switzerland (2009). Assisted in hosting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine Mountbatten-Windsor) during their 2012 Asian and Pacific tour, including a ten-minute personal tour of the rainforest canopy suspended by ropes 40 m above the ground. Acted as assessor for Canopy Access Ltd. (2010). Presented case for continued funding for the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) project from Yayasan Sime Darby on behalf of the South East Asian Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP, 2020). Helped run a stand at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition in London (2007). Featured on television with the World News BBC and BBC Science/Nature News (2007) and Malaysian national television programme Galeri Perdana, RTM1 (2007). Helped organising Canopy workshop in UMS (2006) and statistics courses in Inst. of Tropical Biology and Conservation, University Malaysia Sabah (2005, 2006). Helped with IBISCA on canopy research in Queensland, Australia (2006, 2007). Helped with National Geographic documentary on ants in the canopy in Trang, Thailand (2007). Co-author of a key to the ant genera of Borneo, which is freely available online in English and Malay.


Handling editor for the journal Asian Myrmecology (2017-present). Reviewer for journals Biotropica, Asian Myrmecology, European Journal of Entomology.


Lecturing and tutoring for undergraduate modules Canopy Biology (2010-present), Biogeography (2012-2018), Biometry (2012-2014), Wildlife Management (2012-2013), and Ecology (2018-present)  at Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Supervised 29 final year undergraduate projects at Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Taught on Tropical Biology Association field courses in Danum Valley Field Centre, (2011, one week; 2017, ten days), University of Cambridge field course at Maliau Basin Studies Centre (2019, 14 days), Naturalis Biodiversity Centre (Netherlands) Tropical Biology MSc field course in Danau Girang field centre (2016, four days). Demonstrator for one year at School of Science and Technology for Conservation Biology course in UMS (2005). Tutor and teaching assistant on Statistics course in Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (2005-2006). Demonstrator on Evolution and Behaviour practicals for undergraduate course in University of Cambridge (2008 – 2010). Supervised third year undergraduate student project in Cambridge (2010). Taught canopy access in Danum Valley, Sabah (2008); Griffith University, Australia (2008); and York University, United Kingdom (2009).


Malay, English, Bajau, Chinese (Mandarin), Suluk.

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