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

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)


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

Continuing research on responses of animal 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.

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.


Lim H.Y., Gardner P.C., Abram N.K., Yusah K.M. & Goossens B. (2019) Identifying habitat and understanding movement resistance for the Endangered Bornean banteng Bos javanicus lowi in Sabah, Malaysia. Oryx online early [PDF]

Yusah K.M., Foster W.A., Reynolds G. & Fayle T.M. (2018) Ant mosaics in Bornean rain forest high canopy depend on spatial scale, time of day, and sampling method. PeerJ 6:e4231 [PDF]

Gibb H., Sanders N.J., Dunn R.R., Arnan X., Vasconcelos H.L., Donoso D.A., Andersen A.N., Silva R.R., Bishop T.R., Gomez C., Grossman B.F., Yusah K.M., Luke S.H., Pacheco R., Pearce-Duvet J., Retana J., Tista M. & Parr C.L. (2018) Habitat disturbance selects against both small and large species across varying climates Ecography 41: 1184-1193 [PDF]

Fayle T.M., Wanji, C, Turner E.C. & Yusah K.M. (2017) Living together in novel habitats: A review of land-use change impacts on mutualistic ant-plant symbioses in tropical forests. Chapter 3, pp 52-72. In Ant-Plant Interactions: Impacts of Humans on Terrestrial Ecosystems. Ed. Oliveira, P.S. & Koptur S. Cambridge University Press. [PDF]

Yusah K.M. & Foster W.A. (2016) Tree size and habitat complexity affect ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the high canopy of Bornean rain forest. Myrmecological News 23: 15-23 [PDF]

Fayle T.M., Eggleton P., Manica A., Yusah K.M. & Foster W.A. (2015) Experimentally testing and assessing the predictive power of species assembly rules for tropical canopy ants. Ecology Letters 18: 254-262 [PDF]

Ewers R.M., Boyle M.J.W., Gleave R., Plowman N.S., Benedick S., Bernard H., Bishop T.R., Bakhtiar E.Y., Chey V.K., Chung A.Y.C., Davies R.G., Edwards D.P., Eggleton P., Fayle T.M., Hardwick S.R., Homathevi H., Kitching R.L., Khoo M.S., Luke S.H., March J.J., Nilus R., Pfeifer M., Rao S.V., Sharp A.C. Snaddon J.L., Stork N.E., Struebig M.J., Wearn O.R., Yusah K.M., and Turner E.C. (2015) Logging cuts the functional contribution of invertebrates in tropical rainforest. Nature Communications 6: 6836 [PDF]

Fayle T.M., Edwards D.P., Foster W.A., Yusah K.M. & Turner E.C. (2015) An ant-plant by-product mutualism is robust to selective logging of rain forest and conversion to oil palm plantation. Oecologia 178: 441–450 [PDF]

Yusah K.M. & Fayle T. M. (2014) The first record of a fly of the family Milichiidae (Diptera) interacting with an ant of the genus Polyrhachis Smith, 1857 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e4168. [PDF]

Yusah, K. M., Turner, E. C., Yahya, B. E. & Fayle, T. M. (2012) An elevational gradient in litter-dwelling ant communities in Imbak Canyon, Sabah, Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation 9: 192-199. [PDF]

Yusah, K. M., Fayle, T. M., Harris, G. and Foster, W. A. (2012) Optimizing Diversity Assessment Protocols for High Canopy Ants in Tropical Rain Forest. Biotropica 44: 73-81. [PDF]

Foster, W. A., Snaddon, J. L., Turner, E. C., Fayle, T. M., Cockerill, T. D., Ellwood, M. D. F., Broad, G. R., Chung, A. Y. C., Eggleton, P., Khen, C. V. and Yusah, K. M. (2011) Establishing the evidence base for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in the oil palm landscapes of South East Asia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 366: 3277-3291. [PDF]

Mahyudin, A., Shigeki, Y., Yusah, K. M., Mawah, S. S. A. and Kho, J. M. (2010) Mammals of Maliau Basin Conservation Area, Sabah, Malaysia: A preliminary study. Journal of Tropical Biology And Conservation 6: 43-47. [PDF]

Andersen, S. B., Gerritsma, S., Yusah, K. M., Mayntz, D., Hywel-Jones, N. L., Billen, J., Boomsma, J. J. and Hughes, D. P. (2009) The life of a dead ant: the expression of an adaptive extended phenotype. American Naturalist 174: 424-433. [PDF]

Fayle, T. M., Ellwood, M. D. F., Turner, E. C., Snaddon, J. L., Yusah, K. M. and Foster, W. A. (2008) Bird’s nest ferns: islands of biodiversity in the rainforest canopy. Antenna 32: 34-37. [PDF]

Bernard, H., Yusah, K. M., Yasuma, S. and Kimsui, L. (2004) A Survey of the Non-flying Small Mammals at Several Elevations in and around the Crocker Range Park. In: Mohamed, M., Hamzah, Z., Tachi, T, and Nais, J. Crocker Range Scientific Expedition 2002, Natural History Publications (Borneo). [PDF]


Fulbright Program, US Fulbright Student Researcher grant (Supervisor; USD 15,400) Ant-mediated seed dispersal in Bornean rainforests (2019-2020)

Universiti Malaysia Sabah, SKIM DANA NIC Grant (Principal Investigator; RM 79,000Incorporating weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) into oil palm plantation integrated pest management to improve ongoing plantation sustainability (2019-2021)

Universiti Malaysia Sabah, UMSGreat (Supervisor of graduate student; RM 15,000) Impacts of experimental forest fragmentation and land-use change on ant communities in tropical rainforest (2019-2022)

Universiti Malaysia Sabah, UMSGreat (Supervisor of graduate student; RM 10,000) Investigating the impact of climber cutting on ant community assemblages in secondary forests (2019-2021)

South East Asian Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP) Co-funding of graduate studentships (2018-2020) (supervisor of students; RM 30,000). 1. Impacts of experimental forest fragmentation and land-use change on ant communities in tropical rainforest (PhD; 2018-2020). 2. Impacts of urban tropical habitat fragmentation on mutualistic ant-plant interactions (MSc; 2019-2020)

Malaysian Department of Higher Education, Fundamental Research Grant (Principal Investigator; RM 99,000) Tropical rainforest degradation, networks of ant-plant mutualisms, and forest regeneration (2014-2017)

Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project grant (Research Associate; AUD 386,000) Ecosystem quality and herbivore dynamics in tropical rainforests fragmented by deforestation (2014-2016)

Universiti Malaysia Sabah Research Grant Scheme (Principal Investigator; RM 10,000) Changes in ant-mediated nutrient redistribution rate along an altitudinal gradient (2014-2015)

Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GACR) Standard Grant (External Collaborator; CZK 7,319,000) How do changes in species interaction networks affect ecosystem function when tropical forests are degraded? (2014-2016)

Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GACR) Center of Excellence consortium grant (Key Collaborator; CZK 91,976,000) Center for Tropical Biology (2014-2018)

Kalsum and royalsOutreach and Communication

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), 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).

Teaching Experience

Lecturing and tutoring for undergraduate modules Canopy Biology (2010-present), Biogeography (2012-present), Biometry (2012-present), and Wildlife Management (2012-present) at Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah. Demonstrator for 1 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). Taught on a Tropical Biology Association field course in Danum Valley Field Centre, 1 week (2011).

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