We are looking for a full time Research Assistant for a project entitled:
‘Effects of habitat features and fragmentation on herpetofaunal communities in Western Sarawak’.
The project is supported by a Fundamental Research Grant from the Ministry of Higher Education, Government of Malaysia.
The project will commence soon as an appointment has been made, and the Research Assistant will be employed for 24 months. A month stipend of RM 1,000 is payable, in addition to travel claims. The candidate is expected to register for a PhD with the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
A brief description of the project is given below.
Western Sarawak (comprising the divisions of Kuching and Samarahan), comprising a land area of 9,527 sq km, and is home to several endemic lineages of plants and animals. Its landscape has been heavily modified since the early 1900s, and presently comprises a mosaic of remnant habitats- forests and flood plains, sometimes widely separated by urban and agricultural areas. Within forested fragments are areas protected as National Parks, although knowledge of critical habitat features required for target organisms are often absent. In such landscapes, the capacity to detect early change in assemblages and populations makes it possible to take proactive conservation and management measures.
In this study, we will test responses of herpetofaunal communities of lowland forests and midhills to environmental/landscape features, fragmentation and isolation, through field sampling, as well as analysis of existing information (museum specimens and published records), using logistic regression and linear multiple and/or multivariate regression models to relate species presence in forest patches, to specific forest patch features and isolation. We will study habitat loss and fragmentation (that potentially lead to isolation and stochastic extinction), through investigations of movements and microhabitat use of selected groups of amphibians and reptiles. Finally, we will study the effects of highways on herpetological communities through examination of phenology of road-mortalities and the effect of low frequency noise to the auditory performance of advertising amphibians.
Anticipated benefits of the project would be answering the question whether the protected areas system protect representative herpetofaunal communities, creation of specimen-based herpetofaunal inventories of protected and other areas of western Sarawak, identification of key habitat features for species, improving habitat connectivity for long-term survival of populations, acquisition of species-specific ecological knowledge and understanding the effect of highways and vehicular traffic on communities, in order to make recommendations for the persistence of herpetological populations for posteriority.
Interested candidates can apply with a cv, with list of publications and names and e-mail contacts of 3 referees to the undersigned.
Prof. Indraneil Das
Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation,
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak,
Jalan Datuk Mohd Musa,
94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak,
Telephone (work): ++ 60 82 581000
Handphone: ++ 60 128301208
Fax: ++ 60 82 583004
Attachment Advertisement_for_RA_Borneo_Herpetofaunal_Fragmentation_Project.pdf not found