Dr. Shih Hsi-Te (Middle), from the National Chung-Hsing University, Taiwan, was on a visiting attachment to the RMBR from 6 to 12 Feb 2006 to conduct collaborative work on crab systematics. He was hosted by Prof. Peter Ng (Right) and Dr. Tan Swee Hee (Left).
Dr. Shih obtained his PhD at the National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan, and specialises in molecular phylogeography, the study of phylogenetics and biogeography, of various groups of invertebrates including crustaceans, earthworms, and molluscs. His research interests also include the systematics, taxonomy, and ecology of some of these groups (e.g. freshwater crabs, fiddler crabs, hermit crabs, and earthworms). He was invited to visit under the RMBR visiting attachment programme by RMBR Research Associate, Dr. Darren Yeo, to carry out collaborative research on various groups of freshwater crabs.
This is a reciprocal visit to one made by Dr. Darren Yeo to Taiwan in 2002 to initiate the current collaborations. In addition, Hsi-Te also had discussions on ongoing and potential projects with Prof. Peter Ng, Dr. Ng Ngan Kee, and Dr. Cai Yixiong (National Parks Board).
Work was carried out primarily at the Systematics and Ecology Laboratory (Ecolab) of the Department of Biological Sciences and the Zoological Reference Collection (ZRC) of the RMBR.
The main results of the discussions and work done during Dr. Shih’s visit included the completion of penultimate draft versions of a some manuscripts in collaboration with Dr. Darren Yeo and/or Prof. Peter Ng including separate manuscripts on the phylogeography of the genus Johora and Somanniathelphusa. A number of new species of freshwater crabs will also be described in taxonomic publications resulting from work carried out during this visit. In addition, directions for continued and further cooperative research between Dr. Shih and members of Ecolab and RMBR were also mapped out.