Ms Laura Michie from the University of Portsmouth is part of Operation Wallacea, which is an organisation funded by tuition fees that operates biological and conservation management research programmes in remote locations across the world.
She was invited by Prof Peter Ng and visited RMBR today to look at the fiddler crab specimens that our collection houses.
What got her interested in fiddler crabs was an undergraduate project she did in the mangroves of Indonesia, where she observed 9 co-existing species of fiddler crabs. She is now undertaking a PhD on the remarkable levels of sympatry displayed by intertidal fiddler crabs on a mudflat at Ambeua on Pulau Kaledupa in the Taman Nasional Wakatobi, Sulawesi Tenggara, Indonesia.
Laura’s PhD aims not only to explain how this remarkable level of sympatry is achieved, but also, by extension, to contribute to general ecological understanding of how different ecologically-equivalent species manage to coexist in nature at biodiversity hotspots. For more information on her research, read her dissertation here.