New PhD students

Congratulations to Vishal Kumar Prasad and Johanna Ambu for being accepted to NJFU, and starting their PhD in the lab this month.

While the first semester is going to start online due to the current situation, we hope they will be physically present as soon as possible and start their work on amphibian communication, distribution and abundance.

Good luck to them!


Amphibian trade regulation in the Republic of Korea

New policy recommendation published in collaboration with the Lab of Animal Communication from Ewha Woman’s University!

Research on species conservation provides the base for the subsequent implementation of conservation projects. Similarly, conservation policy recommendations provide a support that can be used by law makers to promote the conservation of species and habitats. Here, we provide a policy recommendation aimed at stopping the proliferation of emerging diseases and invasive species in the Republic of Korea.

Amphibian diseases and invasive amphibian species are both generally introduced through the wildlife trade, either for human consumption or for the pet trade. However, adequate regulations can prevent such introductions.

In the Republic of Korea, the main known threats coming from invasive diseases are Batrachochytrids. While B. dendrobatidis is known to have a sub-lethal impact on local species, the impact of D. salamandrivorans is unknown. In addition, the proliferation of the invasive American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) has resulted in the extirpation of some local amphibian populations, the spread of diseases and there are multiple risks of invasion by other species.

The same risks and threats to the ecosystems arise from most amphibian species in the trade, some of which are already found in the wild. While regulations exist for the trade of wildlife in general, they are not directly addressing the amphibian trade, especially not newly traded species. Based on these variables and threats, we recommend a restriction to the amphibian trade in the Republic of Korea.

Screenshot policy recommendation

New Korean treefrog species!

Delighted to introduce you to a newly described species, the Yellow-bellied treefrog (Dryophytes flaviventris)! This research is a collaborative effort between researchers of R Korea, DPR Korea and PR China, and it also corrects the relationship between D. immaculatus and D. suweonensis. The three species have diverged about a million years ago and are different based on genomic data, call properties and morphometrics.

D flaviventris graphical abstract
The three treefrogs species from the D. immaculatus group around the Yellow Sea
D flaviventris holotype
An amplexus of the newly described Dryophytes flaviventris

New publication!

New paper in collaboration with the Lab of Animal Communication from Ewha Woman’s University, with Siti N. Othman as 1st author! Congratulations!

We determined that divergence time and ancestral range of Duttaphrynus melanostictus were strongly influenced by the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution, resulting in three segregated clades in the Eastern Indo-Malayan realm. We provide possible patterns of past dispersal pathways for the species on the East and Southeast Asian mainland, and highlight the association between dispersion on the Southern Sundaic and Wallacea with prehistoric humans migrations. Humans are also likely to have helped the species disperse to Taiwan again in recent times.

SD Othman_D melano_July 2020