|I am broadly interested in the phylogeography of Southeast Asian animals, particularly that of flying foxes (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae: Pteropus). Pteropus is an ideal focal taxon for Southeast Asian biogeographic studies because it is: 1) found everywhere in the region; 2) species-rich with several widespread species and many island endemics; and 3) relatively easy to sample. The species richness of Pteropus, their unique distributions, and their distinct life histories make them well-suited to investigating mechanisms of divergence using genetic data among populations or between species. Vicariant and ecologically driven divergence each leave distinctive molecular signatures in descendent populations that can inform phylogeographic studies. I aim to use multilocus statistical phylogeographic methods to examine questions related to the biogeography of flying foxes such as: |
Ultimately, these findings related to population dynamics can be used for studying disease ecology of pathogens that flying foxes are a natural reservoir host for. Moreover, reconstructing a species tree for Pteropus will allow us to answer other questions related to biogeography and diversification of the genus in the geologically complex landscape of Southeast Asia.
- What is the evolutionary history of the genus Pteropus in Asia and what role did the region's complex geography play in diversification?
- Has vicariance or ecological divergence driven the diversification of Pteropus?
- What are the most common dispersal routes of widespread species and how frequent is dispersal? What are the population sizes and metapopulation structures of widespread Pteropus species?
|2009 - ||Ph.D. in Biology (EEB) (The Graduate Center at CUNY)|
|2012 - 2013||Fulbright Scholar (University of Indonesia, Indonesia)|
|2005 - 2009||B.A. in Biology and East Asian Studies, minor in Geosciences, magna cum laude (Skidmore College)|
|SELECTED RESEARCH EXPERIENCE|
|2009 - ||Research Student, Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History
Advisors: Associate Curator George Barrowclough and Dr. Jeff Groth
Classification of three putative Australasian hawks based on RAG-1 exon
|2010 - 2011||Research Student, Department of Mammalogy, American Museum of Natural History
Advisors: Curator and Prof. Nancy Simmons and Dr. Paul Velazco
Chiropteran dental morphology
|Summer 2008||NSF REU Intern, Fisheries Section, Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia
Advisors: Dr. Richard Horwitz and Mr. Anthony Geneva
Distribution, population structure, and molecular genetics of the bridle shiner (Notropis bifrenatus)
|2006 - 2008||Molecular Ecology Student Researcher, Department of Biology, Skidmore College
Advisor: Dean and Prof. Corey R. Freeman-Gallant
Honors Thesis: Sexual selection on multiple plumage traits in the common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)
Malarial infection in common yellowthroats in regards to male fitness
|Summer 2006||NSF REU Intern, Department of Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History
Advisors: Curator John J. Flynn and Dr. Colleen Ingram
Phylogeny of Mammalian order Carnivora through combined genetic assays
|GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS|
|2013||Young Explorers Grant, Committee for Research and Exploration, National Geographic Society|
|2013||Southeast Asian Gateway Evolution 2013 Student Travel Grant|
|2012||Lewis and Clark Exploration Fund, American Philosophical Society|
|2011||Presidential Research Fund for Ph.D. Students Travel Grant, CUNY Graduate Center|
|Summer 2011||NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore|
|2010 - 2011||NSF Science Now GK-12 Graduate Teaching Fellow|
|SELECTED WORK EXPERIENCE|
|2011 - 2012||Graduate Assistant, Department of Biology, City College of New York|
|2008 - 2009||Teaching Assistant, Department of Biology, Skidmore College|
|2007 - 2009||Peer Tutor, Student Academic Services, Skidmore College|
|2007 - 2008||Peer Mentor, First-Year Experience, Skidmore College|
|Freeman-Gallant, C.R., Taff, C.C., Morin, D.F., Dunn, P.O., Whittingham, L.A., and Tsang, S.M. 2010. Sexual selection, multiple male ornaments and age- and condition-dependent signaling in the common yellowthroat, Evolution (64): 1007 - 1017. [Abstract]|
|SELECTED POSTERS AND PRESENTATIONS|
|Nov 6, 2012||Invited departmental seminar, Center for Biodiversity Strategies, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia
Pteropus bats in Indonesia
|July 7, 2012||Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Unit Workshop, Hat Yai, Thailand
The importance of taxonomy to conservation
|Mar 17, 2012||Invited oral presentation, Education Department, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
Evolution of flying foxes in Southeast Asia
|Oct 28, 2011||41st Annual Symposium of the North American Society for Bat Research, Toronto, ON
Amplification of novel nuclear genes from fecal samples of Paleotropical fruit bats
|Jun 27, 2010||Evolution 2010, Portland, OR
Comparative phylogeographic inference from 64 taxon pairs of Neotropical birds using ABC
Tsang, S.M.*, Hickerson, M., Burney, C., McCormack, J., Brumfield, R.
|Nov 21, 2008||Sigma Xi Annual Meeting & Student Research Conference, Washington, D.C.
Distribution, population structure, and molecular genetics of the bridle shiner (Poster)
Tsang, S.*, Horwitz, R., Geneva, A.
- Won "Superior Presentation Award - Ecology & Evolution"
|SELECTED SYNERGISTIC ACTIVITIES|
|2011 - ||Student Representative Member, Taxonomy and Systematics Working Group, Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Unit|
|2011 - 2012||Scientific Review Committee Member and Judge, New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF)|