PhD Student (completed)
Dr Aisyah Faruk has now left ZSL.
- 2008-2012: PhD research student at the Institute of Zoology and Queen Mary University of London.
- 2008: Research Assistant, Herpetology Team, Operation Wallacea, Sulawesi.
- 2007: Research Assistant, Herpetology Team, Operation Wallacea, Sulawesi.
- 2005-2008: Bsc Zoology at Queen Mary University of London.
- 2003-2005: A Levels at Roedean School, Brighton.
- 2002: Research Assistant, University Malaya Gombak Field Station, Malaysia.
- 2001: Volunteer, Good Shepherd Animal Veterinary Clinic, Malaysia.
- 1998-present: Young Editor and writer for Garden Asia, Malaysia.
My PhD focuses on the impact of oil palm plantations on amphibian populations in Peninsular Malaysia. The study also aims to identify the effects of this type of agriculture on host-parasite relationships.
Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is native to West Africa and was first introduced to Peninsular Malaysia as a commercial crop in 1917. Since then, it has replaced much of the rubber plantations and disturbed secondary forests, resulting in majority of the landscape in Peninsular Malaysia dominated by oil palm plantations. Recently, there have been major concerns on the impact of oil palm on the local biodiversity with monitoring studies on birds, mammals, flora and invertebrate have resulted in a markedly lower species richness and a simpler community composition. There is, however, conflict in Malaysia, as oil palm is the major source of the country’s income and creates huge opportunities to local people in terms of employment.
It is clear that amphibians around the world are in trouble, with a huge number of species declining at an unprecedented rate and others already been classified as extinct in the wild. Currently, the two main threats to amphibians are disease (mainly the infection from the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and habitat loss. Malaysia is one of the biodiversity hotspot and has a high diversity of amphibian species. In order to keep it that way, we must understand the threats local amphibians are facing. Therefore, studies investigating the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Malaysia and surrounding areas along with the impact of oil palm are desperately needed.
- Dr Trent Garner (IoZ main supervisor)
- Dr Andrew Cunningham (IoZ sub-supervisor)
- Dr Rob Knell (QMUL supervisor)
- Dr Norhayati (University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysian supervisor/counterpart)