My Research

I am a Senior Tutor at the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore (NUS) where I obtained my Honours degree with a project compiling the total vascular plant flora of Singapore, and my PhD with a thesis on the effects of greenery on urban biodiversity. My previous postdoctoral stints include an NUS Overseas Postdoctoral Fellowship hosted at the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, University of Queensland.

My research interests are in vegetation ecology, invasion ecology, and urban ecology. I am currently a PI on two projects: (1) vegetation-hydrology relationships in a catchment containing Singapore’s last substantial tract of intact freshwater swamp forest: the Nee Soon swamp forest (funded by the National Parks Board); and (2) the urban ecology of birds, butterflies, odonates, and amphibians in six towns in Singapore (funded by the Housing & Development Board). With the support of an NUS Early Career Award, I am also monitoring the recovery trajectory of secondary forests after an unusually powerful windstorm resulted in extensive tree falls in the Mandai Road area of the Central Catchment Nature Reserves of Singapore in 2011, using long-term plots set up together with Alex Yee and later funded by the Ah Meng Memorial Conservation Fund.

I am most proud of the work that I have accomplished in partnership with the students that I mentor/supervise; much of my time and effort goes into making them worthy of making it through scientific peer-review (see my track record).

Other Profiles: Google ScholarResearchGate, Publons, ORCID, Scopus


Urban Ecology

Chong, K.Y., S. Teo, B. Kurukulasuriya, Y.F. Chung, S. Rajathurai & H.T.W. Tan. 2014. Not all green is as good: different effects of the spontaneous and cultivated components of urban vegetation on bird and butterfly diversity. Biological Conservation 171: 299–309. [website] [PDF]

Chong, K.Y., S. Teo, B. Kurukulasuriya, Y.F. Chung, S. Rajathurai, H.C. Lim, H.T.W. Tan. 2012. Decadal changes in urban bird abundance in Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 25: 189-196. [website/PDF] [corrigendum]

Invasion Ecology

Chong, K.Y., M.B. Raphael, L.R. Carrasco, A.T.K. Yee, X. Giam, V.B. Yap & H.T.W. Tan. 2017. Reconstructing the invasion history of a spreading, non-native, tropical tree through a snapshot of current distribution, sizes, and growth rates. Plant Ecology 218: 673–685. [website] [PDF]

Chong, K.Y., R.T. Corlett, D.C.J. Yeo & H.T.W. Tan. 2011. Towards a global database of weed risk assessments: a test of transferability for the tropics. Biological Invasions 13: 1571–1577. [PDF]

Singapore Floristics & Vegetation

Towards a field guide to the trees of the Nee Soon catchment. Nature in Singapore. I: Lauraceae (led by Chong, K.Y.; 9:1–28), II: Cratoxylum (led by Neo, L.; 9:29–39), III: Myristicaceae (led by R.C.J. Lim; 9:63–138), IV: Xanthophyllum (led by S.Y. Tan; 9:139–147); with J.W. Loh, W.W. Seah, et al. 2016–.

Yee, A.T.K., K.Y. Chong, L. Neo & H.T.W. Tan. 2016. Updating the classification system for the secondary forests of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 32: 11–21.  [website/PDF]

Chong, K.Y., S.M.L. Lee, A.T. Gwee, P.K.F. Leong, Samsuri Ahmad, W.F. Ang, A.F.S.L. Lok, C.K. Yeo, R.T. Corlett, & H.T.W. Tan. 2012. Herbarium records do not predict rediscovery of locally presumed-extinct species. Biodiversity and Conservation 21: 2589-2599. [PDF]

Chong, K.Y., H.T.W. Tan, & R.T. Corlett. 2011. A summary of the total vascular plant flora of Singapore. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 63: 197-204. [PDF]
(See also: Chong, K.Y., H.T.W. Tan, & Richard T. Corlett. 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore. 273 pp.)

Development & Conservation

Chong, K.Y., & X. Giam. Cross-Island Line issue highlights need for more debate on environmental decisions. TODAY commentary. 4 Mar 2016. [website]

Jain, A., K.Y. Chong, M.A.H. Chua & G.R. Clements. 2014. Moving away from paper corridors in Southeast Asia. Conservation Biology 28: 889–891. [website]

Chong, K.Y., M.A.H. Chua, M.L. Neo, D.J.J. Ng, Siti M. Yaakub, T.C. Toh, A.K.S. Wee & D.L. Yong. 2014. Impacts of development on biodiversity in Singapore. In: J. Appleton (ed.) Values in Sustainable Development. Routledge. Pp. 286–298. [PDF]

Chong, K.Y. Saving endangered species in Singapore: Let’s walk the talk. Straits Times Forum. 6th January 2011. [website]

Chong, K.Y. Face up to the green fact. Straits Times Forum Online. 24th May 2010. [website]

Religion & Conservation

Lee, J., A.G. Gosler, D. Vyas, J. Schaefer, K.Y. Chong, P. Kahumbu, S.M. Awoyemi & T. Baugh. 2013. Statement of the Society for Conservation Biology on the Use of Ivory for Religious Objects as Developed by the Religion and Conservation Research Collaborative of the Society’s Working Group on Religion and Conservation Biology.

Awoyemi, S.M., A.G. Gosler, I. Ho, J. Schaefer & K.Y. Chong. 2012. Mobilizing religion and conservation in Asia. Science 338: 1537–1538.

Chong, K.Y. 2012. Religiously protecting Myanmar’s environment. Science 337: 1604–1605.

Awoyemi, S.M., J. Schaefer, A. Gosler, T. Baugh, K.Y. Chong, E. Landen. 2012. Society for Conservation Biology (SCB)’s Position on the Religious Practice of Releasing Captive Wildlife for Merit. Religion and Conservation Research Collaborative (RCRC) of the Religion and Conservation Biology Working Group (RCBWG). [Version 1 | Version 2]

Chong, K.Y.Animal release: science, compassion and religion. Today Voices. 21st May 2011.

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