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Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Visiting Scientist(s) Feature: Carcinologist Edition

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Visiting Scientist(s) Feature: Carcinologist Edition

Over the past few weeks, we have been hosting new and familiar guests here at the museum: carcinologists Prof. Dwi Listyo Rahayu, Ms. Ernawati Widyastuti, and Dr. Lin Chia-Wei.

(From left) Ms. Ernawati Widyastuti, Prof. Dwi Listyo Rahayu, and Dr. Lin Chia-Wei in the LKCNHM research lab.

Prof. Rahayu and Dr. Lin are no strangers to the museum, having visited numerous times over the years. You may also remember Dr. Lin from our previous feature on him last year, where he shared his expertise on crustacean taxidermy. On the other hand, it is Ms. Widyastuti’s first time visiting LKCNHM!

During the course of their visit here, they have been hard at work sorting through specimens collected from the SJADES 2018 deep-sea expedition.

Prof. Rahayu, senior researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) at Lombok, Indonesia, led the expedition along with Prof. Peter Ng from LKCNHM. The expedition yielded a treasure trove of specimens, numbering more than 12,000 in total.

On this visit, Prof. Rahayu has examined more than 200 hermit crab specimens from this treasure trove, comparing them with those in our Zoological Reference Collection (ZRC). At this moment, she has found about two species of hermit crab that are new to science. Prof. Rahayu is also examining specimens collected from the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey, which was led by the National Parks Board and NUS.

On the other hand, Ms. Widyastuti (from LIPI at Jakarta, Indonesia) and Dr. Lin (from the National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium at Pingtung, Taiwan) have been examining squat lobster specimens from the Superfamily Galatheoidea. After sorting through a few hundred specimens, they have found about 26 species, out of which two are new to science.

In addition, Dr. Lin is preparing a manuscript on a new species of Parthenopidae crab collected from Taiwan, in collaboration with Dr. Tan Swee Hee from LKCNHM. He was also one of the lecturers at the Marine Biodiversity Specimen Use and Preparation Workshop held here earlier this month.

There are still many treasures from the SJADES 2018 expedition that have not been uncovered. We look forward to more interesting findings from the rest of the specimens!