A short visit with the Australian Museum Herpetology team was the latest step in our long-term collaboration.

AMF/AMRI Visiting Research Fellow, Le Thi Thuy Duong, and Jodi Rowley at the Zoo
In August 2018, Vietnamese PhD student, Le Thi Thuy Duong and the AM's Jodi Rowley visited Taronga Zoo as part of her visit to Sydney during her AMF/AMRI Visiting Research Fellowship. Image: Jodi Rowley
© Australian Museum

The collaboration between the Australian Museum and my University, the University of Science, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam commenced in 2008. So far, this collaboration has resulted in the discovery of 16 frog species and made several other important discoveries in amphibian ecology and behavior in Vietnam.

Our recent collaboration investigates for the first time the impact of habitat loss and modification on amphibian communities in Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park, on the Langbian Plateau in Vietnam. Currently, 38 species of amphibian are known from the area, 8 of which were discovered in the last decade. The amphibian species of the area are highly threatened by habitat disturbance and modification, but there is very little information on how amphibians are responding to habitat disturbance. Our research has also gone deeper into the ecology (diet, habitat use) of these poorly-known creatures to help inform their conservation.

I recently received the AMF/AMRI Visiting Research Fellowship and spent three weeks in the Herpetology Department at the Australian Museum. I studied with Dr Jodi Rowley, working on my PhD thesis, particularly data analysis. Tim Cutajar helped me in mapping survey sites, and Jodi, Tim and Chris Portway trained me how to use radio tracking equipment in order to conduct research on the habitat use and movement of frogs in Vietnam in the future.

While at the Australian Museum, I presented a short seminar on the frog species in Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park and discussed the conservation challenges facing frogs in places like Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park.

I also had the opportunity to visit the University of New South Wales, attend Science Week activities, and visit educational exhibits, including those on frogs and tadpoles. This experience was helpful for my academic activities in the University of Science and in transmitting my love of amphibians to my students.

The AMRI Visiting Research Fellowship provided me a fantastic opportunity to work with a great Herpetology Team. Our collaboration aimed at ensuring the long-term conservation of the amazing amphibians of Vietnam will certainly continue.

Le Thi Thuy Duong - 2018/19 AMF/AMRI Visiting Research Fellow