Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University.
Tigga’s research centers on the study of chiropteran diversity and conservation in Southeast Asia, with conceptual emphasis on the influence of spatial and temporal scales on biodiversity patterns and assembly and disassembly rules
In Peninsular Malaysia, she initiated a long-term, spatially-explicit study of insectivorous bat assemblages in a large area (620 km2) of contiguous primary rainforest in Peninsular Malaysia (Krau Wildlife Reserve), embedded in a larger landscape that has experienced extensive anthropogenic modification (primarily conversion to oil-palm and rubber plantations). It has taken 10 years to establish the grids and complete all the resulting in > 23000 captures of 38 species, which is the largest standardized study of any vertebrate community undertaken in an intact system.
Her research in the intact system of KWR has provided the basis for understanding the impacts of anthropogenic land-use on assemblage structure in the surrounding modified landscape. Her graduate students continue with studies that look at the response of bat diversity to other land-use modifications (rubber and oil palm – in Malaysia, coffee agriculture – in Sumatra, Indonesia, cave disturbance –in Philippines/Malaysia) and to climate change.
Her last 10 years research has provided insights into the local and landscape-level ecological processes influencing community assembly and anthropogenic disassembly (species loss).
In a broader effort to pull together data on SE Asian bats she established the Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Unit (SEABCRU). The SEABCRU started as an informal network to provide an organizational framework to coordinate and implement research, capacity building, and outreach to promote the conservation of Southeast Asia’s diverse but threatened bat fauna. The project will generate unique datasets on the diversity, distribution, abundance and systematics of Southeast Asian bats critical for conservation intervention and that can greatly advance our understanding of biogeographic process, community ecology, and the ecological stressors that promote the emergence of infectious diseases in bats.
IBCRU initiative is based on the foundation of SEABCRU, hence Dr Tigga Kingston, is a scientific advisor of this initiative and will be guiding IBCRU achieving its objectives.