Chan Kin Onn

Graduate Student
Dyche Hall

Chan joined KU as an international student from Malaysia with broad interests in systematics and biogeography of Southeast Asian reptiles and amphibians. He obtained his Bachelors and Masters degree from the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM) under the advisorship of Prof. Norhayati Ahmad and the mentorship of Lee Grismer from La Sierra University, California. After graduating from UKM, he was invited by Lee Grismer to spend summer in his lab at La Sierra to broaden his research horizons and explore opportunities for graduate studies. During his time in the United States, Chan paid a visit to Rafe Brown’s lab at KU and found himself enrolled the following year. Chan also has a profound love for dogs.

Fieldwork has always been a major component in Chan's research and interest in herpetology as a whole. Having spent much time collecting and observing reptiles and amphibians throughout Southeast Asia has led him to an appreciation of the vast biodiversity that lies therein and the realization of how little we know about that biodiversity. His initial interests revolved around delimiting species boundaries and disentangling the systematics of widespread species complexes that result in new species descriptions and/or taxonomic rearrangements. More recently, he has been interested in understanding the drivers of speciation and the processes that are involved in shaping the diversification and distributional patterns of amphibians through time and space. His research is currently focused on riparian evolution of amphibians along drainage systems in Malaysia and how fluctuating weather conditions in the form of monsoon flooding affects the dispersal capabilities and population genetics of amphibian populations.