Karen Siu-Ting


I am a Peruvian Biologist with an interest in the evolution, taxonomy, diversity and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. My current research is focused towards the systematics of amphibians, trying to combine molecular and morphological datasets. My previous work includes using barcode sequences for assessing cryptic amphibian species, as well as descriptions of new species and analyzing the diversity and conservation status of Peruvian amphibians and reptiles.

contact information:
Karen Y. Siu-Ting
Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution Lab
Dpt. of Biology
NUI Maynooth
Co. Kildare
emails: Karen(dot)SiuTing(at)nuim(dot)ie / agalychnica(at)gmail(dot)com
Photographs in slide above by Karen Siu-Ting.


More about me Research Interests Publications



My research interests are focused on amphibian systematics, diversity and conservation. Some of my ongoing research is summarised below:

Missing data, Effective overlap and Phylogenetic reconstruction

This is my project for my PhD Degree. I am investigating the effects of missing data and effective overlap in phylogenetic reconstruction with the final objective of building a major amphibian tree of life using supertree methods. I am supervised by Dr. Davide Pisani and Dr. Mark Wilkinson. The work is being carried out in collaboration with Dr. Chris Creevey (Teagasc, Ireland). Funding is provided through an IRCSET Embark scholarship.

Cryptic diversity of Peruvian Amazon lowland Amphibian species

This project was started during my masters and is focused on assessing the genetic diversity of certain widespread species of amphibians from 4 sites in the Amazonian lowlands of Peru to find potential cryptic species. This project is in collaboration with and under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Crawford (Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia).

My CV can be found here.



I obtained my BSc. degree in Biology at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru. During my undergraduate degree I became interested in the study of Amphibians and Reptiles (Herpetology) and I started participating in a project on bioacoustic and behaviour of dendrobatids in the Peruvian Amazon. Later on, I started to collaborate in the curation and maintenance of the Herpetology Collection at the Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru and it was during that time that I was introduced to working with taxonomy, systematics and evolution of amphibians and reptiles. Since then, I have been involved in several projects on the areas of study mentioned above, worked on biodiversity environmental impact assessments for mining and also made contributions in the diversity and conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Peru. During my masters (also carried out at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos) I started to work on cryptic diversity of amphibian species of widespread distribution in the Peruvian Amazon and this experience introduced me to studies in molecular evolution. I met Dr. Davide Pisani (NUI Maynooth) and soon after I devised a project with the help of Dr. Pisani and Dr. Mark Wilkinson (Herpetology Curator at the Natural History Museum, London) which focuses on the effects of missing data and phylogenetic reconstruction with the final objective of building a major amphibian tree of life using supertree methods. This project was funded by IRCSET and became my research for a PhD. I joined the Bioinformatics and Molecular Evolution Lab at NUI Maynooth in October 2010, and I currently maintain a close collaboration with the Herpetology Department at the Museo de Historia Natural in Lima and the Herpetology Division at the Centro de Ornitologia y Biodiversidad (CORBIDI). I am also a founding and active member of the newly established Asociación Peruana de Herpetología. (Peruvian Society of Herpetology) and a member of the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group for Peru.



A link to my Google Scholar profile can be seen here.

Chávez, G., Siu-Ting, K., Duran, V., Venegas, P. 2011. Two new species of Andean gymnophthalmid lizards of  the genus Euspondylus (Reptilia, Squamata) from central and southern Peru. Zookeys 109: 1-17. [link]

Aguilar, C.; Siu-Ting, K.; Lehr, E. 2010. Description of the tadpole of Telmatobius brevirostris (Anura: Ceratophryidae). Zootaxa 2626:61–64. [link]

Aguilar, C.; Ramírez, C.; Rivera, D.; Siu-Ting, K.; Suárez, J.; Torres, C. 2010. Peruvian Andean amphibians outside Natural Protected Areas: Threats and conservation status. Revista Peruana de Biología, 17(1): 5–28. [link]

Venegas, P.; Cuyos, M.; Siu-Ting, K. 2010. Reptilia, Squamata, Iguanidae, Enyalioides touzeti Torres-Carvajal, Almendáriz, Valencia, Yañez-Muñoz and Reyes, 2008: Distribution extension and first country record for Peru. Check List 4(2):214 – 217. [link]

Von May, R.; Siu-Ting, K.; Jacobs, J.; Medina, M.; Gagliardi, G.; Rodríguez, L.; Donnelly, M. 2009. The amphibians of Los Amigos Research Center with comments on the conservation status of amphibians in Madre de Dios, Peru. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 4(1): 14–29. [link]

Von May, R.; Catenazzi, A.; Angulo, A.; Brown, J.; Carrillo, J.; Chávez, G.; Córdova, J.H.; Curo, A.; Delgado, A.; Enciso, M.; Gutiérrez, R.; Lehr, E.; Martínez, J.L.; Medina-Müller, M.; Miranda, A.; Neira, D.R.; Ochoa, J.A; Quiroz, A.; Rodríguez, D.; Rodríguez, L.O; Salas, A.W.; Seimon, T.; Seimon, A.; Siu-Ting, K.; Suárez, J.; Torres, C.; Twomey, E. 2008. Current state of conservation knowledge on threatened amphibian species in Peru. Tropical Conservation Science 1(4):376-396. [link]

Venegas, P.; Catenazzi, A.; Siu-Ting, K.; Carrillo, J. 2008. Two new species of harlequin frog (Anura: Bufonidae: Atelopus) from the Andes of northern Peru. Salamandra 44(3): 163-176. [link]

Venegas, P.; Siu-Ting, K.; Jordán, J. 2008. Notes on Geographic Distribution. Amphibia, Hylidae, Hypsiboas pellucens: First country record, Peru. Check List 4(2):214 – 217. [link]

Aguilar, C.; Lundberg, M.; Siu-Ting, K.; Jiménez, M. 2007. New records of the herpetofauna of Lima,  description of Telmatobius rimac Schmidt, 1954 tadpole (Anura: Ceratophryidae) and a key to the amphibians. Revista Peruana de Biología, 14(2): 209–216. [link]

Aguilar, C.; Siu-Ting, K.; Venegas, P. 2007. The rheophilous tadpole of Telmatobius atahualpai (Anura: Ceratophryidae). South American Journal of Herpetology, 2(3): 165–174. [link]

Lehr, E.; Aguilar, C.; Siu-Ting, K.; Jordán, J. 2007. Three New Species of Eleutherodactylus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from Northern Peru. Herpetologica, 63(4): 519–536. [link]