Hao Ran Lai | PhD Student
Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore
I’m interested in the application of ecological theories on environmental restoration in the human-modified landscapes, particularly the assessment of ecosystem functioning using plant functional traits. Currently, I’m investigating (1) the biodiversity‒primary productivity relationships, (2) functional recovery after natural and human disturbances, (3) trait-mediated interspecific competition, and (4) the effects of specific plant functional groups (i.e. liana and nitrogen-fixing trees) on forest growth. I’m currently working on secondary forest datasets from central Panama and Singapore.
My work balances between surveys in the field and statistical modelling and data management using R in the office. I’m extremely dirty in the field, but very tidy while managing datasets. I also tutor undergraduate modules including ecology, field methods, statistics in R, tropical horticulture, and plant biology.
A bit about my past if you’re still reading… I completed my honours degree (Mayfield Plant Ecology Lab, University of Queensland) on the topic of taxonomic and functional recovery of rainforest in eastern Australia. After that I worked as a research assistant looking at the trait-mediated biological invasion in the York Gum woodlands of Western Austalia (see paper), prior to my PhD.