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Asia Center of The Academy of Natural Sciences

Academy Scientists

Today, our staff includes scientists in various disciplines who have worked in many parts of Asia.

  • Dr. Clyde Goulden (Director, Asia Center). As Director of the Academy’s Mongolian Institute of Ecological and Biodiversity Studies (IMBES), Dr. Goulden has worked extensively in Mongolia since 1994. He has also carried out work in southern Siberia at Lake Baikal. Dr. Goulden was instrumental in the application for designation of Lake Hövsgöl area as an UNESCO World Heritage site. In June 2007, Dr. Goulden received the Mongolian Medal of Friendship, the country’s highest honor. The Mongolian Institute has facilitated visits of influential Mongolian policy makers and politicians to the United States.
  • Paul Callomon (Collections Manager, Malacology) has sampled mollusks in Japan, Taiwan and the Russian Far East. He is co-author of the multi-volume Catalogue and Bibliography of the Marine Shell-bearing Mollusca of Japan (1999, 2001) and numerous papers on the Japanese Mollusca.
  • Dr. Michaela Enache (Research Scientist, Phycology). Dr. Enache has research experience using diatom-based paleolimnological techniques to establish baseline environmental conditions, natural variability, and quantification of the impact of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on lacustrine (lake) ecosystems. Research projects have focused on the impact of climate change on lakes from British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, as well as the modeling of climate-fire dynamics or the impact of eutrophication on such lakes. Previous experience includes research on foraminiferal assemblages from Eastern Europe and Africa, biozonation and paleoecological inferences.
  • Dr. Jon Gelhaus (Academy Curator, Entomology and Manager of the Mongolian Aquatic Insect Survey), is a specialist in aquatic insects, particularly Diptera (flies) has worked in Mongolia since 1996, led numerous sampling expeditions and directed a major NSF funded project in the Selenge River basin of Mongolia, the major river system of Mongolia. Collection data on other aspects of this project can be accessed at the Mongolian Aquatic Insect Survey (MAIS) website ( and includes over 200,000 insect specimens from Mongolia projects alone, the largest concentration in any US institution. He also has close colleagues at Beijing Agricultural University, China. Dr. Gelhaus and other members of the Entomology Department have significantly increased the Academy’s already large and important collections of Asian insects. Some historic collections also date back to Titian Ramsay Peale’s early nineteenth century collections.
  • Dr. Richard Horwitz (Senior Biologist, Fisheries) has collected fish and aquatic macroinvertebrates in Nepal. He has expertise in fish biomonitoring, ecological assessment and restoration ecology. His specialty is freshwater fishes, particularly relationships between fish populations and human effects such as flow regulation, water quality and land use change.
  • Dr. Christian D. Jersabek (Adjunct Curator, Rotifera) recently spent three years at the Academy as a Gallagher Fellow and currently serves as an adjunct curator, is conducting a multi-year survey of rotifers and other minute invertebrates from freshwater and saline aquatic habitats in Mongolia. These collections will contribute to a comprehensive species-level database that will include distribution records, locality and habitat classifications, and specimen images. In addition, Dr. Jersabek is helping to develop a research infrastructure in Mongolia by setting up a local reference collection and training Mongolian students.
  • Dr. Tatyana Livshultz (Curator, Botany Department) has conducted research on the species diversity and ecology of the genus Dischidia (family Apocynaceae, the milkweed family) in Laos, Malaysia and Philippines. Her current research focuses on documenting the diversity of Dischidia species and describing new endemic species from limestone hills in Thailand.
  • Dr. Alain Maasri (Postdoctoral Scientist, Entomology) has expertise in macroinvertebrate ecology and aquatic biomonitoring. He is participating in biological surveys and developing biomonitoring standards with the Mongolian Aquatic Insect Survey.
  • Dr. Daniel Otte (Curator, Entomology) has collected in Malaysia, and has trained one of the Mongolian entomologists in grasshopper taxonomy working with Dr. Jon Gelhaus’ and Dr. Clyde Goulden’s projects.
  • Robert M. Peck (Senior Academy Fellow) has been involved with various cultural projects involving Asia and has made trips to China, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mongolia (six times) and Siberia. He has been invited to work on a PBS documentary on the Bering Sea as part of the International Polar Year in 2008.
  • Dr. Marina Potapova, (Assistant Curator, Diatom Herbarium) who specializes in diatom taxonomy and ecology, has worked in Northeastern Siberia in 1984-1994. She was employed at the Far-Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and studied algal diversity and effect of gold mining on stream ecosystems. Dr. Potapova participated in several expeditions to the Upper Kolyma River, which is a major gold-producing area, and to the arctic tundra. She maintains close contacts with many colleagues at the Russian Academy of Sciences and several universities.
  • Dr. Ling Ren (Research Scientist, Phycology) is a specialist in phytoplankton ecology and nutrient dynamics of aquatic ecosystems. She has been working on the effects of nutrient enrichment on algal communities in coastal and estuarine areas and participated in a cooperative project between China (NSF) and Germany (BMBF) and other NSF projects in China from 1995 to 2001. She taught marine environmental science in Ocean University of Qingdao (now Ocean University of China) between 2002 and 2003 and maintains close connections to several scientists in the University and some institutions in that area. Her contacts also include some scientists from Tongji University (Shanghai) and Zhejiang Ocean University.
  • Dr. Nate Rice (Collection Manager, Ornithology) has extensive fieldwork experience throughout the world, including Australia, Africa and South America.
  • Dr. Gary Rosenberg (Chair of Malacology) has done field work in Russia and Ukraine, studying zebra mussels, two species of which were introduced into the United States in the 1980s, causing significant environmental and economic impact in freshwater systems. He also headed a collaboration that produced a database of marine mollusk species in the Indian and Pacific Oceans which is online at and is part of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System.
  • Dr. Mark Sabaj-Pérez (Collection Manager, Ichthyology) has led field studies in Mongolia (in 2006) and Thailand, as well as throughout South America.
  • Dr. David Velinsky (Academy Vice President, Biogeochemistry). As Director of the Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Dr. Velinsky leads a research group that uses a multi-disciplinary approach in the study of aquatic systems to understand the ecological structure and function of watersheds; from headwater streams to estuaries. The Center’s ecological principles and applied programs build on the research of pioneering environmental scientists Dr. Ruth Patrick, a National Medal of Science awardee, who developed methods for using the entire aquatic community (such as algae, invertebrates and fish) as biological indicators to measure environmental quality. PCER scientists are experts in using a number of biological and biogeochemical indicators to detect ecological impairment of aquatic systems; they are also leaders in documenting the impacts landscape-level changes, dams and impoundments and dam removal on water quality and biodiversity.
  • Jason Weintraub (Collections Manager, Entomology) is a specialist in Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and has worked in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore since being at the Academy and previously in China, India, East Timor, the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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Asia Center at The Academy of Natural Sciences
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