Susan M. Tsang


Dr. Susan M. Tsang
Email: susan.m.tsang[at]
Tel: 917-485-3338
Curriculum Vitae

CEO & Founder, Biodiversitas Global, 2018 -
AAAS STPF, US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2016 - 2018
Ph.D., CUNY Graduate Center and City College of New York, 2015
Fulbright Indonesia, 2012 - 2013
B.A. Skidmore College, 2009
I conduct my research as a Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of the Philippines. I am also a Research Collaborator in the Division of Mammals at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution and spend time doing research at both the collections at the National Museum of Natural History and the National Zoological Park.

My day job is running my scientific consultancy, Biodiversitas Global LLC, which provides technical expertise on a variety of topics such as natural resource management, research development, and capacity building. I also offer implementation services primarily for the Southeast Asia region and have deep working knowledge of East Asia and Southeast Asia. I am also available to broker new collaborations for others using my extensive global network of subject matter experts, practitioners, and educators. I am currently based in the Washington DC area for both my research and consulting activities.

From 2016 to 2018, I was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in the Branch of Counter Wildlife Trafficking Strategy and Partnerships in the Division of Management Authority at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service HQ in the Washington, DC Metro Area. I served as the Program Manager (GSL 12 equivalent) for a new joint initiative with the International Bureau of Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the Department of State on combating wildlife trafficking in Southeast Asia, with a specific focus on Indonesia. Through this, we have built forensics and law enforcement capacity, patrol units, and improved CITES compliance. I still maintain an active interest in addressing wildlife trafficking policy and challenges through community conservation, collaborations, and consultation for government agencies, NGOs, and academia.

My major research interests are in the biogeography and evolution of Southeast Asian pteropodid bats, particularly of flying foxes (genus Pteropus and Acerodon). I graduated magna cum laude at Skidmore with honors in both Integrative Biology and East Asian Studies, and minored in Geosciences. As an undergrad, I was an NSF REU fellow at the American Museum of Natural History (2006) and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (2008). I went on to complete my Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the Graduate Center and City College of New York at CUNY with Dr. David Lohman and was co-advised by Dr. Nancy Simmons at the American Museum of Natural History. During my time as a doctoral student, I spent a year in Indonesia (2012-2013) as a Fulbright student research fellow, hosted by both the Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and the University of Indonesia. I also received an NSF GK-12 fellowship (2010) to teach high school students about the use of DNA in forensics at S.T.A.R. Academy in Brooklyn and an NSF East Asia Pacific Summer Institute Fellowship (2011) to Singapore, hosted by the Meier Lab at the National University of Singapore.

Given my research on these rare and endangered bats, I have become deeply involved with regional bat conservation groups, such as the Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Unit (SEABCRU). I am a steering committee member of both the Taxonomy and Systematics Working Group and the Human-Bat Interactions Working Group, along with representative colleagues from a variety of Southeast Asian countries. My research sites are primarily in Indonesia and the Philippines, but my work with SEABCRU has taken me to Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia as well. I am also a steering committee member and mentor to Indonesian students through Tambora Muda, the young Indonesian conservationist network. I am also an active member of the IUCN Bat Specialist Group and contributing to both Red List assessments and re-prioritization for the Old World Fruit Bat Action Plan update.

Recent Publications (* denotes student advised by me)
  • Tsang, S.M. 2020. Invited Commentary. A social network approach to detect parallel wildlife trafficking: A novel tool, with potential limitations in a closed, specialist system. Animal Conservation 23: 147-148. [link]
  • Tsang, S.M., S. Wiantoro, M.J. Veluz, N. Sugita, N.B. Simmons, D.J. Lohman. 2020. Dispersal is a significant biogeographic mechanism in Pteropus in the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Journal of Biogeography 47:527-537.
  • Tsang, S.M. and S. Wiantoro. 2019. Indonesian flying foxes: Research and conservation status update. Treubia 46: 103-113. [link]
  • Sheherazade*, H. Ober, S.M. Tsang. 2019. Durian depends on bats for pollination in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Biotropica 51: 913-922. [link]
  • Sheherazade* and S. M. Tsang. 2018. Roost of gray flying foes (Pteropus griseus in Indonesia and records of a new hunting threat. Diversity 10(3): 102. [link]
  • Tsang, S.M., S. Wiantoro, M.J. Veluz, N.B. Simmons, D.J. Lohman. 2018. High levels of inferred gene flow among geographically distant populations of Pteropus vampyrus (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae). Acta Chiropterologica, 20(1):59-70. [link]

Full list of publications here.