Dr Michele RODDA

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Dr WONG Khoon Meng


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Research Interests


My research focus is documenting the diversity of the coffee family, Rubiaceae, one of the largest plant families in tropical SE Asia, in particular the genus Gardenia and allies. Besides that, I am also interested in the taxonomy of SE Asian Bignoniaceae, and curate the collection in the Herbarium of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Apart from that, I am also an active collaborator in the Botanical Survey of Brunei Darussalam, a joint programme of the Brunei Forestry Department and NParks, and maintains a special interest in compiling characters for the spot-identification of seed plants in the Southeast Asian region.

Current Research and Projects

1)     Taxonomic revision of Malesian Gardenia (Rubiaceae). Results of this study are to be published in three parts based on phytogeographical regions, namely Sundaland, Wallacea, and Papuasia.

2)     Molecular phylogeny and classification of SE Asian Bignoniaceae, in collaboration with Prof Lúcia G. Lohmann (Sao Paulo University).

3)     Botanical Survey of Brunei Darussalam, a joint programme of the Brunei Forestry Department and NParks.

4)     Continue with the documentation of ‘spot-characters’ to provide rapid identification of Malesian seed plants.



Joffre, A.A., A.K. Muhammad Ariffin, Y.W. Low & K.M. Wong (2015). Novitates Bruneienses, 1. A background to the botanical survey of Brunei Darussalam, and a new species of Jarandersonia (Malvaceae). Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore 67(1): 51–60.

Low, Y.W. (2015). Prismatomeris khoonmengiana, a new name for the Peninsular Malaysian Coffea malayana (Rubiaceae). Plant Ecology and Evolution 148(1): 134–138.

Low, Y.W. (2015). Book Review: S. Gale, Abdelhamid Bizid, K.W. Liu & K. Chan, A Guide to Orchids of Hong Kong (168 p.; Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu). Gardenwise 44: 40.

Low, Y.W. (2015). Book Review: K.-W. Cheung, K.-S. Pang, Y.-W. Lam, W.-Y. Cheung, Rachel, Y.-M. Chan, H.-T. Tong, P.-L. Li, Chloris & T.-P. Wong, A Photographic Guide to Common Urban Trees of Hong Kong (315 p., Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong SAR Government). Gardenwise 44: 40.

Low, Y.W. (2015). Wild Plant of Malesia: Elusive mycoheterotrophic angiosperms from the rainforests of Brunei. Gardenwise 45: 31–32.

Low, Y.W., A.A. Joffre & A.K. Muhammad Ariffin (2015). Novitates Bruneienses, 2. A remarkable new species of Begonia sect. Petermannia (Begoniaceae) from Brunei Darussalam. Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore 67(1): 61–68.

Low, Y.W., P.K.F. Leong, K.M. Wong, S.P. Tee, Rajesh Singh & M.L.C. Tay (2015). Margaritaria indica—A rare tree newly recorded for Singapore. Gardenwise 44: 15–16.

van Balgooy, M.M.J., Y.W. Low & K.M. Wong (2015). Spot-Characters for the Identification of Malesian Seed Plants: A Guide. 278 p. Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications (Borneo).

Wong, K.M. & Y.W. Low (2015). Novitates Bruneienses, 3. Eight new woody plants in the Brunei flora, including five new species. Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore 67(1): 69–84.
Wong, K.M., J.B., Sugau & Y.W. Low (2015). Adonidia dransfieldii, a threatened new palm from Sabah, Borneo. Palms 59(1): 5–14.
Wong, K.M., A.A. Joffre, Y.W. Low & A.K. Muhammad Ariffin (2015). Rainforest Plants and Flowers of Brunei Darussalam. 212 p. Forestry Department, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Negara Brunei Darussalam, in collaboration with National Parks Board, Singapore.
Wong, K.M., Y.W. Low, A.K. Muhammad Ariffin & A.A. Joffre (2015). Novitates Bruneienses, 4. New records in the Araliaceae, Araucariaceae, Arecaceae, Fagaceae, Musaceae and Thymelaeaceae. Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore 67(2): 275–287.
Low, Y.W. (2014). Book Review: Actinidiaceae, Cabombaceae, Crypteroniaceae, Goodeniaceae, Meliaceae, Memecylaceae, Opiliaceae and Pandaceae. In: R. Kiew, R.C.K. Chung, L.G. Saw & E. Soepadmo (eds.), Flora of Peninsular Malaysia. Series II: Seed Plants, Volume 4 (Malayan Forest Records No. 49; 405 p.; Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, Malaysia). Gardens' Bulletin, Singapore 66(2): 241–242.

Low, Y.W. (2014). Wild Plant of Malesia: Rare and endemic plants of the Malay Peninsula. Gardenwise 43: 24–25.

Low, Y.W., Y.S. Yeoh, C.K. Yeo & W.F. Ang (2014). Marsdenia maingayi (Apocynaceae)—Lost and found in Singapore. Gardenwise 42: 2–3.

Low, Y.W., P.K.F. Leong, S.P. Tee, Rajesh Singh, M.L.C. Tay & K.M. Wong (2014). Margaritaria (Phyllanthaceae), a new generic record for the Singapore flora. Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore 66(1): 47–56.

Low, Y.W. (2013). Two new species of Sulawesi Gardenia (Rubiaceae) and notes on G. mutabilisSystematic Botany 38(1): 235–241. doi: 10.1600/036364413X661944

Low, Y.W. (2013). Haji Samsuri Bin Ahmad retires. Gardenwise 40: 2.

Low, Y.W. (2013). Documenting Brunei’s biodiversity. Gardenwise 41: 22

Low, Y.W. (2013). A tribute to two long-serving herbarium staff members—Mohd Noor Bin Jumaat and Rohana Binte Mohammed Shari. Gardenwise 41: 23.

Yeoh, Y.S., C.K. Yeo, W.F. Ang & Y.W. Low (2013). Marsdenia maingayi (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae), a rare rainforest woody climber rediscovered in Singapore. Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore 65(2):241–249.

Low, Y.W. (2012). Corybas orchids, elusive and enigmatic botanical gems. Gardenwise 38: 12–13.

Low, Y.W. (2012). Book Review: J. Vermeulen & P. O'Byrne, Bulbophyllum of Sulawesi (247 p., Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu). Gardenwise 38: 36.

Low, Y.W. (2012). Book Review: A.A. Chadwick & A.E. Chadwick, The Classic Cattleyas (252 p., Timber Press Inc., USA). Gardenwise 38: 36.

Low, Y.W. (2012). Book Review: D. Du Puy & P. Cribb, The Genus Cymbidium (369 p., Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK). Gardenwise 38: 37.

Low, Y.W. (2012). Book Review: T.F. Chia & D. Astley, The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics (208 p., Marshall Cavendish Editions, Singapore). Gardenwise 38: 37.

Low, Y.W. (2012). Reichenbachia: Orchids illustrated and described. Gardenwise 38: Back Cover

Low, Y.W. (2012). Illustrations of Australian plants: by Sir Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, with determinations by James Britten. Gardenwise 39: Back Cover.

Low, Y.W. (2012). Book Review: D. Middleton, Apocynaceae (Apocynoideae & Rauvolfioideae) in R. Kiew, R.C.K. Chung, L.G. Saw, E. Soepadmo & P.C. Boyce (eds.), Flora of Peninsular Malaysia. Series II: Seed Plants, Volume 2 (Malayan Forest Records No. 49; 235 p.; Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, Malaysia). Gardens' Bulletin, Singapore 64(1): 277–278.

Wong, K.M. & Y.W. Low (2011). A revision of Philippine Gardenia (Rubiaceae). Edinburgh Journal of Botany 68(1): 11–32.

Wong, K.M. & Y.W. Low (2011). Hybrid zone characteristics of the natural intergeneric hybrid bamboo × Gigantocalamus malpenensis (Poaceae: Bambusoideae) in Peninsular Malaysia. Gardens' Bulletin, Singapore 63(1&2): 375–383.

Wong, K.M., J. Skornickova, S. Lee & Y.W. Low (eds.) (2011). Proceedings of the 8th Flora Malesiana Symposium. Gardens' Bulletin, Singapore 63(1&2): viii + 1–526.

Low, Y.W. (2010). Taxonomy and Biogeography of Sundaland Gardenia (Rubiaceae). Unpublished M.Sc. thesis. University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.

Wong, K.M., Y.W. Low, W.L. Goh & Koichi Kamiya (2010). Grass encounters of the third kind: An intergeneric bamboo hybrid from Peninsular Malaysia. Poster presented at the 8th Flora Malesiana Symposium, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore, 23–27 August 2010.

Low, Y.W. (2009). Corybas villosus—some observations on the natural history of a rare and endemic Peninsular Malaysian orchid. Malesian Orchid Journal 4: 17–24.

Low, Y.W. & K.M. Wong (2009). Old hats are better: New considerations and taxonomic changes in the Southeast Asian Gardenia tubifera complex (Rubiaceae). Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore 61(1): 101–128.

Sugumaran, M. & Y.W. Low (2009). The rare plants and orchid conservatory at the Rimba Ilmu Botanical Garden, Malaysia’s first university botanical garden. Malesian Orchid Journal 3: 71–88.

Low, Y.W.  & K. Kanitha (2007). Tropical rainforest in Malaysia. Pp. 34–51 in: E.A.L. Lim & P.K.Y. Lee (eds.), Nature by heart: Fundamentals for environmental educators. Malaysian Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.

Low, Y.W. & K.M. Wong (2007). Two new species of Gardenia (Rubiaceae) from Borneo and notes on Gardenia pterocalyx. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 64(1): 25–36.

Wong, K.M., Y.W. Low, M.S. Zahid, A.O. Aziz, P. Lepun, M. Sugumaran & K.L. Chew (2007). Where the Rhino roams: A survey of the vegetation of the Selai area in the Endau-Rompin Park, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia. Pp. 17–26. In: H. Mohamed & M. Zakaria-Ismail (eds.), The Forests and Biodiversity of Selai, Endau-Rompin. University of Malaya & Johor National Parks Corporation, Kuala Lumpur.

Low, Y.W. (2006). Bamboos in the Garden. Gardenasia 25: 14–21.

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