Serendipity leads to journal article for ESP graduate student

A fortuitous encounter with bats in the forests of Tioman Island (Pulau Tioman) in Malaysia eventually led PhD student Marcus Chua to a collaboration that resulted in an article published in Mammalia which was later featured by National Geographic.

Marcus shared this story with us via email:

“It was part of a side project I did with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum of the National University of Singapore, in collaboration with Malaysian conservation NGO, Rimba. It happened as my co-author and I were in the forests of Tioman Island, Malaysia on separate occasions, and we noticed bats flying around during the day. We later made contact and decided to team up to investigate this further, and this paper was born out of that. It was rather serendipitous, and it is an example of the many wonderful surprises the natural world has for us if we care to look more closely.”

The journal article is cited here:

Chua, M.A.H. & Aziz, S.A. (2018). Into the light: atypical diurnal foraging activity of Blyth’s horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus lepidus (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae) on Tioman Island, Malaysia. Mammalia: 1-8. doi:10.1515/mammalia-2017-0128

And published online here:

The National Georgraphic feature is available here:


Important Dates for Students

SPRING 2020 Semester (modified due to COVID-19)

MLK Day (university closed): Jan 20

First day of classes: Jan 21

Spring Break (extended): Mar 9-20

Dissertation/Thesis Deadline: May 8

Last day of classes: May 11

Reading Day(s): May 12

Final Exam Period: May 13-20

University Commencement: May 22 (tentative)

COVID-19 DATE CHANGES – For the complete modified spring calendar, see and for latest COVID-19 updates, see: