Kenneth Molem


The New Guinea Binatang Research Center Ltd., Papua New Guinea
P. O. Box 604, Madang, Papua New Guinea
Phone/Fax +675 423 3258, e-mail:

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Professional Appointments

The New Guinea Binatang Research Center Ltd., Madang:

Field assistant 1994-1995

Paraecologist 1995-present


Research Expertise and Experience

Biodiversity surveys using insects as indicator taxa, insect and plant collecting, mounting and labelling, insect morphotyping, curation of insect collections, insect rearing, field ecological experiments, databasing and data management, digital and classic macrophotography, image processing.


Special skills: plants of New Guinea

Research Projects

Study of species diversity and host specificity of leaf-chewing insects in rainforests (1994-present)

Biodiversity surveys of Lepidoptera (2001-present)

Beta diversity of herbivorous insects in New Guinea (2001-2005)

Impact of alien tree Piper aduncum on secondary forest succession in new Guinea (2006-present)

Biodiversity Surveys

Insect survey in New Britain lead by J. Foufopoulos, Princeton University, 1999

Insect survey in the Finisterre Mts. lead by L. Dabek, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Rhode Island, USA, 2001

Lepidoptera surveys in Sandaun, East Sepik and Madang Provinces, 2001-2005

Insect survey in Ramu river floodplains, 10 months in the field, 2005-2007

Educational activities

Environmental presentations in schools.


2nd New Guinea Biological Conference, Wau Ecology Institute, Wau, Papua New Guinea, 1999.

Science and Technology in Developing Countries: Emerging Trends in the New Millenium,

University of Goroka, Goroka, Papua New Guinea, Sept 12-14, 2001. Oral presentation.

Third International Canopy Conference, Cairns, Australia, June 25-30, 2002. Poster.

Professional travel

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama, 2002

The National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, USA, 2002

Biology Department, The University of Minnesota, St. Paul, USA, 2002

The National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, UK, 2002

School of Natural Sciences, The University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, 2002

Kew Gardens, London, UK, 2002

The National Museum of Natural History, London, UK, 2002

Institute of Entomology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, 2002

Biological Faculty, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, 2002


Auga, J., Boen, W. K., Dal, C. D., Manumbor, M. I. & Molem, K. S. (1998) The importance of leaf chewing insects in the lowland rainforest of Papua New Guinea. The New Guinea Tropical Ecology and Biodiversity Digest 5, 5-6.

Leps, J., Novotny, V., Cizek, L., Molem, K., Isua, B., Boen, W., Kutil, R., Auga, J., Kasbal, M., Manumbor, M. & Hiuk, S. (2002) Successful invasion of the neotropical species Piper aduncum in rain forests in Papua New Guinea. Applied Vegetation Science 5, 255-267 [ pdf file 155 kB ]

Novotny, V., Basset, Y., Auga, J., Boen, W., Dal, C., Drozd, P., Kasbal, M., Isua, B., Kutil, R., Manumbor, M. and Molem, K. (1999) Predation risk for herbivorous insects on tropical vegetation: a search for enemy-free space and time. Australian Journal of Ecology 24, 477-483.

Novotny, V., Miller, S. E., Hulcr, J., Drew, R. A. I., Basset, Y., Janda, M., Setliff, G. P., Darrow, K., Stewart, A. J. A., Auga, J., Isua, B., Molem, K., Manumbor, M., Tamtiai, E., Mogia, M. & Weiblen, G. D. (2007) Low beta diversity of herbivorous insects in tropical forests. Nature, 448:692-695. [ pdf file 449 kB ]

Molem, K., Mogia, M., Kutil, R. & Auga, J. (2001) Scientific and traditional taxonomies of rainforest plants. In Proc. of the 'Science and Technology in Developing Countries: Emerging Trends in the New Millenium' Conference, University of Goroka, Goroka, Sept 12-14, 2001, p. 19.


Amele (native), English, Melanesian Pidgin


Measuring trees in Wanang lowland forest
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Do you prefer betelnut or juicy grubs?
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Preparations for Christmas party 2005 at an uninhabited island of Wongat
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