Kenneth Molem
Kenneth Molem

New Guinea Binatang Research Center

  • Field assistant 1994-1995
  • Paraecologist 1995-present


Research Expertise and Experience

Biodiversity surveys using insects as indicator taxa, insect and plant collecting, mounting and labeling, insect morphotyping, curation of insect collections, insect rearing, field ecological experiments, data-basing and data management, digital and classic macro-photography, image processing.

Special skills: plants of New Guinea


  • English
  • Melanesian Pidgin (Tok Pisin)
  • Amele Traditional Language (Tok Ples)
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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. Nature448:692-695. [ 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.

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