Sulawesi Keepers have a new member – and the first ever to come directly from Sulawesi! You may have already noticed the name Muhammad Iqram when we reported on the webinar we organized together with Hasanuddin University at the end of last year. Iqram was then the moderator and our liaison between Sulawesi Keepers and the university. In the months that followed, our collaboration deepened to the point where we felt it was important that Iqram be one of us.

Iqram is an incoming PhD student at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. He will focus on exploring freshwater biodiversity, particularly atyids shrimps and snails, in different types of freshwater bodies including subterranean ecosystems, remote upstream and ancient lakes. Apart from his interest in documenting freshwater macroinvertebrate diversity, deploying eDNA metabarcoding to monitor native and endemic species is one of approaches in his study. Being born and raised in Sulawesi island have pretty much influenced Iqram’s interest to start exploring and conserving unique freshwater biodiversity of Sulawesi amidst ongoing various threats. He has initiated a small community that involves students from Biology Department of Hasanuddin University and encourages them to actively do research and exploration of freshwater biodiversity.

Iqram makes expeditions to Lake Matano, where he gathers important information. Those of you who are subscribed to our news have already seen some of his photos. Discoveries and knowledge from the trips to the lakes will also be published here on the website, so that they reach everyone who is interested in Sulawesi.

Markéta Rejlková