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Tommy Leung

Parasitologist, Evolutionary Biologist, Researcher, Lecturer

Parasitologist and evolutionary biologist who also happen to write for a blog about parasites, and likes to draw things sometimes.
I am a biologist who conduct studies on various ecological and evolutionary biology aspects of parasitism/symbiosis. I also write for the Parasite of the Day blog, which I co-administrate with its founder, Susan Perkins of the American Natural History Museum.
Outside of my professional field, my favourite thing to do is drawing - some of which (but not all) are inspired by my scientific work. My drawings can be found on my dA account.

Ranked: 1077th in Male Users (by Followers)

Ranked: 1239th in English Users (by Followers)

Ranked: 1920th in Users (by Followers)

Date Following Followers Gained
Recent Popular Posts
About 11 weeks ago Go Big Or Go Extinct
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty pumped up about the upcoming new Godzilla film (Godzilla - Asia Trailer [HD]). However, one thing worth noting is that the 2014 Godzilla is absolutely HUGE - at about 150 metres tall, it towers over all the Pacific Rim kaiju (except Slattern) ( Over the years, Godzilla has more or less been steadily increasing in size, so at this rate, how big will Godzilla be in 2050? With a scientific-tongue-planted-firmly-in-analytical-cheek, Dr +Craig McClain wrote a post about this  from a biologist's perspective, with his size estimate for the King of the Monsters here:
#kaiju   #godzilla   #godzilla2014   #biology  

About 7 weeks ago Dumb Ways To Lie
For anyone who wants an update and summary on the current state of Australia and our federal politics...
About 9 weeks ago Grave Diggers
If you have followed my posts for a while, then you'd realise host-manipulating parasites (or "zombie-makers" as I like to call them sometimes) are everywhere - and they do extraordinary things to their hosts, making them act against their own interest for the good of their parasite handler. But not all host are equal and not all host fall under the spell of parasite in quite the same way. In this post, +Ed Yong writes about a new study on a parasitoid fly that forces its bee host to dig their own grave, but as you will see, not all bees are equally obedient to their parasitic controller.
#scienceeveryday   #biology   #parasitology   #entomology   #parasitismeveryday  

About 12 weeks ago Implicit Bias Starts Early
I have previous posted about issues of gender discrimination and obstacles for women pursuing a career in academia. Unfortunately, it seems that women and minorities are faced with such discrimination even before they embark on pursuing an academic career.
A new study found that faculty members are less likely to  respond to emails discussing potential opportunities if they had come from a women and/or minority.
The study also found there is a intersectional element to the response as well, with links between the gender and racial identity of the email sender. Additional, this bias appears to be implicit, with no relationship found between the level of bias and the representation of different within the faculty.
For more on gender bias/discrimination in science and academia see these posts here:
Subtle Gender Bias of Science Faculty
What not to do about the gender divide in science
About 1 week ago A new study conducted by Dr +Kathryn Clancy _et al._ have found an alarmingly high percent of trainees have experienced sexual harassment and assault while conducted field work. Young women are usually the primary target of such harassment or assault, and most of them are usually of "lower rank" (students, postdocs, or employees) in relation to the assailant. 
Aside from institutionalised obstacles and socially defined traditional gender roles, the issue of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace is something that really needs to be addressed if we are serious about bring greater gender equality to STEM fields.
The study is published in PLoS One and it is #openaccess , so free to download for anyone here:
cc: +STEM Women on G+ 
#scienceeveryday   #genderequality   #sexualharassment   #STEM  

About 4 weeks ago The Barnacle And The Shark
Click here for full-size and description:
I recently had an opportunity to write a Dispatch for Current Biology about a very unusual parasitic barnacle call Anelasma squalicola that infects the velvet belly lantern shark ( The Dispatch was about a new paper that came out in the same journal which indicates the closely living relatives of this parasites are, surprisingly enough, intertidal goose barnacles. To find  more about this parasite click here:
Sharing for +ScienceSunday 
#scienceeveryday   #sciencesunday   #parasitology   #parasitismeveryday   #shark  

About 9 weeks ago Fed Up With Sexual Harassment
For the last few days, Women in Astronomy has been running a series of posts about the issue of sexual harassment in the field of Astronomy, see also:
And it is certainly not a problem that is limited to that field either. (for example, see this post: by +Kathryn Clancy). 
As members of the academic or scientific community, it is our duty as decent people to recognise and speak out against sexual harassment - there is no place for it in our society.
#scienceeveryday   #stemwomen   #womeninscience   #sexualharassment  

About 10 weeks ago Going Deep
I have written a new Parasite of the Day blog post! This one is about a parasite found around hydrothermal vents called "nematode eater of the deep sea". To find out more, follow the link below!
#scienceeveryday   #biology   #parasitology   #deepsea   #parasitismeveryday   #nematodes   #marinebiology  

About 9 weeks ago Killer Sponges From The Deep!
It sounds like something from a B-horror movie, but deep sea carnivorous sponges are very real. While not at all deadly to us since it lives in the deep sea and prey on tiny crustaceans, they are a fascinating group of organisms. Earlier today, I was on the local radio talking about these killer sponges, and I suggested that perhaps there should be a special episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, where his cousin from the Deep Sea visits Bikini Bottom - in it, SpongeBob's cousin  ends up murdering  and eating everyone - maybe a kind of SpongeBob meets _Hannibal _crossover/spin-off...
#scienceeveryday   #biology   #marinelife   #marinebiology   #deepsea   #sponge  

About 10 weeks ago My, What Big Teeth You...
The art world has lost a giant with the passing of H.R. Giger (see the tribute post here: by +Glendon Mellow). Meanwhile, in the science world, new species of catfish has been discovered from a subterranean cave in Western Ghats mountain range of India which seem to be a fitting tribute to Giger's legacy. Meet Kryptoglanis shajii - a cave catfish with a face like a xenomorph.
#scienceeveryday   #biology   #ichthyology   #biodiversity