Floral exchange Why often the same species in Sumatra and Borneo?

Map of Area

Background and context

Sumatra, Borneo and the Malay Peninsula have an everwet climate, thus seemingly easy for species to disperse between these three areas. However, barriers exist. During interglacial periods, like present, sea forms a barrier. During glacial periods the sea level can drop up to c. 120 m and a vast dry continent occurs between the three areas, but now with possibly a savannah corridor and food-poor white sands (former sea floor) as possible barriers. 

Floral exchange

Objectives & goals

When and how could species disperse? Is there an alternative route during glacial or interglacial periods? A possibility is river systems. Or did the dispersal occur well before the present glacial-interglacial cycles? This can be checked with dated phylogenies.


Results will be published in a high impact journal. Thus report in the format of a journal manuscript.


Peter van Welzen



Period and duration

Can start any time, takes c. 5 months, but discuss date well in advance.

Study and level

Biology, MSc