Fireflies have been of great interest to humans for centuries. They are among many species capable of producing light. Despite that, so many nameless species are waiting to be discovered; yet we have so little time and so few taxonomists! This talk tells brief stories of some fascinating species of fireflies in Southeast Asia. It also highlights the recent discovery of the Singapore firefly from the last remaining freshwater swamp in Singapore. The discovery of this tiny glimmery firefly also inspired a remarkable musical number – a symphony piece titled 'Luciola singapura'. Amidst the global pandemic, the discovery of Luciola singapura is a source of hope, emphasising the importance of taxonomy and its role in protecting Singapore’s natural heritage.
Wan F.A. Jusoh is currently a Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity and Conservation at School of Science, Monash University Malaysia. Wan has been studying fireflies since 2006 and now a co-chair for IUCN SSC Firefly Specialist Group. In the steering committee of Fireflyers International Network (FIN), she serves as a representative for Australia and the Pacific islands. Her teaching and research interests are biodiversity conservation, taxonomy and systematics of fireflies in SE Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands and history of natural history collections. Prior to joining Monash University, Wan worked as Research Fellow at NUS for 5 years.
Anthony D. Medrano is the National University of Singapore (NUS) Presidential Young Professor of Environmental Studies at Yale-NUS College and a member of NUS' Department of History. He's also a Research Affiliate at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, a Research Associate at the Asia Research Institute, and PI of the MoE-funded (SSRTG) project titled "Linking the Digital Humanities to Biodiversity History in Singapore and Southeast Asia." His teaching and scholarship focus on the histories and intersections of economic life and biodiversity change in Singapore and Southeast Asia.