Catherine Yule


PhD (James Cook University, Australia)

Telephone: (+603) 5514 6000, ext: 46104 (DID: 5514 6104)
Room number: 4-8-03 (Building 4, Level 8, No. 03)

Interests include ecology of tropical rivers, lakes, peat swamps and mangrove forests. Present research focuses on the ecology of tropical peat swamp forests, an extreme and endangered environment (low pH, low nutrients, low oxygen). Leaf litter decomposition and peat formation, particularly with respect to microbial ecology and nutrient cycling is being studied. New species of algae, fungi and invertebrates have been discovered, including forms never before observed.

Another topic of interest is a comparison of ecosystem functioning of tropical headwater streams in different forest types and at different altitudes, focussing on leaf litter breakdown by invertebrate shredders of Malaysian streams along an altitudinal gradient and microbes. These studies are contributing to a worldwide comparison of tropical-temperate stream ecosystem function.



Selected Journal Papers

Evers, S., Yule, C. M., Padfield, R., O'Reilly, P. and Varkkey, H. (2016), Keep wetlands wet: the myth of sustainable development of tropical peatlands – implications for policies and management. Global Change Biology doi:10.1111/gcb.13422 (Impact Factor 8.444)

Yule C.M., Lim, T.Y. & Lim, Y.Y. (2016) Degradation of Malaysian peatlands decreases levels of phenolics in soil and in leaves of Macaranga pruinosa. Frontiers in Earth Science, Biogeoscience. doi: 10.3389/feart.2016.00045 Submitted by invitation (new journal – no IF available yet)

Ong KS, Aw YK, Lee, LH, Yule CM, Cheow, YL and Lee SM (2016) Burkholderia paludis sp. nov., a siderophore-producing novel Burkholderia cepacia complex species, isolated from Malaysian tropical peat swamp soil. Frontiers in Microbiology doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.02046 (IF 4.165)

Smith T.E.L., Yule C.M, Evers S., Paton-Walsh C., Gan J.Y. 2016. First in situ measurements of tropical peatland fire emissions: new emission factors for GHG reporting. Proc. International Peat Congress Kuching, Malaysia

Boyero, L.; Pearson, R; Hui, C; Perez, J; Alexandrou, M; Gessner, M; Graça, M; Cardinale, B; Albariño, R; Arunachalam, M; Barmuta, L; Boulton, A; Bruder, A; Callisto, M; Chauvet, E; Death, R; Dudgeon, D; Encalada, A; Ferreira, V; Figueroa, R; Flecker, A; Gonçalves, J F Jr; Helson, J; Iwata, T; Jinggut, T; Mathooko, J; Mathuriau, C; M'Erimba, C; Moretti, M; Pringle, C; Ramirez, A; Ratnarajah, L; Rincon, J; Yule, C.M. (2016) Biotic and abiotic variables influencing plant litter breakdown in streams: a global study. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 283: 20152664. 1098/rspb.2015.2664 (IF 5.05)

Aw, Y.K., Ong, K.S., Yule, C.M., Cheow, Y.L., Lee, L.-H., and Lee, S.M. (2016). Newly isolated Paenibacillus tyrfis sp. nov., from Malaysian tropical peat swamp soil with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity. Frontiers in Microbiology 7. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.00219. (IF 4.165)

Wijedasa, L.S., Jauhiainen, J., Könönen, M., Lampela, M., Vasander, H., LeBlanc, M.-C., Evers, S., Smith, T.E.L., Yule, C.M., Varkkey, H., Lupascu, M., Parish, F., Singleton, I., Clements, G.R., Aziz, S.A., Harrison, M.E., Cheyne, S., Anshari, G.Z., Meijaard, E., Goldstein, J.E., Waldron, S., Hergoualc'h, K., Dommain, R., Frolking, S., Evans, C.D., Posa, M.R.C., Glaser, P.H., Suryadiputra, N., Lubis, R., Santika, T., Padfield, R., Kurnianto, S., Hadisiswoyo, P., Lim, T.W., Page, S.E., Gauci, V., van der Meer, P.J., Buckland, H., Garnier, F., Samuel, M.K., Choo, L.N.L.K., O'Reilly, P., Warren, M., Suksuwan, S., Sumarga, E., Jain, A., Laurance, W.F., Couwenberg, J., Joosten, H., Vernimmen, R., Hooijer, A., Malins, C., Cochrane, M.A., Perumal, B., Siegert, F., Peh, K.S.H., Comeau, L.-P., Verchot, L., Harvey, C.F., Cobb, A., Jaafar, Z., Wösten, H., Manuri, S., Müller, M., Giesen, W., Phelps, J., Yong, D.L., Silvius, M., Wedeux, B.M.M., Hoyt, A., Osaki, M., Takashi, H., Takahashi, H., Kohyama, T.S., Haraguchi, A., Nugroho, N.P., Coomes, D.A., Quoi, L.P., Dohong, A., Gunawan, H., Gaveau, D.L.A., Langner, A., Lim, F.K.S., Edwards, D.P., Giam, X., van der Werf, G., Carmenta, R., Verwer, C.C., Gibson, L., Grandois, L., Graham, L.L.B., Regalino, J., Wich, S.A., Rieley, J., Kettridge, N., Brown, C., Pirard, R., Moore, S., Ripoll Capilla, B., Ballhorn, U., Ho, H.C., Hoscilo, A., Lohberger, S., Evans, T.A., Yulianti, N., Blackham, G., Onrizal, Husson, S., Murdiyarso, D., Pangala, S., Cole, L.E.S., Tacconi, L., Segah, H., Tonoto, P., Lee, J.S.H., Schmilewski, G., Wulffraat, S., Putra, E.I., Cattau, M.E., Clymo, R.S., Morrison, R., Mujahid, A., Miettinen, J., Liew, S.C., Valpola, S., Wilson, D., D'Arcy, L., Gerding, M., Sundari, S., Thornton, S.A., Kalisz, B., Chapman, S.J., Su, A.S.M., Basuki, I., Itoh, M., Traeholt, C., Sloan, S., Sayok, A.K. & Andersen, R. 2016. Denial of long-term issues with agriculture on tropical peatlands will have devastating consequences. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13516. (IF 8.444)

Kavousi, N., Eng, W.W.H., Lee, Y.P., Tan, L.H., Thuraisingham, R., Yule, C.M., and Gan, H.M. (2016). First high-quality draft genome sequence of Pasteurella multocida sequence Type 128 isolated from infected bone. Genome Announcements 4. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00023-16.

Yule, C.M., Gan, J.Y., Jinggut, T. and Lee, K.V. (2015) Urbanization impacts food webs and leaf litter decomposition in a tropical stream in Malaysia. Freshwater Science 34(2): 702–715. Special Issue on Tropical Streams 

Jinggut, T. and Yule, C.M. (2015) Altitudinal patterns of shredder distribution and decomposition across streams of East Malaysia, Borneo.  Freshwater Science 34(2): 691–701. Special Issue on Tropical Streams 

Boyero, L., Pearson, R., Gessner, M., Dudgeon, D., Ramírez, A., Yule, C., Callisto, M., Pringle, C., Encalada, A.C., Arunachalam, M., Mathooko, J.,Helson, J., Rincón, J., Bruder, A., Cornejo, A., Flecker, A.S., Mathuriau, C., M’Erimba, C., Gonçalves, J., Moretti, M. (2015) Leaf litter breakdown in tropical streams: is variability the norm? Freshwater Science 34(2): 759-769. Special Issue on Tropical Streams

Boyero, L., Pearson, R., Swan, C., Hui, C., Albariño, R., Arunachalam, M., Callisto, M., Chara, J., Chara-Serna, A., Chauvet, E., Cornejo, A., Dudgeon, D., Encalada, A., Ferreira, V., Gessner, M., Gonçalves, J., Graça, M., Helson, J., Mathooko, J., McKie, B., Moretti, M., Yule, C. (2015) Latitudinal gradient of nestedness and its potential drivers in stream detritivores. Ecography 38: 001-007. DOI:10.1111/ecog.00982 

Chua, P., Har, ZM., Austin, CM., Yule, CM., Dykes, G A. and Lee, SM. (2015) Genome sequencing and annotation of Cellulomonas sp. HZM. Genomics Data. doi: 10.1016/j.gdata.2015.05.009

Aw YK, Ong KS, Yule CM, Gan HM. and Lee SM (2014) Draft genome sequence of Paenibacillus sp. MSt1 with broad antimicrobial activity isolated from Malaysian tropical peat swamp soil (genomeA01024-14). Genome Announcements September/October 2014 vol. 2 no. 5 e01024-14 

Ong KS, Aw YK, Gan HM. Yule CM, and Lee SM (2014) Draft genome sequences of two antimicrobial-producing Burkholderia sp. Strains, MSh1 and MSh2, isolated from Malaysian tropical peat swamp forest soil. Genome Announcements September/October 2014 vol. 2 no. 5 e01032-14

Ong, C., Juan, J.C. and Yule, C.M. (2014) Litterfall production and chemistry of Koompassia malaccensis and Shorea uliginosa in a tropical peat swamp forest: - plant nutrient regulation and climate relationships. Trees 29(2): 527-537. 

Lim, T.Y. Lim, Y.Y. & C.M. Yule. (2014) Spatial variation in bioactivity of leaves of several Macaranga species in tropical peat swamp and non-peat swamp environments. Journal of Tropical Forest Science 26(1):134-141 

Boyero, L., Pearson, R. G., Dudgeon, D., Ferreira, V., Graça, M. A. S., Gessner, M. O., Boulton, A. J., Chauvet, E., Yule, C. M., Albariño, R. J., Ramírez, A., Helson, J. E., Callisto, M., Arunachalam, M., Chará, J., Figueroa, R., Mathooko, J. M., Gonçalves Jr, J. F., Moretti, M. S., Chará-Serna, A. M., Davies, J. N., Encalada, A., Lamothe, S., Buria, L. M., Castela, J., Cornejo, A., Li, A. O. Y., M'Erimba, C., Villanueva, V. D., del Carmen Zúñiga, M., Swan, C. M. and Barmuta, L. A. (2012), Global patterns of stream detritivore distribution: implications for biodiversity loss in changing climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21: 134–141. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00673.x

Jinggut, T, Yule CM and Boyero, L. (2012) Stream ecosystem integrity is impaired by logging and shifting agriculture in a global megadiversity centre (Sarawak, Borneo). Science of the Total Environment. 437: 83–90

Jordán, F, Gjata, N, Shu, M, and Yule, CM (2012) Simulating food web dynamics along a gradient: quantifying human influence. PLoS One 7(7): e40280. doi:10.1371/journal.pone. 0040280

Boyero L, Pearson R, Dudgeon D, Graça M, Gessner MO, Ricardo J, Albariño RJ, Ferreira V, Yule CM, Boulton AJ, Arunachalam M, Callisto M, Chauvet E, Ramírez A, Chará J, Moretti M, Gonçalves JF, Helson JE, Chará AM, Encalada A, Davies JN, Lamothe S, Cornejo A, Castela J, Li AOY, Buroa. LM, Villanueva VD, Zúñiga MC, Pringle CM.  (2011) Global distribution of a key trophic guild contrasts with common latitudinal diversity patterns. Ecology 92(9): 1839-1848. DOI:

Boyero, L., Pearson, R.G., Dudgeon, D., Ferreira, V.,. Graça M.A.S., Gessner, M.O., Boulton A.J., Chauvet, E., Yule, C.M., Albariño, R.J., Ramírez, A., Helson, J.E., Callisto, M., Arunachalam, M., Chará, J., Figueroa, R., Mathooko J.M., Gonçalves J.F., Moretti, M., Chará, A.M., Davie, J. N., Encalada, A., Lamothe, S., Buria, L.M., Castela, J., Cornejo, A., Li, A.O.Y., M’Erimba, C., Villanueva, V.D., 11, Zúñiga, M.C., Swan, C., and Barmuta, L.A. (2011) Global patterns of distribution in stream detritivores: implications for biodiversity loss in changing climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography. DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2011.00673.x

Boyero, L., Pearson, R.G., Gessner, M.O., Barmuta, L.A., Ferreira, V., Graça, M.A.S., Dudgeon, D., Boulton, A.J., Callisto, M., Chauvet, E., Helson, J.E., Bruder, A., Albariño, R.J., Yule, C.M., Arunachalam, M., Davies, J.N., Figueroa, R., Flecker, A.S., Ramírez, A., Death, R.G., Iwata, T., Mathooko, J.M., Mathuriau, C., Gonçalves, J.F., Moretti, M., Jinggut, T., Lamothe, S., M’Erimba, C., Ratnarajah, L., Schindler, M.H., Castela, J., Buria, L.M., Cornejo, A., Villanueva V.D., & West, D.C. (2011) A global experiment suggests climate warming will not accelerate litter decomposition in streams but may reduce carbon sequestration. Ecology Letters 14: 289–294. DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01578.x

Yule, C.M., Boyero, L and Marchant, R. (2010) Effect of pollution on food webs in a tropical river (Borneo, Indonesia). Marine and Freshwater Research. 61: 204–213  DOI:10.1071/MF09065

Yule CM (2010) Loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in Indo-Malayan peat swamp forests. Biodiversity and Conservation 19:393–409 DOI: 10.1007/s10531-008-9510-5


Tropical Aquatic Ecology, Freshwater Invertebrates, Tropical Peat Swamps, Leaf Litter Decomposition


Yule, C.M. and Yong, H.S. (Eds.) (2004) Freshwater Invertebrates of the Malaysian Region. Acad. Sciences Malaysia. Pp 861. 

Chapters available as pdfs at: 

Book chapter

Wantzen, K.M., Yule, C.M., Mathooko, J. M. & C. Pringle (2008) Organic-matter dynamics and processing in tropical streams. Pp 43-64.In: Dudgeon, D (Ed) Tropical Stream Ecology. Academic Press. London.

Wantzen, K. M., Yule, C.M, Tockner, K., Junk W.J. (2008) Riparian wetlands of streams: tropical and temperate systems. Pp 119-217. In: Dudgeon, D (Ed) Tropical Stream Ecology. Academic Press. London. 

Yule C.M. (2011) Loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in Indo-Malayan peat swamp forests Chapter 6 In Lane, D.J.W. (Ed) Tropical Islands Biodiversity Crisis: The Indo-West Pacific. Series: Topics in Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 13. Springer. 285 pp.

  1. Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, Monash University Malaysia Campus, 2011 
  2. Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Administration, Monash University Malaysia Campus, 2011
  3. Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council 2008. The citation was “For contextualising quality science curricula to engage students in local environmental issues in Southeast Asia through field activities in forest and aquatic ecosystems”.
  4. Pro-Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Monash University Sunway Campus, 2008
  5. Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, Monash University 2007
  6. Commended by the Pro Vice Chancellor for having the equal top ratings for my subjects in Unit Evaluations for Monash University Sunway Campus 2007
  7. Best Lecturer Award for School of Science 2006, awarded by the Monash University Student Association
  8. Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Good Practice in Teaching Award for 2006 following Student Evaluation of all units taught for Monash University Sunway Campus

PhD Students (Present)

  1. Too Chin Chin
  2. Darshanaa Chelliah
  3. Vishalini Ghobe
  4. Lee Jo Kien 
  5. Sonja Raub
  6. Aw Yoong Kit

PhD Students (Completed)

  1. Lim Tse Yuen
  2. Cheryl Ong 
  3. Tajang Jinggut

MSc Students (Completed)

  1. Lalita Gomez

Honours Students (Present)

  1. Josheena Naggea

Honours Students (Completed)

  1. Darshanaa Chelliah
  2. Vishalini Ghobe 
  3. Lee Jin Min
  4. Nina Rizali
  5. Gan Jing Ye
  6. Lee Kong Ving
  7. Damian Oyong
  8. Lean Lee Ming
  9. Nova Pandi
  10. Meaghan Raymond 
  11. Chris Funtera 
  12. Cheryl  Ong 
  13. Lee Jo Kien 
  14. Tajang Jinggut 
  15. Tay Chien Wen 
  16. Meera Supramaniam 
  17. John Lim 
  18. Melissa Chin 
  19. Christina Cheah
  20. Priscilla Uththamarajan 
  21. Lalita Gomez 

Subject Editor for Biotropica