Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Xingli Giam

Associate Professor

Research Interest

Conservation ecology, global environmental change


2014 – Ph.D., Princeton University

2010 – M.Sc., National University of Singapore

2007 – B.Sc. (Hons I), National University of Singapore


Conservation ecology, global environmental change, freshwater ecosystems, community assembly, macroecology, ecological statistics, socio-ecological systems, environmental psychology

Increasing anthropogenic demands for food, energy, and raw materials are driving global-scale environmental changes with profound impacts on biodiversity. Our research group focuses on characterizing and mitigating anthropogenic impacts on the environment with an emphasis on freshwater ecosystems. We combine fieldwork with the development and application of theoretical, statistical, and meta-analytic modeling tools to conduct interdisciplinary, policy-relevant research across multiple spatial scales.

Specific research themes include:
• Understanding how environmental change impacts species, communities, and ecosystems, and developing effective mitigation strategies
• Examining how future demand for food and bioenergy impacts biodiversity conservation
• Disentangling the roles of climate change and anthropogenic land-use change on biomass fires and their impact on aquatic biodiversity in Southeast Asia
• Uncovering the effects of climate change, land-use change, dams, and invasive species on aquatic communities in the Southern Appalachians
• Elucidating mechanisms underlying large-scale patterns of species richness, turnover, and co-occurrence to inform regional and global conservation priorities
• Understanding human attitudes toward environmental sustainability to develop compelling conservation messages

I am currently recruiting graduate students to start in Fall 2019 or Spring 2020. Interested in finding out more? Let’s talk! Email me at


Visit Google Scholar, ResearchGate, or my Lab Website for more publications.
(*Undergraduate and **graduate student mentees)

• Giam X, Olden JD, Simberloff, D. 2018. Impact of coal mining on stream biodiversity in the US and its regulatory implications. Nature Sustainability 1: 176–183.
• Chang CH***, Cruyff MJLF, Giam X. In Press. Examining conservation compliance with randomized response technique analyses. Conservation Biology. doi: 10.1111/cobi.13133
• Giam X, Olden JD. 2018. Drivers and interrelationships among multiple dimensions of rarity for freshwater fishes. Ecography 41: 331–344.
• Giam X, Chen W, Schriever TA, Van Driesche R, Muneepeerakul R, Lytle DA, Olden JD. 2017. Hydrology drives seasonal variation in dryland stream macroinvertebrate communities. Aquatic Sciences 79: 705–717.
• Giam X. 2017. Global biodiversity loss from tropical deforestation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 114: 5775–5777. [Invited Commentary]
• Dala-Corte RB**, Giam X, Olden JD, Becker FG, Guimarães TDF, Melo AS. 2016. Revealing the pathways by which agricultural land-use affects fish communities in South Brazilian grasslands. Freshwater Biology 61: 1921–1934.
• Giam X, Olden JD. 2016. Environment and predation govern fish community assembly in temperate streams. Global Ecology and Biogeography 25: 1194–1205.
• Giam X, Mani L*, Koh LP, Tan HTW. 2016. Saving tropical forests by knowing what we consume. Conservation Letters 9: 267–274.
• Giam X, Olden JD. 2016. Quantifying variable importance in a multimodel inference framework. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 7: 288–397.
• Giam X, Hadiaty R, Tan HH, Parenti LR, Wowor D, Sauri S, Chong KY, Yeo DCJ, Wilcove D. 2015. Mitigating the impact of oil palm monoculture on freshwater fishes in Southeast Asia. Conservation Biology 29: 1357–1367.
• Burivalova Z, Lee TM, Giam X, Sekercioglu CH, Wilcove DS, Koh LP. 2015. Avian responses to selective logging shaped by species traits and logging practices. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 282: 20150164.
• Wilcove DS, Giam X, Edwards DP, Fisher B, Koh LP. 2013. Navjot’s nightmare revisited: logging, agriculture, and biodiversity in Southeast Asia. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28: 531–540.
• Giam X, Koh LP, Tan HH, Miettinen J, Tan HTW, Ng PKL. 2012. Global extinctions of freshwater fishes follow peatland conversion in Sundaland. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 465–470.
• Giam X, Scheffers BR, Sodhi NS, Wilcove DS, Ceballos G, Ehrlich PR. 2012. Reservoir of richness: least disturbed tropical forests are centres of undescribed species diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 279: 67–76.
• Giam X, Ng TH, Lok AFSL, Ng HH. 2011. Local geographic range predicts freshwater fish extinctions in Singapore. Journal of Applied Ecology 48: 356–363.

Contact Information

  • 527 Hesler
  • Mailing Address: 569 Dabney Hall, 1416 Circle Dr, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • Phone: 865-974-2189
  • Fax: 865-974-3067
  • E-mail:
  • Lab Website