Team Underground

Dr. Kelly M. Andersen

Assistant Professor

Tropical Forest Ecology and Biogeochemistry • Asian School of the Environment • Nanyang Technological University • Singapore


Permanent email:

I am interested in fundamental questions in ecology and use functional approaches to link community and ecosystem ecology. I seek to answer long-standing questions about the influence of above- and below-ground resource limitation on plant function and species coexistence at multiple scales. By focusing on the whole plant system, my research has implications for species diversity, plant function and ecosystem processes.

I moved to Singapore in 2019, where I am an Assistant Professor in the Asian School of the Environment (ASE) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). I am originally from Madison, Wisconsin, USA, but have lived abroad for most of my adult life. I spent 10 years living and working in Panama, where I conducted my PhD and Postdoctoral Fellowship research with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Before Singapore, I lived in Exeter, UK and conducted research in the Brazilian Amazon in a large-scale nutrient addition experiment: the Amazon Fertilisation Experiment (AFEX). My research in Southeast Asian tropical forests focuses on how mycorrhizal symbioses affect plant root traits and function, soil microbial biomass and function, and coupled carbon-nutrient cycling.


Lab Manager

Riley (dog) is the official well-being [Golden] Lab Manager and all around good boi.


Assistant Lab Manager

Jasper (dog) is the second-in-command [Golden] Lab Assistant Manager and also and all around good boi.

Nanette Raczka

Research Fellow

I am an ecosystem ecologist who combines ecosystem level measurements with isotopic techniques. I am currently researching tree nutrient acquisition strategies in pristine and degraded tropical peat forests in Brunei.

Vupasana Srinivasan

Research Assistant

When I’m not assisting with field and lab work, I am usually cosying up with my Kobo, crafting or trying to use up my Classpass credits!

Hellen Fernanda Cunha Viana

PhD Student – INPA, Brazil

I am a forest ecologist examining nutrient limitation of carbon cycling in the Amazon Fertilisation Experiment (AFEX)

Lee Ming Yang

PhD Student

I’m a second-year PhD student studying root traits and phosphorus acquisition strategies in old-growth and regenerating forests in Southeast Asia. When I’m not hugging trees or digging roots, I like to go on long hikes in the wilderness or dance with a few friends on the streets.

Colton Collins

PhD Student

Plant soil interactions

Nicholas Cho

PhD Student

Tembusu genomics

Ngiam Jia Jun

PhD Student

I am a plant bioinformatician interested in understanding the dominance of the Dipterocarpaceae family in south east Asia. I’m currently employing both metagenomics and phylogenomics techniques to understand its ectomycorrhizal associations. Outside of lab, I can be found around the eastern coast of Singapore windsurfing.

Ko Chung-Wing

PhD Student

I’m a first-year PhD student interested in how environmental change in the tropics of Southeast Asia impacts fungal networks associated with plant nutrient acquisition. Other than research, I like to spend my time exploring new places and reading!

Madeleine Königer

PhD Student

I’m a forest ecologist studying the effects of soil nutrients on plant nutrient economics. In my current project I’m researching root and leaf functional traits in different tropical forest types. In my spare time I like swimming and running. 

Team Underground Alumni

Ng Ying Xuan

Undergraduate Student

I’m looking at the C and N content in the roots of various species. I like animals – I like big dogs and I think small dogs are mean.

Delia Binny

Undergraduate Student

I’m a year 3 undergrad studying ecology and ecosystems and I find trees and forest ecology really cool! I’m working on comparing respiration rates in old growth and secondary forests.

Ho Qin Yi

Former Research Assistant

Fundamental in setting up the Team Underground and Forest Ecology Labs. Plants and insects interest me.

Ng Jing Cheng

ASE alumni 2022

I’m a senior at ASE and am excited to unearth the different nutrient uptake rates of trees roots in Bukit Timah. I love running!

Wesley Goh

ASE alumni 2022

I’m working on the staining of mycorrhiza to find out the colonisation rates of mycorrhiza in various trees found in old growth and secondary forests in Singapore. I used to not like biology (including ecology) as a subject but I’m in the ecology specialisation now and taking a minor in life science.

Past studentsGraduation yearProject classificationProject scope
Zann Teo2023CN Yang Scholar’s Programme (CNYSP) Soil cation extraction to study root-soil interactions
Cheryl Aw2022 Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA) Soil CHN composition
Ian Feng2021Final Year Project (FYP)Phosphorous fractions in soil
Terence Chua2020Final Year Project (FYP) Statistical models in ecology and soil respiration
Marcus Lim2020Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA)Root traits
Debbie Tan2020Work-studyMycorrhizal colonization
Clarice Ling2020CN Yang Scholar’s Programme (CNYSP)LAI and light environments in old growth and secondary forests
VisitorInstitution Visiting year
Lu XianchengUniversity of Notre DameGraduated Masters student2021
Naomi SchulbergCornell UniversityUndergraduate2020