Debby Ng

Academic Qualifications

B.Sc. (Hons I) Zoology, University of Tasmania

B.Sc. Zoology & Geography with minor in Spatial Sciences, University of Tasmania

Dip. Mass Communications, Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Research areas

Disease ecology, infectious diseases, human-wildlife conflict, conservation biology, illegal wildlife trade, epidemic dampening.

Research interests

Humans, our animals, and plants, live with pathogens. Yet disease is not necessarily an outcome. Debby’s research focuses on understanding how humans change the ecology of infectious diseases, and how ecological solutions can be leveraged to protect human and animal health.

Her conservation work in Nepal’s Annapurna Conservation Area examines how land-use change, tourism, pastoralism, and human-wildlife interactions influence the disease ecology of this threatened and fragile ecosystem. She engages policy makers, non-profits, local communities, and veterinarians to implement low-cost, and community-led solutions to manage diseases.


Debby Ng is a wildlife disease ecologist, environmental journalist and wildlife crime investigator. She is the Co-founder of the Himalayan Mutt Project (HMP), a community-led effort to monitor and manage infectious diseases in wild and domestic animals in Nepal. Debby has also led projects across Tanzania, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia with the Environmental Investigation Agency, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, World Animal Protection, and TRAFFIC Southeast Asia. She is also the Founder of the Hantu Blog, a volunteer organization that engages policy makers and enhances ocean-literacy through storytelling, citizen science and ecotourism to protect coral reefs in Singapore. Debby is a Duke University Global Fellow in Conservation Biology and Policy, and a National Geographic Explorer.

Selected publications

  1. 2019 Ng D, S Carver, M Gotame, D Karmasharya, D Karmacharya, SM Pradhan, AN Rana & CN Johnson. Husbandry and community attitudes toward domestic dogs in Nepal's Annapurna Conservation Area - Implications dog husbandry and human behaviour for wildlife disease. PLOS ONE 14(12): e0220874.
  2. Life of my Sisters: Female Education in Nepal. Tuber Productions, Singapore. [ISBN 9810844905]. Debby Ng, Edwin Koo.

Feature and publications in popular media

  1. 2019 In the Himalayas, growing population of feral dogs poses threat to wildlife, humans. FirstPost (India). 3 Mar.
  2. 2018 Singaporean wins US10,000 National Geographic Grant to study dog disease in Nepal. The Straits Times (Singapore). 6 Jun.
  3. 2017 Dogs are man’s best friend but one of wildlife’s worst foesWashington Post(USA).
  4. 2017 The Hidden Cost of CashmereForbes(USA).
  5. 2017 Saving dogs, wildlife and people at the same time. The Straits Times (Singapore). 11 Aug
  6. 2016 Singapore’s Secret Underwater Gardens. SG Pulse – Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (Singapore). 7 Dec.

 Conference and presentations

  1. 2020 Communicating Science in a Pandemic. Disease Ecology & Spillover, Guest Lecture. Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. November 24.
  2. 2019 Distemper: A wildlife threat in Nepal’s Himalaya? National Geographic Explorers Festival, Lightning Talk. National Geographic Society, Washington DC, USA. 10-13 Jun. [Link]
  3. 2019 Village dogs in the Himalaya: Management and risk of disease spillover to wildlife. Student Conference for Conservation Science, Poster. Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. 26-28 Mar. Debby Ng, Scott Carver, Christopher N. Johnson.
  4. 2019 Village dogs in the Himalaya: Management and risk of disease spillover to wildlife. WildCRU Conservation Geopolitics Forum, Poster. Oxford University, Oxfordshire, UK. 19-22 Mar.  Debby Ng, Scott Carver, Christopher N. Johnson.
  5. 2019 The relevance of local heroes for successful nature conservation. Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, Guest Lecture. James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. 7 Oct.
  6. 2019 Dogs and canine distemper in Annapurna Conservation Area. PechaKucha Night Kathmandu Vol 17, Presentation. Godavari Alumni Association, Kathmandu, Nepal. 25 Sep.
  7. 2019 Conservation in Nepal: Building partnerships for people and wildlife. College of Alice and Peter Tan, Guest Lecture. National University of Singapore. 22 Jan.
  8. 2018 Conservation in Nepal: Building partnerships for people and wildlife, Guest Lecture. National Institute of Education, Singapore. 26 Oct.
  9. 2017 Embracing wildlife: Conservation in Singapore and Nepal. Inspired by Values Speaker Series, Guest Lecture. Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, Singapore. 29 Sept.
  10. 2016 Female education and nature conservation, Guest Lecture. Raffles Girls’ School, Singapore. 22 Jan.
  11. 2015 The Himalayan Mutt Project: Bringing modern and humane solutions to people and animals in the Himalaya, Guest Lecture. School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences, Singapore Polytechnic. 11 Feb.
  12. 2015 The Himalayan Mutt Project: Bringing modern and humane solutions to people and animals in the Himalaya. Guest Lecture. Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. 28 Jan.
  13. 2014 The Himalayan Mutt Project: Bringing modern and humane solutions to people and animals in the Himalaya, Guest Lecture. Environment Week Talks, Nanyang Girls’ High School, Singapore. 22 Apr.
  14. 2012 Singapore’s Wild Coastlines: Mangroves to coral reefs, Guest Lecture. National Junior College, Singapore. 30 Oct.
  15. 2012 Utilising mass media as a tool for "preventative medicine".  ActivAid Conference, Invited Seminar. Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. 26 Aug.
  16. 2012 Marvels of Singapore’s urban marine life. Invited Seminar. Barclays Capital, Singapore. 2 Feb.
  17. 2011 Singapore’s Southern Haunt: How coral reefs cope with development, Public seminar. National Geographic Store, Singapore. 26 Nov.
  18. 2011 Life of my Sisters: Education amidst hardship and poverty, Guest Lecture. Ministry of Education, Singapore. 20 Apr. Debby Ng, Edwin Koo.
  19. 2010 Life of my Sisters: An Illustrated story about female education in Nepal, Public seminar. National Library, Singapore. 19 Nov.