Tim Cutajar
Postgraduate Research Student

Tim Cutajar

Postgraduate Research Student
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Can bugs do it better? Determining the utility of invertebrate-derived DNA for species detectability in imperilled amphibian communities and improving survey design.

I am interested in innovations that can improve our understanding of biodiversity and species’ distributions to inform conservation. My research involves the development of iDNA (invertebrate-derived DNA) methods for increasing the detectably of amphibian species that are difficult to detect using traditional techniques. This work is currently focused on the host/parasite relationship between frogs and frog-seeking hematophagous flies in the genera CorethrellaSycorax and Uranotaenia.





  • Tapley, B., Nguyen, L.T., Nguyen, C.T., Hoang, G.T. & Cutajar, T.P. (2021) Oviposition sites of the Hoang Lien Horned Frog, Megophrys hoanglienensis (Tapley et al., 2018). Herpetology Notes. 14: 937-939. full text.
  • Tapley, B., Cutajar, T., Nguyen. L.T., Portway, C., Mahony, S., Nguyen, C.T., Harding, L., Luong, H.V., & Rowley, J.J.L. (2021). A new potentially Endangered species of Megophrys from Mount Ky Quan San, northwest Vietnam. Journal of Natural History. 54: 2543-2575. full text.


  • Alabai, M., Esau, T., Kekeubata, E., Esau, D., Waneagea, J., Lobotalau, L., Alick, J., Silas, J., Solome, L., Waneagea, J., Mousisi, K., Cutajar, T.P., Portway, C.D., MacLaren, D.J., & Rowley, J.J.L. (2020). Apparent absence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in frogs in Malaita Province, Solomon Islands. Pacific Conservation Biologyhttps://doi.org/10.1071/PC20047
  • Nguyen, L. T., Tapley, B., Cutajar, T., Nguyen, C.T., Portway, C., Harding, L., Luong, H.V. & Rowley, J.J.L. (2020). A description of the tadpole of the Critically Endangered Botsford’s leaf-litter frog (Leptobrachella botsfordi) with comments on the distribution and conservation status of the species. Zootaxa. 4860: 293–300. abstract.
  • Tapley, B., Nguyen, L.T., Cutajar, T., Nguyen, C.T., Portway, C., Van Luong, H., and Rowley, J.J.L. (2020). The tadpoles of five Megophrys Horned frogs (Amphibia: Megophryidae) from the Hoang Lien Range, Vietnam. Zootaxa, 4845 (1): 35–52. abstract
  • Tapley, B., Nguyen, L.T., Portway, C., Cutajar, T., Nguyen, C.T., Van Luong, H., Kane, D., Harding, L. & Rowley, J.J.L. (2020) A point endemic no more; a range extension for Oreolalax sterlingae (Nguyen et al., 2013) in Bat Xat District, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Herpetology Notes. 13, 497-500.full text
  • Portway, C.D., Cutajar, T.P., King, A. & Rowley, J.J.L. (2020) First evidence of the amphibian chytrid fungus likely driving dramatic frog community changes on the New England Tablelands of Eastern Australia. Herpetological Review. 51 (2), 247-251.
  • Portway, C.D., Cutajar, T.P. & Rowley, J.J.L. (2020) Survey for amphibian chytrid fungus infection in the enigmatic Green-thighed Frog (Litoria brevipalmata). Herpetological Review. 51 (2), 252-253.
  • Cutajar, T.P. and Rowley, J.J.L. (2020) Surveying frogs from the bellies of their parasites: invertebrate-derived DNA as a novel survey method for frogs. Global Ecology & Conservation. e00978.
  • Cutajar, T.P., Rowley, J.J.L., Nguyen, L.T., Nguyen, C.T., Portway, C., Harding, L., Luong, H.V. and Tapley, B. (2020) The advertisement call of Megophrys jingdongensis Fei and Ye, 1983 and a new record from Lai Chau Province, Northeast Vietnam. Herpetology Notes. 13: 139-143.


  • Nguyen, L.T., Tapley, B., Cutajar, T.P., Nguyen, C.T., Portway, C., Harding, L., Van Luong, H. and Rowley, J.J.L. (2019) The first records of Limnonectes nguyenorum Mcleod, Kurlbaum & Hoang (Amphibia: Anura: Dicroglossidae) from lao Cai Province, northwest Vietnam. Proceedings of the 4th National Scientific Conference on Amphibians and Reptiles in Vietnam.
  • Rowley, J.J., Callaghan, C.T., Cutajar, T.P., Portway, C., Potter, K., Mahony, S., Trembath, D.F., Flemons, P. & Woods, A. (2019) FrogID: Citizen Scientists provide validated biodiversity data on frogs of Australia. Herpetological Conservation and Biology. 14 (1): 155-170.


  • Rowley, J.J.L. & Cutajar, T.P. (2018) Rediscovery of the Booroolong Frog Litoria booroolongensis on the Australian New England Tablelands after more than 40 years.Herpetological Review. 49: 620-621.
  • Tapley, B., Cutajar, T.P., Nguyen, L.T., Nguyen, C.T., Harding, L., Portway, C., Van Luong, H. & Rowley, J.J.L. (2018) A new locality and elevation extension for Megophrys rubrimera (Tapley et al., 2017) in Bat Xat Nature Reserve, Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam. Herpetology Notes. 11: 865-868.
  • Tapley, B., Cutajar, T.P., Mahony, S., Nguyen, C.T., Dau, V.Q., Luong, A.M., Le, D.T., Nguyen, T.T., Nguyen, T.Q., Portway, C. & Luong, H.V. (2018) Two new and potentially highly threatened Megophrys Horned frogs (Amphibia: Megophryidae) from Indochina’s highest mountains. Zootaxa. 4508 (3): 301-333.


  • Tapley, B., Rowley, J.J.L., Cutajar, T.P., Mahony, S., Nguyen, C.T., Vinh, D.Q., Nguyen, T.T. & Luong, V.H. (2017) The Vietnamese population of Megophrys kuatunensis(Amphibia: Megophryidae) represents a new species of Asian horned frog from Vietnam and southern China. Zootaxa. 4344 (3): 465-492.
  • Rowley, J.J.L., Dau, V.Q., Hoang, H.D., Le, D.T.T., Cutajar, T.P. & Nguyen, T.T. (2017) A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from northern Vietnam. Zootaxa. 4243 (3): 544-564.


  • Rowley, J.J.L., Shepherd, C.R., Stuart, B.L., Nguyen, T.Q., Hoang, H.D., Cutajar, T.P., Wogan, G.O.U. & Phimmachak, S. (2016) Estimating the global trade in Southeast Asian Newts. Biological Conservation. 199: 96-100.
Level 5 East, Biological Sciences South (E26) UNSW, Kensington 2052