Sungsik Kong

Summary [cv]

I am a Ph.D. student at the Ohio State University under supervision of Professor Laura Kubatko from fall 2018.

I have conferred BS and MS degree from University of Toronto, Canada. I have studied bioinformatics and phylogenetics and herpetology (Indochina green pitvipers; genus Trimeresurus) under supervision of Professor Robert Murphy, senior curator at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the Royal Ontario Museum; professor at University of Toronto and Chinese Academy of Sciences. Also, under supervision of Professor Deborah McLennan, I investigated the evolution of infanticidal behavior in primates focusing on the sexual selection hypothesis. I spent years with Eric Davies at Urban Biodiversity and Forestry Laboratory as a Biodiversity Technician. These experiences me to explore biology in more philosophical perspectives.

Before I move to Columbus, I worked as a researcher at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea, with Professor Yikweon Jang and Professor Jae Chun Choe.


  1. Kim K, Kong S, Kim YI, Borzée A, Bae Y, Jang Y. (2018) Japanese Hard ticks (Ixodes nipponensis) parasitizing on the Endangered Leopard Cat (Prionaliurus bengalensis euptilura) in the Republic of Korea. Animal Systematics, Evolution and Diversity. 34: 23–26. doi:
  2. Kong S, Sánchez-Pacheco SJ Murphy RW. (2016) On the use of Median-Joining Networks in Evolutionary Biology. Cladistics. 32: 691–699. doi:

Teaching Experiences

I have TA-ed four courses at University of Toronto. My teaching responsibilities included laboratory demonstration, coordinated live teaching demonstration both solely and with colleagues and curriculum development.

BIO 120: Adaptation and Biodiversity
(Gerstein Science and Information Center: Guide for BIO 120 and other biology students can be found here)
BIO 220: From Genomics to Ecosystems in a Changing World
EEB 362: Macroevolution
EEB 386: Avian Biology

Travel Experiences

I bicycled through rural China for more than a thousand kilometers until my bike broke in suburban Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. I motor-biked into the mountains of Vietnam, following the Ho Chi Minh trail, where the remnants of the war were still noticeable. I volunteered in an elementary school in Thailand, the Primate Research Center in Indonesia and the Butterfly Sanctuary in Laos. The ongoing violent clashes between adjacent tribes in remote part of Myanmar frightened me, the tension there was significantly higher than in Pakistan or Xinjiang, China. Riding the days-long overcrowded trains in India and China was physically and mentally challenging, but the outcomes of those challenges, like trekking in the Himalayas, are some of my most precious memories.

IMG_9822 (1)
Me and my bike in Fujian Province, China, 2015