I am a lecturer in the Department of Botany at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. I was born on 8 April 1970 in Trang, a small town located on the western side of the Buntad Mountain in southern Thailand. When I was young, I would look to the mountains and wonder about the life forms that lived in that area. I visited the mountains many times to take photos of mushrooms, plants and animals along the trail to the waterfall.. After I completed secondary school from Saparachinee school in Trang, I pursued my bachelor’s degree of Science in Biology (B. Sc.) at the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla Province. This is where my journey as a plant taxonomist started. I completed my senior project, on a family of flowering plants, titled “Taxonomy of family Sapindaceae in southern Thailand”. I was very impressed with this project because it answered my questions about plants in forests that I never knew.
Working in plant taxonomy motivated me to apply for a Master’s degree of Science in Botany (M. Sc.) at the Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. My goal was to investigate other methods of solving problems in plant taxonomy and focused my research on a fern species complex. My thesis was titled “Biosystematics of the fern Pyrrosia eberhardtii (Christ) Ching (Polypodiaceae) in Thailand” and my advisor was Dr. Thaweesakdi Boonkerd. This research gave me hands-on experience with other ferns and bryophytes too. At the time I was already familiar with many species of ferns found in the forest, but was oblivious to all the tiny bryophytes around them. I was fortunate that Associate Professor Dr. Obchant Thaithong started a bryology course in 1995 for students who majored in Botany. Through her course my eyes opened to the world of bryophytes and that is when I first started to study bryophytes. In 1998, I became a lecturer at the Department of Botany, Chulalongkorn University. I learned more about bryophytes in many areas and was keen to revise some families for the flora of Thailand. In October 2004, I received a government scholarship to pursue my Ph.D. with Dr. Jan-Peter Frahm at Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plant, University of Bonn, Germany.
My thesis titled “Systematic treatment of Sematophyllaceae (Musci) in Thailand” was completed in 2008. There were about 24 genera and 97 species which make up approximately 10% of mosses in Thailand. I had a wonderful time studying bryophytes in Europe, which included more than 20 field trips with my supervisor to collect specimens, which are stored in Frahm’s herbarium, and study the ecology of bryophytes in Germany and neighboring countries. After I graduated with my Dr. rerum naturalium (Biology), I returned to Thailand to continue my job at Chulalongkorn University. I gave many lectures in morphology of bryophytes to more than 100 students enrolled in the Biological Science program and I also taught a course in Bryology to biodiversity students every year. I am now the curator at BCU herbarium in Chulalongkorn University. I have received a good number of research funds from the Biodiversity Research and Training Program (BRT) and the University’s research fund. My research is focused on the ecology and diversity of Sphagnaceae, Polytrichaceae and Diphysciaceae in Thailand. I conduct research in areas such as the Doi Chiang Dao wildlife sanctuary, the only alpine habitat in Thailand and many limestone mountains in western Thailand. I am interested in species distribution and adaptation on granite and sandstone rocks. I love studying morphological adaptation of mosses, to learn of their survival from the effects of climate change. In the future I plan to publish a book on the ecology and diversity of mosses for students and everyone else who love mosses.
Boonkerd, T., Pollawatn, R., Chantanaorrapint, S. and M.-J. Lai. 2007. A Note on Asterella khasyana (Griff.) Pandé, K.P. Srivast and Sultan Khan (Marchantiales, Aytoniaceae) in Thailand . The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 7(2): 175-179.
R. Pollawatn, J.-P. Frahm and T. Boonkerd. 2008. New species records of Sematophyllaceae (Musci) from Thailand. In: Mohamed, H, Baki BB, Nasrulhaq-Boyce A, Lee PKY, eds. Bryology in the New Millennium.Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya, 41-48.
Koch, K., Frahm J.-P. and R. Pollawatn. 2009. The cuticle of the Buxbaumia viridis sporophyte. Flora, vol.204, issue 1, 34-39.
Frahm, J.-P., Pollawatn, R. and S. Chantanaorrapint. 2009. New records to the bryoflora of Thailand. Tropical Bryology 30:17–18, 513-516.
Pasakorn, A., Suriyanchaiwatthana, T. and R. Pollawatn. 2018. Diversity of mosses in Phu Kradueng National Park, Loei province. Thai Journal of Botany 10 (1): 31–45.
Pollawatn, R. 2010. Taxonomy of Sphagnaceae in Thailand. Full report of Radchadapiseksompotch Fund, Chulalongkorn University.
Apawasin, W. and R. Pollawatn. 2010. Taxonomy of moss genus Pogonatum P. Beauv (Polytrichaceae) in Thailand. Senior Project Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University
Pollawatn. R. and T. Boonkerd. 2016. Diversity and xeric characters of plants in limestone ecosystem: Diversity of bryophytes in limestone forest of Thailand. Full report of Radchadapiseksompotch Fund , Chulalongkorn University.
Phonwongtrakul, T., Dumrongrojwatthana, P. and R. Pollawatn. 2018. Diversity of bryophytes in Bueng Sam Nak Yai Wetland, Rayong Province. Senior Project Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University
Pollawatn, R., Frahm, J.-P. and T. Boonkerd. 2006. Taxonomic Revision of Sematophyllaceae (Musci) in Thailand. 8-11 October 2006: Biodiversity Research and Training Program (BRT) Annual Meeting, Maritime Park and Spa Resort, Krabi, Thailand.
Seelanan, T., Pollawatn, R. and R. Bunjongrat. 2008. Diversity of Bryophytes in KhaoNan National Park, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province. 10 October 2008: Biodiversity Research and Training Program (BRT) Annual Meeting, Diamond Plaza, Surat Thani, Thailand.
Imwattana, K. and R. Pollawatn. 2014. Water transport of mosses Philonotis hastata (Duby) Wijk & Margad. and Calymperes tenerum Muell. Hal. Special study report.
Imwattana, K. and R. Pollawatn. 2015. Preliminary observations on superhydrophobic property of Bryophyte genus Philonotis. Poster Abstract: The 9th Botanical Conference of Thailand. 3-5 June 2015, Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.
Imwattana, K. and R. Pollawatn. 2015. Silver nanoparticle (AgNPs) in moss Philonotis hastata (Duby) Wijk &Margad.: Uptake and effect on growth. Hitachi Trophy Competition, 23-24 April 2015, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University.
Patsakorn, A. and R. Pollawatn. 2015. A study of Genus Sphagnum L. (Sphagnaceae) at Phu Kradung National Park, Loei Province. Poster Abstract: The 9th Botanical Conference of Thailand. 3-5 June 2015, Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.
Patsakorn, A. and R. Pollawatn. 2016. Octoblepharum pocsii Magill & B. H. Allen (Calymperaceae), a New Record to Thailand from Phu Kradueng National Park, Loei Province. Poster Abstract: The 6th Conference on Taxonomy and Systematics in Thailand. 25-27 June 2016, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.