Ratha Sor, Ph.D.


Lecturer in Conservation Science and Practice


Ph.D. in Ecology, Biodiversity, and Evolution
University of Toulouse - Paul Sabatier III (France)

Ph.D. in Applied Biological Sciences
Ghent University (Belgium)

M.Sc. in Biodiversity Conservation
Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia)

B.Sc. in Biology
Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia)


SFS 3800 Conservation Science and Practice
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

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Faculty Profile

Dr. Ratha Sor, a Cambodian citizen, is a broadly trained ecologist and conservationist. He has experienced working internationally, in particular in Asia, Europe, South and North America. From these different regions, he also has years of working experiences with governments and environment-related NGOs.

The doctoral work of Dr. Sor primarily focused on modelling spatial-temporal changes of invertebrate communities in Asian (the Mekong) and European (Flemish) rivers. During this assignment, he assessed the overall water quality status of the studied rivers using physical-chemical and biological properties. He also quantified the impacting levels of the drivers (e.g. water quality, anthropic disturbance, climatic conditions and biological invasion) on invertebrate communities along the river gradients and provided restoration and conservation suggestions. To this end, he received his double PhD degrees from Ghent University (Belgium) and the University of Paul Sabatier – Toulouse III (France) in 2017.

Before his Ph.D., Dr. Sor was a junior, and then a full, researcher at Fauna & Flora International – Cambodian Program. He was responsible for leading the fieldwork design/ implementation and the analysis of biotic and abiotic data collected from the upper Cambodian Mekong Basin. In addition, he also delivered a few courses (e.g. Research Methodology and Behavioral Ecology) for the Master Program of Science in Biodiversity Conservation at the Center for Biodiversity Conservation, Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Prior to his work at SFS, he was working in Belgium as a research fellow being responsible for developing suitable data-driven models optimizing the success for the Flemish rivers restoration program and for hind- and fore-casting scenarios of mollusc invasion in the surface rivers. In that period, he also co-led the research activities and sampling campaigns in Ecuador for a few months in 2018. Since he was back in Cambodia, he has served as a consultant for several public and private institutions (e.g. Ministry of Environment and UNDP-Cambodia), which deal with the Lower Mekong Basin current issues. Other than that, Dr. Sor has been delivering some important undergraduate and graduate courses including Species Conservation, Research Methods, and Statistics for Biological and Environmental Sciences, all of which he would like to share with SFS students and staff.

Academics & Research

Areas of Expertise

  • Biodiversity conservation and restoration
  • Payment for ecosystem services and policy
  • Climate change and resilience
  • Agricultural sciences and application
  • Statistical modelling and application
  • Species Distribution Modelling (SDMs)
  • Invertebrate communities and patterns
  • Water quality assessment and management
  • Ecological/environmental modelling, monitoring, and impact assessment

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the Mekong River Commission - Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Cooperation Programme (2013-present)
  • Member of the Society for Ecological Modelling (2015-present)
  • Member of the International Water Association (2017-present)
  • Editorial Board member for the “International Journal of Oceanography & Aquaculture”, MedWin Publishers (2018-present)
  • Editorial Board for the “Cambodian Journal of Natural History”, Fauna Flora International - Royal University of Phnom Penh (2019-present)


Sor, R., Lek, S. & Park, Y-S. (2020) Mollusc biodiversity and drivers in the Lower Mekong Basin: applications for conservation and management. International Journal of Limnology [Submitted]
Seth, K & Sor, R. (2020) Perspectives of the current and past of agricultural land-use economic and management in Cambodia. International Journal of Environmental & Rural Development. [Accepted]
Chhy, T., Soth, S., Nheb, S. & Sor, R. (2019) Diversity of aquatic insect families and their relationship to water quality in urban ponds in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History [Accepted]
Sor, R. (2019) The need for payments for ecosystem services in Phnom Kulen national park and Kbal Chay multiple use areas: an evidence-based recommendation to support decision and policy making. The Final UNDP Scientific Report. UNDP-Cambodia Program, Phnom Penh – Cambodia. 27 pp.
Chan, B. Sor, R., Ngor, P.B., Baehrc, C. & Lek, S. (2019) Modelling dynamics of two small mud carp species in the Tonle Sap flood-pulse ecosystem using spatial and time-series data. Ecological Modelling 392 (2019) 82–9
Ngor, P.B., Sor, R., Prak, L.H., So, N. & Lek, S. (2018) Mollusc fisheries and length–weight relationship in Tonle Sap flood pulse system, Cambodia. International Journal of Limnology, 54, 34
Sor, R., Legendre, P. & Lek, S. (2018) Uniqueness of sampling site contributions to the total variance of macroinvertebrate communities in the Mekong River. Ecological Indicators, 84: 425-432.
Sor, R., Park, Y.S., Boets, P., Goethals, P.L.M. & Lek, S. (2017) Effects of species prevalence on the performance of predictive models. Ecological Modelling, 354: 11-19.
Sor, R., Boets, P., Chea, R., Goethals, P. L.M. & Lek, S. (2017) Spatial organization of macroinvertebrate assemblages in the Lower Mekong Basin. Limnologica, 64: 20-30.
Sor, R., Boets, P., Lek, S. & Goethals, P.L.M. (2017) Spatio-temporal co-occurrence of alien and native molluscs: a modelling approach using physical-chemical predictors. Aquatic Invasions, 12: 147-158.