Archive for the ‘talks’ Category
He will also share about career and scholarships opportunities in NParks.
PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination
“Connectivity of coral populations within the Singapore Strait”
Speaker: Tay Ywee Chieh (Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date: 26 November 2012, Monday
Venue: DBS Conference Room (S3 Level 5) #05-01
Supervisor: Asst Prof Peter Alan, Todd
Co-supervisor: Prof Chou Loke Ming
The marine environment is a dynamic system that facilitates movement of organisms between populations, a process required for sustaining healthy communities and ensuring their continued propagation. In this study, I examined the predicted and realized connectivity patterns, and the genetic diversity of coral populations within the Singapore Strait. Using different tools, e.g. hydrological simulations and genetic markers, this study aimed to (1) enhance our knowledge on coral population dynamics, and (2) assess the long-term viability of the populations. The population genetics of two hard coral species with different reproductive strategies, Platygyra sinensis and Pocillopora damicornis, were analysed and compared to get a broader perspective on the coral population connectivity dynamics. A set of newly-developed microsatellite markers for P. sinensis was also described. Identification of population connectivity patterns can help prioritize conservation efforts to target key reefs, and determine vulnerable versus stable populations. This is the first detailed study on the connectivity of Singapore’s coral reefs. The findings of my research can support local coral reef managers’ decision-making processes, especially in light of Singapore’s need to balance economic and environmental concerns. Through the course of this assessment, I also compared and discussed some of the different strategies used to make these assessments.
All are welcome!
“Habitat Enrichment for Tropical Butterflies”
Speaker: Anuj Jain (Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date: 12 November 2012, Monday
Venue: DBS Conference Room (S3 Level 5, #05-01)
Supervisor: A/P Webb, Edward L
Habitat degradation and fragmentation in the tropics, especially in South East Asia, poses great threat to tropical butterflies. Forest dependant butterfly species get worse hit as they lose original habitat and are often unable to colonize degraded habitats due to lack of species specific resources in such habitats. If scarce resources limit populations of threatened butterflies, then chances of survival of these species can be improved by enhancing habitats with key resources. Furthermore, many threatened insects cannot maintain their own populations and need intervention in the form of habitat enrichment. By using Singapore as a model system, the study first maps hotspots of butterfly diversity in Singapore, identifies areas which hold species of conservation concern and hypothesizes bottlenecks for the survival and reproduction for rare and threatened butterfly species. Next a habitat enrichment strategy using larval host plants (juvenile food resource) and nectar plants (adult food resource) is proposed to quantify the effect of habitat enrichment and identify real bottlenecks for butterflies by 1) maximizing populations in native habitat 2) improving sub-optimal habitat quality and 3) improving connectivity of fragmented native habitat by establishing resource rich stepping stones in between them. Finally, using capture-mark-recapture techniques the study will test if creating these stepping stones can increase exchange between forest fragments thus increasing long term viability of fragmented metapopulations. The study will be the first to identify bottlenecks and quantify the effects of habitat enrichment for butterflies in the tropics and give specific recommendations for conservation planning.
All are welcome
Friday 21 Sep 2012: 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm
At Level 1, Function Hall,
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Organised by National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board
and Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore
Supported by Shell Singapore
Light refreshments will be served before the talk at 6.30 pm
Synopsis – The deep-sea is one of the largest yet most poorly known ecosystems on Earth. The major part of the abyssal plains (2500-6000m) is covered by fine mud. The habitat conditions here are extreme: no light, high pressures, cold temperatures and with only a small quantity of food. While the overall biomass is small, surprisingly, the species-richness is high. Some parts of the ocean tend to concentrate life: margins of continents and slopes of the islands, seamounts, thermal vents and cold seeps, as well as numerous ecosystems based on organic substrates like skeletons or sunken wood. Most of these are situated in bathyal depths (200-2500m).
In the context of these insights; a panorama of discoveries is presented. It represents an enlightened vision of life in the deep; that it is in fact, everywhere, light is not essential and chemosynthetic systems that start new food webs are widespread, and species diversity is very high in the bathyal zone. The era for deep sea exploration is far from over — there remains much to do.
About the speaker – Dr Bertrand Richer de Forges is a remarkable marine biologist and has often spent his career in remote places sampling biodiversity, discovering new ecosystems and a cornucopia of new species. Since 1984, he has been with the French Institute of Research for Development in New Caledonia. This period corresponds with his substantial involvement in the French MUSORSTOM program to study deep-sea biodiversity. Using different research vessels, he developed new methods to explore the lagoons and deep-sea fauna in New Caledonia. During the same period, he worked in collaboration with Professor Danièle Guinot in Paris (one of the most influential carcinologists of the last 100 years) on deep-sea crabs that resulted in many key papers.
The exploration of New Caledonia was so successful that it was necessary to sample Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomons, Marquesas, Philippines and Taiwan to understand the biogeography of the Pacific. In charge of research programs on marine biodiversity, he had collaborations with colleagues from New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan, publishing many papers and books in the process. In a career that has spanned 30 years, he has described over 120 new genera and species, mostly from deep-sea. He has been on the steering committee of the Census of Marine Life on Seamounts, contributing to its success. Among his many discoveries are the discovery of a number of ‘living fossils’, including what has been called the Jurassic Shrimp, Laurentaeglyphea neocaledonia in 2006.
The Wallace Lecture Series was a series of important lectures delivered in the 1960s by well-known biologists in the then University of Malaya. These lectures stimulated discussion and encouraged the exploration of new ideas in systematics, ecology and natural heritage. It seemed especially appropriate and timely that this lecture series, named after one of the two discoverers of the modern theory of evolution, should be “resurrected” to further research interest and activity in Singapore’s rich biodiversity.
This is the second of the Wallace Lecture Series, delivered by an invited Research Scientist brought in by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research of the National University of Singapore, in conjunction with the National Biodiversity Centre (National Parks Board); and supported by Shell Singapore.
Note that this seminar is on Saturday – the Nature Society (Singapore) Butterfly Interest Group will be hosting Dr. Carlos Lopez on Saturday 26 Nov 2011 who is on a day transit to Australia for a conference. Carlos is a faculty member at INRA, Orleans, France where he works on moths.
After viewing the Butterfly Trail @ Orchard, SBG, Dr. Carlos Lopez willl give a talk at NUS which Anuj Jain is hosting:
Ecology and conservation genetics of the protected Spanish moon moth, Graellsia isabellae
By Dr Carlos Lopez Vaamonde
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)-Centre d’Orleans,
Unite de Zoologie Forestiere, France
Sat 26 Nov 2011: 2.00pm
At NUS DBS Seminar Room 2
Department of Biological Sciences (map)
Block S2, Level 4,
Science Drive 4, National University of Singapore.
ALL ARE WELCOME