Wed 11 Nov 2015: 4.00pm @ DBS CR1 – Pierre-Michel Forget on ‘Even +1ºC impacts tropical rainforest ecosystems’

“How only one degree Celsius more already impacts tropical rainforest ecosystems”
By Pierre-Michel Forget
Professor of Tropical Ecology,
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
Chargé de Mission, CNRS-INEE

Wed 11 Nov 2015: 4.00pm
Conference Room 1
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

Host: David Pickford

All are welcome

Thu 29 Oct 2015: 7.00pm @ LKCNHM – Dwi Listyo Rahayu on “Hermit crabs of Singapore”

“Hermit crabs of Singapore”

by Dr Dwi Listyo Rahayu
Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI),
Lombok, Indonesia.

Shell Visiting Scientist
NUS Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum &
Shell Singapore.

Thu 29 Oct 2015: 7.00pm
(dinner is provided)
Venue: Learning Lab 2,
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
National University of Singapore

Mon 26 Oct 2015: 4.00pm @ SR2 – Maxine Mowe on ‘Growth and toxin production of cyanobacteria Microcystis spp. from Singapore reservoirs.’

Mad Mowe  LKCNHM

PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination

“Toxic cyanobacteria in the tropics: Effects of environmental factors on the growth and toxin production of Microcystis species isolated from Singapore reservoirs.”

Maxine Allayne Darlene Mowe
Graduate Student
Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS

Mon 26 Oct 2015: 4.00pm
DBS Seminar Room 2 (S2 Level 4, #04-15)
Supervisor: Darren Yeo Chong Jinn

All are welcome


Cyanobacterial blooms are a global problem for water resources due to toxin production. The majority of studies have focused on blooms in temperate areas with less focus on the tropics. A global meta-analysis of cyanobacteria blooms in tropical lakes conducted to better understand prevailing trends revealed Microcystis and microcystin to be the most commonly encountered cyanobacterial genus and toxin.

To investigate this trend in Singapore, potentially toxic species from Singapore’s reservoirs were isolated and cultured, including species of Microcystis, Cylindrospermopsis, Planktothrix and Planktothricoides, which were found to produce microcystins (RR and LR) and cylindrospermopsins. Focussing on Microcystis, laboratory and field experiments were then conducted to investigate the effects of light, temperature, and nutrients on their growth and toxin production.

Low light and high nutrient levels were found to increase Microcystis growth, while low light and lower phosphorus levels increased toxin cell quotas. This study is the first to record the effects of environmental variables on toxin cell quotas of Microcystis ichthyoblabe, M. flos-aquae and M. viridis isolated in the tropics. This information will benefit water management in Singapore by improving the understanding the growth conditions conducive Microcystis growth and how these influence toxin production.

Photo by Priya Jean Alexander.

23 Oct 2015: 4.00pm – Guy Nathan Rutty on “The pathology of King Richard III”

20151023 GuyNathanRutty

In February this year, the news cycle carried the story of forensic expert who revealed that King Richard III was killed by a sword thrust to the base of the neck which went all the way up into his head.

Well, that was Guy Rutty of the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit (Univ. Leicester) who spotted the wound while examining Richard III’s skull. The investigation was being video-recorded so the moment was captured:

See “Richard III killed by sword thrust upwards into neck,” by Rossella Lorenzi. National Geographic, 12 Feb 2015.