Mon 31 Oct 2016: 6.15pm @ LT27 – sale of “Plants in Tropical Cities” at discounted price of $48 (student price $35) – before Jerry Coyne’s talk

On Mon 31 Oct 2016, “Plants in Tropical Cities” will be on sale at the discounted price of $48 and the special student price of $35 at LT27, from 6.15pm to 7.00pm.

This is just before the Jerry Coyne’s “Why Evolution is True” talk (registration link).

On sale at $60 at Kinokuniya, this special discounted offer is being made by the book author Boo Chih Min (email: who was a botany student in NUS herself not too long ago! She is keen to teach out to students and is making this effort to make the book accessible to them. The 19 features on roadside plants, epiphytic plants, aquatic plants, mangroves, etc. will be especially useful to anyone starting out.

Plants in Tropical Cities
By Boo Chih Min, Sharon Y. J. Chew & Jean W. H. Yong
The Definitive guide for Plants in Singapore and the neighbouring countries.

Screenshot 207

With close to 2800 plants featured, we hope that this book will help everyone to appreciate all the plants around us in our daily lives. Nineteenth palettes or likely scenarios/situations (e.g. roadside plants, green roofs, green walls, epiphytic plants, aquatic plants, seashore planting, school gardens, mangroves, plants to attract butterflies, fragrant plants) were prepared that will be helpful for anyone embarking on any plant-related development projects or simply as a hobby. Not forgetting the scientific researchers and the graduate students for their plant identification needs, we put in as many botanical details as possible for each species, within the 1000 page limit! Additionally, an Index of Genus names for quick reference was also included at the back of the book.

The “A to Z” listing of plants gave us a chance to feature 26 photos, each of which is the representative” for each alphabet (based on the scientific name). Whenever possible, native species (to our Malesian region) and various plant functional groups (e.g. aquatic plants, epiphytes, mangroves, climbers) were featured throughout the book in our bid to promote better understanding of plant adaptations and also to protect our unique regional plant biodiversity. Plants in Tropical Cities managed to feature two-thirds of Singapore’s flora (ca 2800, including 650 native species; Singapore has ca 4100, with 2100 natives; exotics are ever increasing with new plant imports).

Read the review by retired NUS botany professor Wee Yeow Chin here.

View sample pages from the book here.


Thu 27 Oct 2016: 6.30pm @ SR1 – For undergraduates: A chat about research opportunities in NUS with grad students

DBS graduate students Jerome Kok, Dorothy Cheong & Kenny Chua present a chat about about research opportunities in NUS. This is a lovely opportunity for undergraduates to get some advice from your seniors and to ask some frank questions.

Thu 27 Oct 2016: 6.30pm – 7.30pm @ Seminar Room 1 (S2-0414)

Sign up at

Job: Full-time internship (2–4 months) for Dense & Green Building Typologies project in Singapore

Job: Full-time paid interns wanted to assist in determining environmental services and benefits of Dense & Green buildings in Singapore.

We are looking for full-time interns to identify/validate/map plant species and plant locations at green spaces on and around buildings in Singapore. The position will also require assisting in other aspects of the environmental benefits package under the Dense & Green Building Typologies project at the Singapore ETH centre in CREATE at University Town NUS (see details below).

Project description:
The Dense & Green Building Typology research team at the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) investigates new building typologies with public and green spaces in high-density urban environment in terms of their environmental, social, architectural/urban and economic benefits. The findings will be integrated and translated into strategies and guidelines for architectural design and urban planning. The project is jointly led by ETH Zürich and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). The duration of the project is 3 years. More information about the project can be found under at this webpage.

Successful applicants will:

  1. Visit selected buildings in Singapore’s urban areas to:
    • Validate existing plans to ensure that species and plant locations have been correctly listed.
    • Identify and record the location and spatial extent of plant species in buildings where they are not known (or the plan information is incorrect).
  2. Conduct desk based research at FCL in CREATE (NUS University Town):
    • Reviewing literature to contribute to a database outlining the environmental benefits of plant species
    • Collecting (online) data on other environmental and economic variables
    • Map species and compile basic statistics on their distribution area and abundance on-site

Expectation on candidates:
Applicants are expected to have strong enthusiasm for environmental research and have plant identification skills. They are also expected to be able to work independently. Certain basic skills are required (using Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.). An ability to use ArcGIS would also be a bonus but training will be given on how to use this software and conduct any statistical analysis.

This internship position will last a minimum of 2 months, potentially extending to 4 months.

The successful applicants will receive

  1. An internship certificate from FCL.
  2. First-hand experience with laboratory research related to green spaces typologies within an international team at an internationally recognised department.
  3. Training on how to use ArcGIS software
  4. Payment based on working hours or a fixed monthly depending on the particular working schedule.

Supporting documents for application
Curriculum Vitae highlighting relevant skills (including relevant university modules undertaken with knowledge gained) as well as a brief statement on personal interests are required for this internship position application.

For further information about the position, please contact Richard Belcher (
Work location:
1 Create Way, CREATE Tower, Singapore 138602 (NUS University Town)

The Singapore-ETH-Centre is an equal opportunity and family-friendly employer. All candidates will be evaluated on their merits and qualifications, without regards to gender, race, age or religion.

Fri 30 Sep 2016: 9.30am @ DBS CR2 – Du Rosa Celia Poquita on acclimatization mechanisms of coral holobiont under varying environmental conditions

ross-2016Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
Qualifying Examination

“Acclimatization mechanisms of coral holobiont under varying environmental conditions”

Du Rosa Celia Poquita
Graduate Student,
Dept. of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

Fri 30 Sep 2016: 9.30am
DBS Conference Room 2 (S1 level 3, mezzanine)
Supervisor: Asst Prof Peter A Todd
Co-Supervisors: Asst Prof Huang Danwei, Prof Chou Loke Ming

All are welcome

Abstract: –
Despite the increasing environmental pressures on coral reef ecosystems, many are still thriving as they exhibit acclimatization mechanisms as response to a suite of co-occurring and temporally variable environmental stimuli. Genomic approaches have provided tools for coral reef studies to aid in understanding ecological responses to changes in the surrounding environment through information on the transcripts that are regulated across different environmental conditions. The transcriptome-wide responses of hard corals to environmental factors have been described for only a few species. To understand how communities are likely to cope with the rapidly changing climate, it is imperative to determine the underlying acclimatization mechanisms for a range of coral species at different levels of variation. My PhD thesis project aims to assess the relative contributions of host and algal symbionts in facilitating survival under varying environmental conditions, using conventional methods in assessing the physiological state of corals in conjunction with genomic approaches for inferring genetic mechanisms of acclimatization.