Peter Todd receives Mentor Recognition award (UCSD)

Peter todd received some pleasant news from University of California at San Diego recently. Former student Huang Danwei nominated him for UCSD graduate school’s Mentor Recognition Award, having had a “strong, positive academic influence.”

Sweet practice by UCSD, eh? Congrats Peter!

Click to enlarge.


Janice and Lainie, the new BEJC coordinators for 2008!

29 Feb 2008 – Qie Lan (a.k.a. “Lainie”) & Janice Lee of the Conservation Biology Lab have taken over the running of the Biodiversity & Ecology Journal Club from the 2007 coordinators, Laura-Marie Yap and Eunice Tan of the Spider Lab.

Laura and Eunice who held the fort since Jan 2007 handed over the reins of coordinators on 29th February 2008. The two new eager and able successors, Janice and Lainie, will communicate with hosts and speakers to setup seminars and keep a lookout for speakers we might want to invite down to the department.

So the system is in place after a smooth transition and here are our poster girls erm, coordinators for 2008!

Lainie and Janice, BEJC Coordinators, 2008.

In the past year, we have been fotunate to listen to a variety of informative and passionate speakers, and the talks were well publicised to the community beyond NUS through departmental posters (Yong An Nee), departmental emails (Chan Yee Ngoh), Raffles Museum News (Ivan Tan), WildSingapore (Ria Tan), Ecotax and Habitatnews!

You may notice we have the feeds to these lists and blogs on the sidebar of this blog. The BEJC webpage too has just been shifted to: (see tab at top of the page)

See you at a seminar some time!

“Women who make microscopes look sexy”

March issue of Her World on newstands – Much excitement ensues among local scientific community!

Five women scientists were featured in Her World this month, including Lisa Ng (Senior Scientist at the Singapore Immunology Network, A*Star), Rosemary Tan (CEO, Veredus Laboratories) as well as three members from our Biodiversity Crew.

They are Joelle from Ecology and Systematics lab, Karenne from Marine Biology lab, and Nalini from Evolutionary Biology lab. You can read more about them in the article “Ladies and Germs”, Her World March 2008 Singapore edition, pages 160 – 164. It costs SGD$6.00 and is in stores now.

Our current PC wallpaper:

Nalini Puniamoorthy, Evolution Lab

Joelle Lai (Systematics & Ecology Lab) and Karenne Tun (marine Biology Lab)

Navjot Sodhi awarded the Hrdy Visiting Fellowship in Conservation Biology

The Hrdy Visiting Fellowship in Conservation Biology for the 2008-09 academic year has been awarded to Professor Navjot Sodhi of the National University of Singapore.

Navjot Sodhi - Hrdy Visiting Fellowship

About the award – The Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Fellowsip in Conservation Biology serves to support the study of conservation biology within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. The fellowship is awarded to an individual who will engage in scientific study and work in the Department of Organismic and Evolutonary Biology. The fellowship commences with an annual lecture in conservation biology by the distinguished individual chosen for the fellowship from outside Harvard University. It is the hope of the benefactors that this fellowship will have a strong and transformative effect on the study of conservation biology at Harvard, from the undergraduate to the senior teaching level.

Huang Danwei secures a Young Explorers grant from National Geographic

Chou Loke Ming writes:

Danwei who is over at Scripps on the NUS-Overseas Graduate Scholarship was successful in securing a Young Explorers grant (US$5000)from the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration in support of his proposed project “Biogeography of the Faviidae family of hard corals in the Indo-Pacific.”

This will expand the research that he started on Singapore Faviidae and allow him to take a wider regional analysis. The funding is not large but coming from a prestigious institution, it does say something about the recognition that he is getting.”

His research abstract is as follows:

Huang Danwei

Corals in the family Faviidae are one of the most important hermatypic coral species in Indo-Pacific reefs, comprising the highest number of genera and, in some habitats, the greatest overall abundance. While other coral families have already been utilized for the study of large-scale marine biological processes, the taxonomy and phylogeny of the faviid species are still largely unresolved. Processes that generate biodiversity and the spatial distribution of coral reef organisms can be better understood by resolving their phylogeny at geographical scales.

From records of coral taxa in the Indo-Pacific, there are several regions that contain very high number of species, such as the waters surrounding the Philippines and the Great Barrier Reef. Separated by thousands of kilometers, each of these areas contains a mix of wide-ranging and localized species, necessitating a thorough examination of the faviid family’s distribution.

Field work will be carried out at the reefs of Japan, Philippines, Singapore and Australia, spanning the latitudinal range of the faviid corals. For each coral, photographic, skeletal and soft tissue samples will be collected for morphological and molecular analysis. The evolutionary relationships of various species will be identified. Findings from this study will address key questions in marine biogeography and further our understanding of speciation in the oceans. Potentially, results will contribute to conservation strategies in the region, as resource managers need to look beyond ecosystem-based management paradigms towards a more biogeographic approach in mitigating global reef degradation.

Links – Danwei @ SCRIPPS.

Paper selected for Faculty of 1000 Biology

—–Original Message—–
From: Faculty of 1000 Biology
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 11:34 PM
To: Peter Alan, Todd
Subject: Your article has been evaluated for Faculty of 1000 Biology

Dear Dr Todd,

I thought you would pleased to hear that one of your papers (Oikos 2007) has been selected for Faculty of 1000 Biology and evaluated by Andrew Baird [link].

Peter_Todd-Faculty1000.png (RGB)

Faculty of 1000 Biology is an award-winning online service that highlights and evaluates the most interesting papers published in the biological sciences, based on the recommendations of over 2000 of the world’s top researchers. It was launched in January 2002 and already over 85% of the world’s top institutions subscribe. Papers are highlighted on the basis of their scientific merit rather than the journal in which they appear.

To find out more about Faculty of 1000 Biology, visit our About pages.

Many congratulations again on your success!

Kind regards,
David Weedon
Managing Director

Spatial planning for a sustainable Singapore, 1-day conference, 03 Apr 2008.

The Singapore Institute of Planners presents a “1 Day Conference cum Book Launch – “Spatial Planning for a Sustainable Singapore.”
Thu 03 Apr 2008: 9am – 5.30pm at the Singapore Botanic Garden Function Hall, 1 Cluny Road (off Bukit Timah Road).

“This 1 day conference involves a panel of planning experts who will explore the concept of sustainability planning and discuss the spatial development experience of Singapore over the last 40 years.

The SIP Book ‘Spatial Planning for a Sustainable Singapore’ will also be launched at the conference. All registered attendants will get each a hardcover book published by Springer worth S$180 in the open market.

Interested attendants need to submit the registration form (click to download; conference fees applies) by 15 March 2008.”

From Chou Loke Ming.