Spiderman’s gone!

The spiderman is ballooning off! What i mean is, Dr Li Daiqin will be leaving for his year long sabbatical come 1st Sept. He’ll be dropping on a dragline to the Down Under, as well as making his way to more temperate regions. So who says spiders can’t migrate?

Here’s a lab photo to commemorate the Arachnid Lab and its new spiderlings.

Bon voyage, Dr Li!


Bickford on amphibian extinctions

Don’t let these amphibians croak their last,” by Grace Chua. The Straits Times, 20 Aug 2008.
Up to half of all amphibian species could become extinct

THAT croaky chorus you hear coming from drains at dusk could belong to one of Singapore’s most common amphibians – the Asian toad or the banded bullfrog.

The toad has a burpy ‘curr, curr’ call and rough, warty skin, while the bullfrog is rotund, brown and cream, and ‘sounds like a dying sheep,’ according to amphibian researcher David Bickford.

Both species number in the tens of thousands here, said the National University of Singapore assistant professor, who helped unearth the only known species of lung-less frog in Kalimantan last year.

Read more… Continue reading

Chou Loke Ming – envisioning a coral paradise in Singapore by 2018

Prof Chou speaking at IYOR Singapore, 8th August 2008

Professor Chou Loke Ming, a marine biologist with the National University of Singapore (NUS) said a concerted effort made now by the Government, business sector and those in civil society can reverse current trends towards extinction.

Speaking last Saturday at the second International Year of the Reef (IYOR2008) event, the pioneer conservationist said that to make this happen, ‘development agencies must treat reef protection as a real exercise and not just for public relations, and draw up improvement plans at the same time as their development plans’.

Before the latest study by NUS, scientists had thought at least 50 species had been lost to development work.

Prof Chou envisions a marine paradise by 2018, with many large young thriving reefs lining Singapore’s shores. He noted that restoration efforts had begun over the last decade.

Read more at – Hope for coral reefs here,” by Shobana Kesava. The Straits Times, 16 Aug 2008.

Richard Corlett is back in town!

Richard Corlett was part of the Department of Botany up to 1987 when he left for Hong Kong. He’s now back in Singapore as a professor with the Department of Biological Science, his old hunting ground. He’s all set for a big bang with his seminar on seed dispersal this Friday.

It’ll probably be standing room only as he’ll bee sure to attract his former students, botanists and zoologists alike. So come early to grab a seat.

Click the image for details from the pdf of the talk.

Where is David Bickford?

Where has the frogman gone?.

He used to be a friendly face in the corridors of Block S2 when he suddenly vanished. Rumour had it he was banished to the Cold Palace in Block S15 where he is setting up shop.

So yes, it’s true – he has spanking new digs and I accosted Mingko one day for some pictures which she just sent me. I only had to holler at her twice in the corridor so its pretty fast work!

She says,

“S15, the former computing block, is now the Centre for Quantum Mechanics. Our [biodiversity] guys are on the 4th Floor.

David Bickford is at S15 04-08 and Ted Webb is at S15 04-07 and the ELTI folks are in 04-06 (more about him and them later).

The last picture is David pretending to be a Quantum Mechanics Theoretician – that stuff is in the CQT staff lounge in the 3rd floor. On the walls!”

Are we really recycling?

Some NUSSU SAVE undergrads just approached me about showing this video on improving our recycling effort in NUS to our undergrads during our orientation lectures. Click the link to take a look.

They explained the strange noise we hear at the beginning is due to some other activity that was going on nearby and it’d be ?removed in future versions. All this part of the many programmes in NUSSU SAVE’s Green Carnival 2008.

Its a short 2-minute video which evoked a smile and drives a simple point home. I have no problems showing this to undergrads during the introductory lecture of LSM1103 Biodiversity. I think they’ll watch and remember.

Marine Bio Lab super cleanup

In case you still don’t know what was the smell that dominated the S1 & S2 building at 31/07/2008 (Thursday), it was coming from the fridge of the field store!

20+ people joined the Marine Bio Lab’s SUPER cleanup yesterday, and successfully tidied up the lab, the (ultra stinky) field store and the dive store! Kudos to the lab’s members!

A little bit of sidelines:
– Terrapin blood stinks, badly…
– More than 3 types of air refreshers, together with N95 masks, were used to make the cleaners staying alive!
– About 7-truck-trip of rubbish was dumped!

Small store…

Supports BIG diversity (and abundance)!

Frozen Freezer… Please use chisel to open…

Essential materials for cleaning…

How to clean a stinking fridge (without wearing mask!) – Abby

Thank you (the bosses) for the KFC, it’s “licking finger” good!