Regime Change – Biodiversity & Ecology Journal Club

We convey our gratitude to Alison Wee (Applied Plant Ecology Lab) & Daniel Ng (Frog Lab) who have stepped down this month after a year’s duty. and join the ranks of the BEJC Alumni. Taking over from 24 Feb 2010 are Paul Chen & Thanh Son Nguyen of the Systematics & Ecology Lab.

The BEJC coordinators communicate with hosts to setup seminars. Besides acting on suggestions, coordinators may invite speakers themselves or suggest ideas to potential hosts. The journal club has been an efficient and flexible mechanism that has enabled us to hear from a wide variety of speakers; sometimes at just a days notice. As a result, we have been fortunate to hear from many noteworthy speakers.

The traditional handing-over ceremony used to take an hour, but with the procedure written out (see “Information required for a seminar” and efficient backup by the department administrators, this year’s briefing onl took five minutes, unlike the hour-long meetings of old.
BEJC talks are advertised to the wide community via:

  • Ecotax, a e-newsletter started in 1998, and the medium for first news and last-minute notifications,
  • the lovely departmental posters that we sometimes circulate to other agencies,
  • this blog and
  • WildSingapore News.

Paul and Son, who were waylayed during the Biod Lo Hei lunch with this responsibility, promised us discussion sessions and not just seminars. We eagerly await!

Advise worth repeating – backup, backup, backup!

Hi research students,

this was an email reminder to the Ecolab honours students that is worth repeating:

Back up your project files on a daily basis!

Any computer, regardless of make and age, can be vulnerable, so a daily backup routine is critical. The mindset to adopt is to expect your computer to breakdown, for the hardisk to fail and the most tragic, for yourself to write over your own files! For the honours and UROPS students, as your computer use gets more intense, the probability of any of these tragedies will increase.

So start saving your files in at least two of the following ways:

  1. Email yourself a copy of the file when you're done, in gmail. 
  2. Thumbdrive – save a copy to a dedicated thumbdrive.
  3. Dropbox – the files in your dropbox folder (which you all opened at the start of the academic year) are backed up to your dropbox server space. 
  4. GDocs – this is new – GDocs now allows you to upload files without conversion, i.e. to store files

Note: if you have raw data stored solely on gdocs, remember to download and set aside a copy.  

Finally a couple of file management suggestions. Particularly helpful during that overnight grind to complete a draft:
  1. Organise your many files into folders. 
  2. Reduce clutter in your primary working folder by setting aside raw data you no longer access and early document versions into a separate, clearly labelled archive folder. 
  3. Label everything comprehensivel (filenames are no longer restricted to 8 characters!)
These corridors have witnessed many tragic stories. Exciting to hear about but dreadful to live through. So backup and have a Happy New Year!

Cheerio!

Otterman

The first Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS), Bangalore, June 2010

The Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) – Bangalore aims to bring together young researchers in conservation science to facilitate interaction, encourage exchange of research ideas and methods, and help build contacts and capacity. As a sister conference to SCCS-Cambridge, SCCS-Bangalore will focus on attracting students primarily from countries in South and South-east Asia.

The first conference will be held from 16 to 18 June 2010, at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The closing date for applications for the conference is 3 March, 2010.

Link

Gwynne on lab door

Well actually she’s in the latest issue of Knowledge Enterprise which I nearly left behind at the department’s staff letter boxes until I saw Gwynne’s grining face. So I grabbed some masking tape and taped the issue up on the Evo Lab door. It’s the most decent piece on the door right now and Gwynne’s not around to remove (I think).

To read the article online, you can check the NUS NewsHub:

Guess who’s working on reduviids and other bugs?

Confronted with a reduviid-like bug that Ngan Kee tossed on my table, JC Mendoza, with whom I was having an urgent meeting (I may add) wondered if it could be a triatomine instead of my suggestion. Googling, this familiar mugshot appeared:

Alumni Hwang Wei Song and his partner in crime Zahang Guanyang have taken up residence in Christiane Weirauch’s Heteropteran Systematics Lab at the University of California Riverside. We don’t know yet what it is as we did have to get to work but said specimen will await Wei Song’s attention in future at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.


Stop complaining about the blurry picture y’all, specimen’s in the museum!

Job advert: Research Assistant position in the Terrestrial Ecology Lab

The Terrestrial Ecology Lab is looking for a Research Assistant immediately to help with field and laboratory work in terrestrial ecology. Candidates should have a BSc degree or polytechnic diploma in biology or a related subject and preferably a Singaporean driving license.

Experience of ecological fieldwork would be advantageous but is not essential. The initial appointment will be for 6 months with the possibility of longer-term employment depending on performance and funding availability. Interested candidates are invited to contact Prof Corlett at corlett@nus.edu.sg

Prof Richard Corlett
Terrestrial Ecology Laboratory
Room S2-01-02,
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore,
14, Science Drive 4,
Singapore 117543
Tel: 6516-1285