Jobs in freshwater ecology (vacation job) – FOUR positions available, sorting/identifying freshwater invertebrates

Student/Graduate Assistants (Vacation Job)
Casual employment, FOUR positions

Job scope
Sorting and identifying freshwater invertebrates.

Sorting FW insects

Requirements

  • No experience required – ‘on-the-job’ training will be provided, but some knowledge on aquatic macroinvertebrates and use of identification keys are desirable.
  • Must be able to commit about two months (June to August -until school starts)
  • Flexible but must be able to commit on most days.
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently with minimal supervision.

Renumeration
Payment will be made based on an hourly rate commensurate with qualifications.

Contact

  • Interested candidates are invited to email their CV to Hiu Fung (email: tmswhf@nus.edu.sg)
  • Please indicate in the subject heading: “RE: Lab Assistant (Inland_Waters)”

Deadline for Applications: 10 June 2013

Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

About Inland Waters Cluster, EMID at TMSI, NUS.
Ecological Monitoring, Informatics and Dynamics (EMID) research revolves around a cross-disciplinary, quantitative approach with a strong focus on operations and management, towards the overarching goal of sustainable resource management. The Inland Waters Cluster applies freshwater research through the development of assessment tools and environmetrics for ecological appraisal and prediction.

Jobs in freshwater ecology: Laboratory Assistant, Casual Employment, two positions

Ecological Monitoring, Informatics and Dynamics (EMID) research revolves around a cross-disciplinary, quantitative approach with a strong focus on operations and management, towards the overarching goal of sustainable resource management. The Inland Waters Cluster applies freshwater research through the development of assessment tools and environmetrics for ecological appraisal and prediction.

Sorting insects (FTK)

Laboratory Assistant, Casual Employment: two positions

The Inland Waters laboratory is actively seeking suitable candidates for the position of laboratory assistant to support various ongoing projects.

Responsibilities

  • Assist in laboratory processing of benthic macorinvertebrate specimens such as Diptera larvae and Odonata nymphs obtained from streams and reservoirs in Singapore
  • Laboratory processing will include:
    1. picking out macroinvertebrates and separate them from detritus and sediment.
    2. Cataloguing and preservation of specimens in ethanol.
    3. Identification of specimens to Order and/or Family level using microscopes and dichotomous identification keys.

Requirements

  • Experience and knowledge on aquatic macroinvertebrates and use of identification keys are desirable but ‘on-the-job’ training will be provided.
  • A conscientious attitude to laboratory work and keen interest in biology is essential.
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently with minimal supervision.

Renumeration
Payment will be made based on an hourly rate and shall commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Contact
Interested candidates are invited to email their detailed resume and cover letter to Rayson (email: tmslbhr@nus.edu.sg) and indicate in the subject heading: “RE: Lab Assistant (Inland_Waters)”

Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

Jobs in freshwater ecology: Research Assistants and Research Associates

Job Opportunities in freshwater ecology with the Ecological Monitoring, Dynamics and Informatics (EMID) group, Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI), National University of Singapore.

EMID research revolves around a cross-disciplinary, quantitative approach with a strong focus on operations and management, towards the overarching goal of sustainable resource management.

Much of research undertaken is supported through contracts with local governmental agencies to monitor and assess the ecological status of Singapore’s aquatic systems, which provides a data- and opportunity rich environment for strategic and fundamental research.

The Inland Waters Cluster applies freshwater research through the development of assessment tools and environmetrics for ecological appraisal and prediction.

Research areas include:

  • Protocol, design and operation of a National Biomonitoring Programme in Singapore.
  • Quantified characterisation of habitats and biotic communities of freshwater systems.
  • Translation of biological response to environmental conditions to ecological and water quality indicators, thresholds and guidelines.
  • Ecological evaluation of environmental change following habitat creation or restoration.
  • Prediction of effects of changes in land-use and climate through eco-hydrologic modelling and environmental impact assessment.
Freshwater Biomonitoring

We are currently seeking to fill a number of research positions to meet emerging challenges and opportunities in this area of rapid growth. Successful applicants will increase the capacity of core expertise in freshwater biomonitoring in Singapore at TMSI, NUS developed through targeted programmes over the last five years.

Experience in freshwater research in South East Asia would be preferable. However, applicants with relevant skills in quantitative ecology and/or freshwater research elsewhere will be considered.

We are recruiting Research Assistants and Research Associates to join our research teams.

Ideal candidates will have experience in freshwater ecological field work, quantified sample collection methods, data handling, analysis and interpretation of ecological data. The primary responsibilities of these positions are:

  • Field surveying of freshwater habitats
  • Collection of aquatic invertebrates and water samples
  • Processing of samples and parataxonomy of freshwater invertebrates
  • Data handling and quantitative ecological analysis using statistical techniques
  • Interpretation of ecological data and production of high quality scientific reports
  • Publication of resultant research papers in peer-reviewed journals
  • Assisting in supervision of part-time staff and interns
  • Supporting laboratory technicians in laboratory housekeeping and maintenance
  • Depending on experience, candidates will have opportunities to design and implement experiments to address research questions within the scope of the Inland Waters cluster.

Requirements

  • The minimum qualification for research assistants is an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject area.
  • For the Research Associate positions, applicants should have, at minimum, a MSc in a relevant subject area with two years relevant post-qualification experience.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English
  • Experience of ecological fieldwork and parataxonomy. Experience in freshwater ecology is preferred but training in field methods and identification of taxa will be provided.
  • A good general knowledge of aquatic ecology
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications
  • A sound background in quantitative assessment methods and use of statistical software (such as SAS, R, SPSS, Statistica)
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently as well as a with other team members.
  • A valid Singapore Class 3 driving license (or equivalent for international applicants willing to obtain a local license) is highly desirable.

Salary
Salary will commensurate with qualifications and experience. Unless otherwise specified, appointment is renewable annually subject to performance.

Closing date
Applications for these positions will be reviewed on 17th June 2013 after which shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview. We also welcome speculative applications throughout the year. Please see the TMSI website for current vacancies: http://www.tmsi.nus.edu.sg/view/joblisting

Contact
Interested candidates are invited to email their resume and cover letter FAO Dr. Esther Clews to tmsec@nus.edu.sg.
Please indicate in the subject heading the position applied for with Inland Waters, EMID e.g. “Research_Assistant_Inland_Waters_EMID”.

Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

Fri 31 May 2013: 9.00am @ DBS CR2: Daniel Ng on “Impacts of climate change on tropical amphibians”

Pre-thesis
“Impacts of climate change on tropical amphibians”

Daniel Ng

Ng Jia Jun Daniel
Graduate Student
Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS

Fri, 31 May 2013: 9.00am
@ DBS Conference Room 2 (S1 Level 3, Mezzanine)
Supervisor: Asst Prof David Patrick Bickford

All are welcome

Abstract:

“Amphibians are the most threatened with extinction of all vertebrate groups and many populations are declining around the world. Climate change has been implicated in their disappearance and the effects of climate change include increased temperature and rainfall variability. These changes are particularly detrimental to amphibians because of their bi-phasic life history and physiology.

Tropical amphibians are especially vulnerable as they are close to their physiological thermal limits and small temperature increases can exceed their thermal tolerance. In my PhD, I  assess which amphibian species in Singapore are most vulnerable to climate change; determine whether amphibian declines are also occurring in Singapore; investigate warming vulnerability between tropical amphibian communities compared to subtropical or temperate counterparts; ascertain effects of elevated temperature and interaction with pH.

Main findings suggest that while some tropical amphibian species may be more tolerant to climatic warming than previously hypothesised, some species appear to be vulnerable to climate change. In addition, synergistic interaction between high temperature and low pH in reducing survival was observed. These findings will have implications for conservation planning efforts.”

Birders meet – young David Tan chances upon Ben King in Central Park, New York

David Tan, a 3rd year undergrad on exchange at Yale University was finally birding at Central Park (New York) in the evening, after a self-imposed ban to complete his assignments.

Sleep deprived, he ran into this group of birders camped out around a particularly productive spot where several migrating warbler species were hanging out.

During the ensuing conversation, David mentioned he hailed from Singapore. One amongst the group mentioned that he knew several people from the Malaysian Nature Society – this didn’t ring any bells initially, until he introduced himself by his first name.

Then it all clicked, David says, because John Ascher, soon to be at the department in Singapore, had mentioned to David several months ago that Ben King was in the area and based at the AMNH.

An excited David announced this in all caps on Facebook page and his Facebook page was peppered with congratulatory (and facetious) posts.

Ben’s book (Ben King, Martin Woodcock & Dickinson, 1975. The Collin’s Field Guide to Birds of South East Asia. 480p.) was a bible for many naturalists starting out with birds in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

I asked David for the photo he thankfully took – and I am sure it will bring warm memories to many a biologist in this corner of the globe.

David Tan & Ben King

Ben King, Martin Woodcock & Dickinson

David Tan and Ben King chatted about the work which still needs to be done for the Southeast Asian birds, especially with little brown birds like flycatchers and babblers. This work is closely related to Frank Rheindt’s interests and to a lesser extent to David’s thesis work to come.

Buried in marking, I was really pleased to hear this news.

I have relied on birders for over three decades for the finer points. Ben King’s book was amongst the first bird book I referred to, and David is the latest of many birders I have consulted – before leaving for his stint abroad, he produced The Birds of NUS, a resource for undergrads.

A chance meeting with Ben King in Central Park? Well, you know what they say about birds of a feather.

Donation to university will fund grad student scholarships and honours projects

“NUS Faculty of Science receives $1m to boost life sciences research and education,” by Pearl Lee. The Straits Times, 10 May 2013.

The National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Science received a $1 million donation which will help it boost life sciences research and education at the university. The donation came from developer SingHaiyi Group and its parent company, Haiyi Holdings.

NUS said the gift will attract a matching grant from the Government, and a portion will be used to fund scholarships for some 50 graduate students at the Department of Biological Sciences over a period of two to three years, starting from this August.

From 2014, the gift will also fund up to 150 undergraduates who are pursuing an honours degree in life sciences annually, for their research projects.

Part of the $1 million gift will also support the Xiamen Winter Symposium, an annual life sciences conference jointly organised by the NUS Department of Biological Sciences and Xiamen University.

Tea-drinking FTTAs recycle!

Without a recycling bin in the department and office, it’s not convenient to recycle. It’s tempting to simply throw away a recyclable item, instead of doing the good deed.

Thankfully, when I joined the department last July, my environmentally-conscious office mates and fellow Full-Time Teaching Assistants (FTTAs) already had a system worked out for recycling.

The FTTAs are green tea and milk tea junkies, and often, a bottle purchased from the canteen during lunch helps us through a tiring afternoon! A quick rinse is all the bottles need and they are left to dry at the sink.

The bottles will pile up in about three weeks, and are then packed away in reusable bags and the bottles are dropped off at the recycling bins in the Science Canteen during lunch.

Small and simple steps make for painless habits! Do you have a recycling strategy?

FTTAs Amanda and Hongxia bringing washed and dried plastic bottles to the recycling bins.

FTTAs Amanda and Hongxia bring washed and dried plastic bottles
to the recycling bins. Photos by Weiting.