Job: Full-time Teaching Assistant (FTTA) for Undergraduate Courses for Life Sciences (deadline: 23 May 2014)

Full-time Teaching Assistant (FTTA)
Undergraduate Courses for Life Sciences (Biodiversity and Ecology)
Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore (NUS)
Application Deadline: Friday 23 May 2014

The Department of Biological Sciences is inviting applications for the post of Full-Time Teaching Assistant (FTTA) for Life Sciences undergraduate modules, in field of Biodiversity, Ecology and Basic Molecular Biology.

The FTTA will be working as a team with professors and laboratory officers to achieve holistic goals for undergraduate education in NUS. The FTTA must possess familiarity with administration and data management, be digitally competent, be consultative and exhibit leadership with peers, understand undergraduate student issues, be communicative and a team player and be passionate about teaching.

Applicants must read the Selection Criteria carefully and address each of the points stated.
Incomplete applications will not be evaluated.

The specific duties of the FTTA include:

  • Teaching undergraduate students in biodiversity, ecology and animal behaviour,
  • Manage communication and administrative needs of modules,
  • Recruit, train and supervise Part-Time TAs,
  • Oversee scheduling of field trips and laboratory practical sessions,
  • Undertake and manage all continual assessments (CAs),
  • Initiate improvements to management and pedagogy with advice and support from module coordinators.

The appointment will commence in July 2014. This appointment is a one-year contract, and is renewed based on performance.

Selection Criteria

  • A Bachelor (Honors) Degree in Life Sciences or in a relevant field, practical related experience is desirable;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the department’s research focus and teaching environment;
  • Strong interpersonal skills to provide high quality student-focused services;
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently, prioritizing workload and meeting deadlines with minimal supervision;
  • Evidence of experience in the successful supervision of undergraduate and/or postgraduate research students;
  • An ability to convey information in both teaching and research in a clear, concise and interesting manner;
  • Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively as a member of a team and manage groups at the undergraduate level;
  • Experience in administrative processes, with high attention to accuracy and detail;
  • Demonstrated skills with the Microsoft Office Suite and Google Docs.

Closing Date: Friday 23 May 2014

Applications are accepted via email only. Applicants must send a cover letter, a note addressing the selection criteria and curriculum vitae stating three referees. Reference letters will be required only after applicants are shortlisted for interview. Send all applications to:

Mr. Laurence Gwee
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore


Thu, 17 Apr 2014, 3.00pm @ CR1: Zarina Zainul on “The Early Biofilm Community of Antifouling Surfaces in Static and Shear Conditions”

ZarinaQualifying Examination

The Early Biofilm Community of Antifouling Surfaces in Static and Shear Conditions

Zarina Zainul  

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014: 3.00pm

Graduate Student
Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS

@ DBS Conference Room, S3 Level 5
Supervisor: Asst Prof Peter Alan, Todd

All are welcome


“The process of marine fouling upon submerged surfaces usually begins with the formation of a microorganismal biofilm ‘slime’ that has been shown to influence the subsequent development of macrofouling communities, including algae and invertebrates. This study seeks to understand the relationships between microbial components in slime communities that develop on man-made surfaces. The focus will be on biofilms formed on marine antifouling coatings as unlike natural surfaces, these materials have been chemically defined and are economically important.

Copper-based paint is the most commonly used antifouling strategy for the shipping industry, but in recent years there has been a move towards non-biocidal materials featuring a variety of foul-release and anti-fouling surface chemistries and microtopographies.  This project will observe the development of the early biofilm community upon these surfaces in both static and shear conditions, the effect of diatom Halamphora coffeaeformis on biofilm development, and the subsequent interaction between these biofilms and settlement of model fouling organisms – barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite and tubeworm Spirobranchus kraussii  – with and without the presence of H. coffeaeformis.”

Job: Laboratory Officer (with field work and teaching support; deadline 15 May 2014)

— beg —
Specialist Associate Grade 4

You are to provide support for fieldwork and teaching. The main duties include the following:

  1. Provide research support to ensure laboratory’s research goals are met.
  2. Assist lecturers in preparation and setting up of laboratory classes.
  3. Assist lecturers in preparation and organization of overseas field course for students.
  4. To manage the research field equipment and ensuring asset/ inventory records are maintained in order.
  5. Assisting in the administration and maintenance of safety in the teaching laboratories.
  6. Driving assignments for staff on official business, department’s visitors, conference or special events.
  7. To manage a research boat and its crew.
  8. Provide audio visual support for teaching and seminar support, e-learning.


  • At least Polytechnic diploma with major in Biology or Biotechnology
  • Relevant work experience in laboratory and fieldwork an advantage
  • Possess a valid class 3 driver’s licence, with minimum 1 year’s driving experience
  • Proficient in general MS office applications
  • Proactive, meticulous, resourceful, highly motivated, initiative, a good team player and enjoy working with people

For more information on the department, please see:

For any enquiries, please email

You may email CV and application form to: OR mail to:

National University of Singapore
Department of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
14 Science Drive 4
Singapore 117543
(Attn: Ms Lisa Lau)

Closing Date: 15 May 2014


Calling EVB Honours students: Stand by poster at the Evening of Biodiversity! (Wed 16 Apr 2014 @ LT25)

Dear honours students,

You must be celebrating after submitting your thesis!

20140411 Germaine thesis complete

Well, now we want to share your work with the community at large, and have them hear from you directly!

If you can stand by poster at the Evening of Biodiversity [advert] on Wed 16th Apr 2014: 6.00pm at LT25, sign up here: by Monday morning and then turn up at LT25 next Wednesday at 5.30pm.

We picked this date actually because you would have a very strong grasp of your subject matter now and would have cleared most assignments deadlines by now!

This will be a good occasion to awareness about research and labs in the department – 177 people have registered so far and about 35% are students. We expect to welcome some 200 people eventually. We will email participants the list of posters and share this information here on the NUS Biodiversity Crew webpage.

You will also be asked to indicate if interested to share your posters at these events:

  1. Faculty of Science Open House (May; at Lab 7),
  2. Alumni Day (June; Lab 7)
  3. Festival of Biodiversity (July)

These are LKCNHM Toddycats will be a great opportunity to communicate about science.

We do not do this every year, so it would be great opportunity for this cohort come and enjoy the interaction and atmosphere at this event.



Invitation to An Evening of Biodiversity II: “The Secret Lives of Mammals in Singapore”, Wed 16 Apr 2014: 6.30pm @ NUS LT25

Evening of Biodiversity 2014

I am glad to announce “An Evening of Biodiversity: The Secret Lives of Mammals in Singapore” presented by six young graduates of the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. They share with us short stories about wild mammals from their recent student research and their hopes for Singapore’s wildlife and heritage.

Come and be surprised by the stories about Singapore’s wild leopard cats, small mammals, smooth-coated otters and the common palm civet. The graduates, Amanda Tan, Chloe Tan, Marcus Chua, Meryl Theng, Fung Tze Kwan & Xu Weiting do this as part of a desire to contribute to public awareness and the protection of our fragile ecosystems.

And they look forward to entertaining the audience!

An Evening of Biodiversity will be held on
Wed 16 Apr 2014: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Lecture Theatre 25 (next to the Science Canteen)
Science Drive 2
National University of Singapore

Please RSVP at

(Parking is available at Car Park 10 across the road)

Veteran vertebrate naturalist Yeo Suay Hwee of the Nature Society (Singapore) had these kind words for the group,

“I hope this kind of presentation become a tradition where I can see more and more young scientists and new graduates/undergraduates ready to contribute in protecting our fragile wildlife and the habitat.”

We do look forward to your company.

Do RSVP if you are able to join us and feel free to forward this invitation to family, friends and colleagues.

Thank you!


Sivasothi aka Otterman

N. Sivasothi
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

About the talks

Small mammals have rarely been studied in Singapore and after over a decade Amanda Tan conducted a study of the diversity and abundance of small mammals around the Eco-Link. Once again the value of our unique, precious and fragile Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was demonstrated and the importance of the new forest connection with the Central Catchment realised.

Chloe Tan took small mammal exploration island-wide for the first time, documenting diversity in nine sites of varying forest quality. Eight species and three habitats later, she realised we cannot be hasty about connecting all our green areas – what were her concerns?

Sometimes we conduct surveys just for completeness. But on April Fool’s Day no less, the eyes of a leopard cat gleamed at Marcus Chua from amidst the undergrowth. After more than four decades, three populations provide relief about the longevity of this rare species but new issues emerge for our attention.

The smooth-coated otter (“anjing ayer”) returned to Singapore in 1998 exactly as predicted – Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, where these fish-eaters enjoyed prawns too! In the northeast, otters spread from Pulau Ubin through Punggol and eventually south to Marina Bay! Meryl Theng tracked the otters, not only by foot but through the enthusiastic and generous submissions of Singaporeans delighted at the return of this wild carnivore.

The common palm civet is a wild carnivore nestled in our backyard but surprisingly poorly understood. At Pulau Ubin, poop-specialist Fung Tze Kwan was surprised to discover that civets favoured the fruits of the common fish-tail palm and improved the growth of its seedlings! When adopted as the logo of the Raffles Museum, the toddycat was entwined with a palm leaf – little did we realise this poorly studied pair was linked in an ecological partnership which may prove to be relevant in habitat restoration in the future.

As wildlife spreads in this garden city, they feel the pinch of space too. As Xu Weiting studied wildlife-human interactions, orphan civets needed care and the protocols which arose went online and helped civets elsewhere in Southeast Asia too! This furry animal is not always greeted with delight, sometime conflict arises. Awareness of these neighbourhood acrobats has helped to transform fear to delight and a hope in the hearts of young researchers of a future of greater co-existence.


Undergrad part-time lab assistants wanted (April-Dec 2014)

Update: Positions have been filled as of 16 May 2014. Thanks for applying!

Two or more part-time assistant(s) are required for sample processing (cell counting) from April to Dec 2014.

PUB: Local Catchment Water

Project description: Sampling and experimental work on toxic cyanobacteria isolated form Singapore’s reservoirs.

Job Scope

  1. Sample processing (cell counting) of samples collected from previous experiments


Candidates should be:

  1. Meticulous and careful with samples.
  2. Be able work over the semester break and on weekends to complete sample counting.
  3. Knowledgeable in use of compound microscopes and cell counting but not necessary as training will be provided.




Please contact Maxine Mowe, Graduate student, Freshwater and Invasion Biology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. or call 6516-4255.