Full and Part time Job Opportunities in Freshwater Ecology with TMSI EMID

Full and Part Time Job Opportunities in
Freshwater Ecology with the Ecological Monitoring, Dynamics and Informatics (EMID) group,
Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI), National University of Singapore:

EMID is currently seeking to fill a number of research positions in these categories:

  • Research Assistants / Research Associates
  • Laboratory Technicians
  • Laboratory Assistants/Student Assistants (Part-time/Short-term contracts)

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. For all the details, please download this pdf.

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.

Closing date
Applications for these positions will be reviewed on 8th June 2014 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.

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QE : The origin and evolution of the eyespot gene network in Nymphalid butterflies (Nesibe Ozsu, 23 May, 9am)

Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
Qualifying Examination

The origin and evolution of the eyespot gene network in Nymphalid butterflies

Speaker:         Nesibe Ozsu (Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date:              23 May 2014, Friday
Time:              9am
Venue:           Seminar Room 1 (S2-04-14)
Supervisor:    Assoc Prof Antonia Monteiro

Abstract: –

The origin of the multiple life forms on our planet is essentially a history about the origin of novel traits; yet how these novel traits originate via modifications in development is largely unknown. In general, the development of any trait is dependent on an underlying gene regulatory network, so, identifying the origin of a novel trait should begin with the identification of the primitive and derived developmental gene networks. Butterfly eyespots are complex novel traits that originated once, from simpler coloured spots, within the family Nymphalidae, approximately 90 million years ego. Candidate gene approaches revealed that several genes gained a novel eyespot expression domain concurrently with eyespot origins, suggesting that eyespots may have originated via the co-option of a pre-existent gene network. However, the total number of genes associated with eyespot origins, and the identity of this co-opted network, remain unidentified. Here, Next-Gen sequencing and transciptome analyses will be used to identify the full set of genes associated with eyespot development at a particular stage in development. That set of genes with be compared with the set involved in the development of primitive spot patterns. First, the total set of genes involved in eyespot development will be identified in the model nymphalid, Bicyclus anynana using comparative transcriptomics of homologous small regions of wing tissue that either develop or don’t develop eyespots. Second, the transcriptome of the same wing sector from additional nymphalid species with eyespots and outgroup species with spots will be sequenced to identify a conserved set of genes shared across species with eyespots and across species with spots. The comparison of the two gene sets will allow the identification of genes that are unique to eyespots and that may have allowed spots to transform into eyespots. Finally, I will examine the function of an eyespot-specific candidate gene, wingless, expressed in eyespot centres in the early pupal stage, using an RNAi approach.

All are welcome

QE : Bioeconomic modeling for public health resource allocation: spatial, temporal and international dimensions (Wang Chengna, 12 May, 9am)

Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
Qualifying Examination

Bioeconomic modeling for public health resource allocation: spatial, temporal and international dimensions
Speaker:         Wang Chengna  (Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date:               12 May 2014, Monday
Time:              9am
Venue:            Seminar room 1 (S2 Level 4, #04-14)
Supervisor:     Asst Prof Carrasco T L Roman

Abstract:

Many epidemics outstrip the resources available to treat all infected individuals (Lipsitch, 2000), especially when disease occurs simultaneously in different regions (Dye, 2003; Ferguson et al., 2001; Keeling, 2001).  Little is known about how best to deploy limited resources for disease control when epidemics occur in different regions or when control in low income countries can provide positive externalities in high income countries. In addition, the majority of epidemic-economic modeling focuses on high income temperate countries, leaving a gap of knowledge on what should be the allocation of resources in low-income countries that have limited resources and multiple competing health problems. Similarly, prioritizing interventions at the global scale is normally done from a purely static perspective. Dynamic modeling of multiple diseases thriving and spreading between countries at different stages of development could contribute to mitigate disease burden efficiently.

Given the complexity of the problem, to offer strategic policy solutions, epidemic and economic theory need to be combined with ecological theory such as metapopulation theory. Here I use a combination of epidemiological theory for meta-populations and economic model to address how to optimally control infectious diseases (Anderson, 1999; Austin et al., 1997; Lipsitch, 2000; Smith et al., 2002).  The intervention priorities are compared according to burdens and risk factors, intervention effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Therefore, in this thesis I plan to expand epidemic-economic analyses to dimensions where they are rarely applied: multi-country comparisons and their connections, spatial and temporal dimension. The thesis is composed of four main research chapters that explore complex and important, yet unsolved health resources allocation problems

  1. In the first chapter I focus specifically on the analysis of cost-effectiveness of vaccination policies against seasonal influenza in ten low and high income countries. This chapter will be submitted shortly to a journal and is presented in detail.
  2. In the second chapter I extend the multi-country analysis to analyze the problem of the control of an emerging influenza pandemic in a low-income country to assess the optimal allocation of antivirals between low and high income countries, i.e. whether cooperation should arise between countries and under which economic and epidemiological conditions donations should occur.
  3. In the third chapter I will I generate global maps of cost-effectiveness of multiple interventions for tuberculosis, malaria and HIV using spatial meta-analysis regression methods. The cost-effectiveness maps will be overlaid with the new Global Disease Burden 2010 to identify spatially the hotspots of disease control prioritization.
  4. In the fourth chapter dynamic epidemic model of tuberculosis, malaria and HIV will be combined by sharing a common control budget. The optimal allocation of resources between competing conditions will be obtained.

All are welcome