Four days in a Wilderness First Aid Course

I spent the first of four days in a wilderness first aid training course with colleagues from the Department of Biological Sciences (aka NUS Biodiversity Crew). This course brings everyone up to speed and prepares us for difficult situations in the field.

Ted, Amy, Morgany, Poh Moi, Frank, JC & Tommy were able to make it today and already this group makes me feel confident about student care on local or overseas field trips. Many of us have had some first aid training, either formally or from field situations. However, our exposure to incidents have been relatively low (thankfully so) hence the need for a refresher.

20150129 Widerness First Aid

It is excellent that we are working together and we are having highly interactive sessions with the trainers from ARIS Integrated Medical an experienced group who are glad to work with a field-savvy group.

Group scenarios have been productive and the many hands working together here has been efficient, communicative and builds an appreciation for each other. It took years for Tommy to secure the funding and get several of us together for four days, so this is a precious experience. Certainly the FTTAs, LOs and lecturers in a field module should work together again like this in future.

First published at Otterman speaks….


The future of evolutionary diversity in reef corals – Huang & Roy 2015

Ted Webb alerted us this morning with this message, “Danwei has published an important paper in Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, that looks at threats and future losses of evolutionary diversity across the world’s coral reefs. (PS great use of skull and crossbones on Fig 1!).”

Huang Danwei and Kaustuv Roy have published “The future of evolutionary diversity in reef corals” in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B,

“One-third of the world’s reef-building corals are facing heightened extinction risk from climate change and other anthropogenic impacts. Previous studies have shown that such threats are not distributed randomly across the coral tree of life, and future extinctions have the potential to disproportionately reduce the phylogenetic diversity of this group on a global scale. However, the impact of such losses on a regional scale remains poorly known.

In this study, we use phylogenetic metrics in conjunction with geographical distributions of living reef coral species to model how extinctions are likely to affect evolutionary diversity across different ecoregions. Based on two measures—phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic species variability—we highlight regions with the largest losses of evolutionary diversity and hence of potential conservation interest.

Notably, the projected loss of evolutionary diversity is relatively low in the most species-rich areas such as the Coral Triangle, while many regions with fewer species stand to lose much larger shares of their diversity. We also suggest that for complex ecosystems like coral reefs it is important to consider changes in phylogenetic species variability; areas with disproportionate declines in this measure should be of concern even if phylogenetic diversity is not as impacted.

These findings underscore the importance of integrating evolutionary history into conservation planning for safeguarding the future diversity of coral reefs.

Danwei and Roy 2015 Future of evol diversity in coral reefs pdf  page 2 of 11

Danwei and Roy 2015 Future of evol diversity in coral reefs pdf  page 5 of 11

Job: Field Assistant for Radio tracking civet project (deadline: 31 Jan 2015)


Field Assistant required for a radiotracking project with translocated civets
Januar – June 2015.

Part time or Full time field assistant; pay: $10/hour
Location: Central Catchment/MacRitchie


  • Physically fit, hiker, knowledge of trails and landscape at site
  • Orienteering ability,
  • Good hearing
  • Owns a smartphone or GPS
  • Preferably with access to car

Contact Dr. Christina Colon at
or call 8359-3747

Deadline 31 Jan 2015

Job: Intern/part-time student assistants for common palm civet research project (deadline: 20 Jan 2015)

Project description: The diet and ecological role of the common palm civet in Pulau Ubin.
An intern or part-time student assistant is required in the first half of 2015.

Common palm civet  FTK
Photo by Fung Tze Kwan

Job Scope

  1. Sorting of common palm civet scats and identification of diet items.
  2. Preservation and storage of processed samples.
  3. Data entry.
  4. Assistance in field work and logistics e.g. radio-tracking and camera trapping as required.

Applicant should be:

  1. Meticulous, responsible and careful with samples.
  2. Training will also be provided but experience in sorting is helpful.
  3. Self-motivated and able to work independently.
  4. Able to work on weekends, at night or overnight for the field component.
  5. Part-time student assistant applicants have to be able to commit at least two days (16 hours) a week.
  6. Intern applicants have to be able to commit to a 3 – 6 months period.
  7. Standard student assistant hourly rates apply.

To apply, please send a cover letter and CV to N. Sivasothi at by 20th January 2015.
Shortlisted applicants will be notified for the interview by end–January 2015.