Job: Junior Research Assistant: Ecosystem Services in Urban Landscapes Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore-ETH Centre

The Ecosystem Services in Urban Landscapes research project brings together a team of ecologists, environmental modellers, planners, and landscape architects, to investigate how different types of vegetation can be used to make cites safer and more comfortable for their residents. A core part of the project will be a large-scale field survey of vegetation in Singapore, that quantifies ecosystem service provision.

We are looking for a Junior Research Assistant to assist with and contribute to the ecological component of this project. The work will involve setting up and maintaining a network of environmental monitoring equipment, including temperature sensors. Field surveys will be conducted to collect data on vegetation, soil functions, public perception on birds and urban greenery, canopy interception as well as other ecosystem services to examine ecological and physical processes.

In addition to the intensive field surveys and laboratory work, the Junior Research Assistant will assist with data entry and management, literature review, analysis of the resulting data using geographic information systems and statistical analyses, and contribute to writing publications.

Key responsibilities

Main tasks include

  • Setting-up and maintaining environmental monitoring equipment at locations across Singapore.
  • Field sampling and mapping of ecological communities including vegetation and birds.
  • Field sampling of ecological and physical processes, including soil functions and canopy interception.
  • Conducting surveys to study public perception on birds and urban greenery.
  • Data entry and management, literature review and storing field data in a GIS framework.
  • Analysis of field data and assisting with publication writing.

Key Skills

The candidate should have / be

  • BSc, preferably with Honours, in Life Sciences or Environmental Sciences, or related fields.
  • Experience in ecological fieldwork and data collection.
  • Prior exposure to GIS software and statistical analyses (ArcMap, QGIS, R etc).
  • Keen interest in nature, environment and scientific research.
  • Able to work outdoors for extended periods of time.
  • Meticulous, responsible and able to work independently.
  • Fluent in both written and spoken English.

Work location: 1 Create Way, CREATE Tower, Singapore 138602 (NUS University Town)

 Duration: Full-time position for ten months until 31 Dec 2018

To apply/for more information, Interested applicants should submit a CV, highlighting relevant experiences and skills, a cover letter explaining why they are interested in this position, and contacts of two character referees to Fung Tze Kwan at tze.fung@arch.ethz.ch. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interviews.

The Singapore-ETH-Centre is an equal opportunity and family-friendly employer. All candidates will be evaluated on their merits and qualifications, without regards to gender, race, age or religion.

About Singapore-ETH Centre

The Singapore-ETH Centre was established as a joint initiative between ETH Zurich – the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF), as part of the NRF’s CREATE campus. The centre serves as an intellectual hub for research, scholarship, entrepreneurship, postgraduate and postdoctoral training.

The centre currently runs two research programmes, the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL), followed by Future Resilient Systems (FRS). It is home to a community of over 100 PhD, postdoctoral and Professorial researchers working on diverse themes related to sustainable cities and resilient infrastructure systems. In the course of their work, researchers actively collaborate with universities, research institutes, industry, and government agencies with the aim of offering practical solutions.

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Tue 27 Feb 2018: 3.00pm @ NUS SR1 [S-04] – Lim Jun Ying on “Oceanic islands as time machines: Understanding the drivers of species diversity over time using the Hawaiian islands

Oceanic Islands - CKY

Abstract:

The geologic and climatic dynamism of the landscape can drive the pace of speciation and extinction of the organisms that occupy it. However, regional abiotic histories are often complex, making the study of how they have shaped the species diversity of mainland biotas challenging! Oceanic islands, however, offer extraordinary opportunities for unravelling the nature of diversity dynamics. Volcanic hotspot archipelagoes like the Hawaiian islands are sequentially formed, effectively providing multiple temporal snapshots of diversity. Furthermore, each island has a tractable and relatively predictable geologic trajectory, which allows us to characterize the role of landscape dynamism on species diversification. Here, using a novel geologically-informed diversification model of the relationship between species richness and changing island area, we infer how species richness of various endemic plant and animal clades have changed over their macroevolutionary history. The results suggest that landscape dynamism can drive the evolutionary dynamics of clades over large temporal scales, including long-term and ongoing evolutionary decline.

Speaker:

Lim Junying is a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley. His research lies at the intersection between macroevolutionary dynamics, niche evolution, community ecology and biogeography. He is especially interested in how large scale geologic and climatic dynamism has shaped the spatial and temporal variation in Earth’s biota up to the present day, and how ecological and evolutionary processes may play out in an era of global climate change.

Date & Time: 27 Feb (Tue) 3pm

Venue: NUS Block S2 Level 4 Seminar Room 1

Thu 01 Feb 2018: 3.00pm [PhD Defense] – Francesca Louise Mcgrath on “How payments for ecosystem services impact social equity”

PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination
Department of Biological Sciences, NUS

How payments for ecosystem services impact social equity

Speaker:      Francesca Louise Mcgrath (Graduate Student Dept.of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date:           1 Feb 2018, Thursday
Time:           3pm
Venue:        DBS Conference Room 1
Supervisor: Asst Prof Carrasco T L Roman

Abstract –  “Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes have become an attractive and widely used instrument for environmental conservation. Ensuring that PES schemes are equitable, fair and just for all involved is of growing interest in the PES literature and to practitioners. In my PhD, I identify the mechanisms (social, spatial, institutional) that can negatively influence equity outcomes and propose ways to overcome them. Each of my PhD chapters broadly discusses either in part of fully, four key areas related to equity namely: 1. how participants are engaged, 2. information dissemination, 3. social impacts and 4. potential trade-offs.

My first chapter investigates the relationship between scheme characteristics and equity outcomes, found within real-life case studies. In my second chapter, using a well-established PES scheme in Sumberjaya, Indonesia, I explore the relationship between farmer characteristics and their perceived auction fairness/satisfaction and impacts on the community social dynamics. My third and fourth chapters use a longstanding PES scheme in Cidanau, Indonesia, as a case study. In this third chapter I explore the differences in social capital between participants and non-participants. While In my fourth chapter, I investigate the implications of spatially targeting PES participants based on equity, understanding, perceptions, and compliance. The results from this thesis can help academics, PES proponents and organizers understand the complex relationships between PES and equity.”

All are welcome

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