Lecturer in Plant Ecology and Conservation Biology

The Department of Biological Sciences (DBS), National University of Singapore (NUS), invites applications for an educator track faculty position at the Lecturer level in Plant Ecology and Conservation Biology. Candidates possessing evidence of high-quality teaching, a good publication record, and relevant working and teaching experience in a related field are encouraged to apply. The candidate is expected to teach as well as develop graduate and undergraduate modules—either individually or in collaboration with department colleagues and/or industrial partners—in plant ecology and conservation biology.

The position is based in DBS. The department has over 60 full-time faculty members (including 10 on educator track) with diverse research expertise in three focal areas (Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity; Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology; and Biophysical Sciences) and over 300 full-time graduate students from 19 countries. Teaching and research facilities and support are world-class and the university (www.nus.edu.sg) and department (www.dbs.nus.edu.sg ) are highly regarded internationally. The department has a strong Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity group that is active and expanding its teaching and research in various areas; one such area being the Masters by coursework programme in Biodiversity Conservation and Nature-Based Climate Solutions. In addition to undergraduate teaching, the candidate will be expected to also contribute to the development, teaching, and running of this professional development and continuing education programme. Experience in teaching adult learners will therefore also be an advantage.

NUS offers internationally competitive salary packages in Singapore’s low-tax environment. The Department is committed to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty, and female and minority candidates are encouraged to apply for the position.

Interested, strong candidates with a PhD and relevant postdoctoral experience should submit a letter of intent describing their career goals, teaching plans and research interests; a curriculum vitae; and a list of names for 6 relevant referees (including at least 3 academic referees).

External applicants
Applications can be submitted throughout the year through this LINK.

Applicants from NUS
Applicants from NUS are to apply via this LINK

Closing date of application: 26 March 2021

Job: Sustainable Solutions Specialist (Flora)

With Wildlife Reserves Singapore; see link.

Job Duties And Responsibilities

  • End to End management of the permanent flora monitoring plots in forested environment including the processing and analysing the data
  • Mandai Ecological Restoration Plan – Map and assess plots for ecological restoration or habitat enhancement and soil seed bank investigation. Investigate suitable planting methods for respective plots
  • Support Softscape Taskforce and construction teams with flora issues such as analysing the arborist reports, working on solutions for replanting and be a subject matter expert on flora issues.
  • Analyse Arboreal Connectivity in the Mandai over time and space as development progresses to provide scientific rigour and basis for mitigation measures
  • Manage Tree Inventory for Mandai with the aim to reconcile to prepare for handover to operators upon project completion
  • Guide and onboard the WRS operator team to be more familiar with development flora work to prepare for handover in future
  • Support the carbon accounting framework with tree carbon sequestration data and calculation
  • Support the operations of Mandai Wildlife Bridge

Job Requirements

  • Minimum Masters’ Degree or Honours Degree in ecology; environmental conservation and/or related fields
  • At least 4 to 7 years of relevant experience in managing flora and ecological related projects
  • Strong in analytical skills and be able to understand the balance between development and ecological considerations
  • Ample field experience and proficient in planning and managing outfield activities
  • Good network and rapport with the local nature community and other environmental groups
  • Prior research experience and developmental background will be an advantage

Job: Research Assistant (Plant Genomics/Plant Biology)

A Research Assistant position is available in the Laboratory of Jarkko Salojarvi at the School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University.

Job Responsibilities

  • DNA extraction of plant leaf samples and genomic library preparation of DNA extracts for high-throughput sequencing, including protocol optimization
  • In-vitro plant tissue culture
  • Other duties related to procurement and reimbursements as assigned by principal investigators (Jun Ying Lim and Jarkko Salojarvi)

Job Requirements

  • BSc degree in Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology, or related fields
  • Able to work independently and possess good communication skills
  • Well-organized and able to work safely in a wet lab
  • Prior experience with DNA extraction and genomic library preparation for high-throughput DNA sequencing, and/or in vitro plant tissue culture ideal but training will be provided
  • Fresh graduates are welcome to apply

Apply at this link.

Tue 12 Nov 2019 4.00 pm – Amy Aritsara on “In pursuit of the heteroxyly hypothesis: Sharing tasks between xylem tissues for performance implementation”

In pursuit of the heteroxyly hypothesis: Sharing tasks between xylem tissues for performance implementation

amy aritsara talk

Speaker: Aritsara Amy Ny Aina (College of Forestry, Guangxi University, China)
Date/Time: Tue, 12 Nov 2019, 4 pm
Venue: DBS Conference Room 1 (Block S3 Level 5)

Growing skywards implies that trees have to deal with different kinds of constraints: mechanical support, water transport, resource storage, etc. The heteroxyly hypothesis states that sharing those functions among specialized tissues is more efficient than multifunctional tissues. My study mainly focuses on xylem parenchyma and its contribution to plant hydraulic safety and efficiency. In palms, the ground parenchyma, with its high storage capacity, is vital for the plant to escape from the constraints due to the theoretical vessel tapering and to optimize their water transport efficiency. In basal angiosperms, the axial parenchyma has been believed to hold space and to use large amounts of resources for maintenance, hence trading-off with hydraulic efficiency and safety. However, our findings suggest that it coordinates with the optimization of water transport. In the new era of changing climates, would a xylem with more parenchyma tissue guarantee higher survivorship against environmental stochasticity?

All are welcome.

Thursday 7 Nov 2019 9.30 am [Qualifying Exam] – Sean Yap on “Reproductive evolution of dung beetles in Southeast Asia”

Speaker: Sean Yap (Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date/Time: Thursday, 7 November 2019: 9.30am
Venue: S3-05-02, DBS Conference Room (S3 Level 5)
Supervisor : Dr Nalini Puniamoorthy

Southeast Asia is biodiversity rich, but the role of reproductive isolation via mechanisms of sexual selection remains largely unexplored. Here, we aim to investigate the potential role of sexual selection in reproductive diversification of dung beetles in SEA.

Dung beetles are an incredibly species rich group and provide key ecosystem services in forested and agricultural communities. Globally, these insects are excellent models to investigate speciation by sexual selection because most species and even populations might exhibit stark differences in pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits. However, little is known about reproductive diversification of dung beetles in SEA. There are incomplete records on regional biodiversity and little to no information about genetic structure among widespread populations and morphological variation within species, especially with respect to traits that might establish reproductive barriers to gene flow.

Thus, this research aims to address four complementary research questions to study reproductive evolution in local and regional dung beetle fauna, focusing on two main genera, Onthophagus and Catharsius:

  1. What are the morphological and molecular estimates of dung beetle biodiversity in the region?
  2. Is postcopulatory sexual selection driving incipient speciation in the Catharsius molossus species complex?
  3. Do widespread populations of Onthophagus species differ in sexual selection across SEA?
  4. Does nematode diversity and load increase with the intensity of sexual selection across species and populations?

All are welcome.

Fri 8 Nov 2019: 9.00 am [PhD Defense] – Lam Weng Ngai on “Nepenthes: A Model System for the Study of Resource-Mediated Interspecific Interactions”

Nepenthes: A Model System for the Study of Resource-Mediated Interspecific Interactions

weng ngai defense

Speaker: Lam Weng Ngai (Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date/Time: Friday, 8 November 2019: 9.00am
Venue: S3-05-02, DBS Conference Room (S3 Level 5)
Supervisor: A/P Tan Tiang Wah, Hugh

Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes bear modified leaves which employ pitfall trap-type mechanisms to capture and digest invertebrate prey. Nutrients obtained from these prey allow Nepenthes to survive in environments that are deficient in these resources. The fluid-filled traps of Nepenthes are also habitats for specialized aquatic organisms known as inquilines, which have been shown to facilitate prey carcass breakdown and thus nutrient sequestration in Nepenthes pitchers.

In this thesis, I use Nepenthes pitcher plants as a model to investigate key topics in ecology relating to interspecific interactions, namely coexistence, facilitation and context dependency.

My thesis is divided into two sections. The first investigates resource-based interactions within this diverse plant genus—specifically, resource competition and facilitation between Nepenthes species—and establishes the key premise of prey resource limitation in Nepenthes species.

The second conditions upon this established premise, but focuses instead on the resource-mediated interactions between the Nepenthes host and its inquilines. Findings of the second section lead me to postulate a previously unexplored mechanism behind resource-mediated positive species interactions.

In the final chapter of the thesis, I investigate this mechanism by formulating a generalizable, consumer-resource type model of what I term as “resource conversion interactions”. Predictions of this model are compared with earlier empirical findings, and synthesis across the whole thesis is attempted.

All are welcome.