A Chat about Research in NUS Biological Sciences (Mon 25 Sep 2017: 6.30pm @ S2-04 SR1)

Chalk2017.jpg

The event is an informal discussion about research in NUS that might be useful for students thinking ahead toward internship, UROPS, FYP, or graduate studies.

Three graduate students, representing research labs in Environmental Biology & Biomedical Sciences will share their research experiences.

Join them on Mon 25 Sep 2017: 6.30pm – 7.30pm @ S2-04 Seminar Room 1 (Blk S2 Level 4)

Do indicate your interest so that we know how many students to expect – tinyurl.com/chalk2017.

If you have any other queries, feel free to email Jerome Kok (jeromekok@u.nus.edu).

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Fri 30 Sep 2016: 9.30am @ DBS CR2 – Du Rosa Celia Poquita on acclimatization mechanisms of coral holobiont under varying environmental conditions

ross-2016Department of Biological Sciences, NUS
Qualifying Examination

“Acclimatization mechanisms of coral holobiont under varying environmental conditions”

Du Rosa Celia Poquita
Graduate Student,
Dept. of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

Fri 30 Sep 2016: 9.30am
DBS Conference Room 2 (S1 level 3, mezzanine)
Supervisor: Asst Prof Peter A Todd
Co-Supervisors: Asst Prof Huang Danwei, Prof Chou Loke Ming

All are welcome

Abstract: –
Despite the increasing environmental pressures on coral reef ecosystems, many are still thriving as they exhibit acclimatization mechanisms as response to a suite of co-occurring and temporally variable environmental stimuli. Genomic approaches have provided tools for coral reef studies to aid in understanding ecological responses to changes in the surrounding environment through information on the transcripts that are regulated across different environmental conditions. The transcriptome-wide responses of hard corals to environmental factors have been described for only a few species. To understand how communities are likely to cope with the rapidly changing climate, it is imperative to determine the underlying acclimatization mechanisms for a range of coral species at different levels of variation. My PhD thesis project aims to assess the relative contributions of host and algal symbionts in facilitating survival under varying environmental conditions, using conventional methods in assessing the physiological state of corals in conjunction with genomic approaches for inferring genetic mechanisms of acclimatization.

Job: Undergraduate part-time assistants wanted (Sep 2016 – Aug 2017) for image processing & digital archiving of Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey specimens

We are looking for undergraduate part-time assistants to help out with processing  images and other data from the recently concluded Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (CMBS) to the Animals and Plants of Singapore database from September 2016 to August 2017.

Project description: 

The Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (CMBS) to survey and document Singapore’s marine biodiversity has recently concluded, and has so far uncovered at least 100 species new to science, 200 new records for Singapore, and 10 rediscoveries. Identification and bioimaging of specimens are now completed and they are now ready to be uploaded onto the Animals and Plants of Singapore (APS) database. APS is a LKCNHM-based initiative to document the flora and fauna of Singapore. As an image-focused database, it aggregates species from various scientific projects and individual, verified experts. It was launched in February 2015, and has since grown to over 2,700 species.

Screenshot 116

Several undergraduate part-time assistants will be needed for help in this process, with responsibilities and requirements listed below:

Responsibilities:

  1. Data entry of specimen information into the database
  2. Imaging of specimens
  3. Image processing of existing specimens
  4. Digital specimen curation

Requirements:

  1. Be able to help out over the semester break and during term time. Working from home for a part of the time is acceptable.
  2. Experience in using Microsoft Excel and Adobe Photoshop is desired, but the candidate can also learn on the job.
  3. Standard undergraduate hourly wages (8.74SGD) will be paid

Contact

Please contact Mr Jonathan Ho, Research Assistant, Ecology and Evolution Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore at aps.lkcnhm@gmail.com

Undergrad part-time lab volunteers wanted for DNA analysis of marine microbial communities (Mar-Jul 2016)

Project description:

Analysis of microbial communities from Singapore’s marinas.

Two or more part-time volunteers are required for DNA analysis from March 2016 to July 2016.

What you will learn:

  • Collection of samples from marina
  • DNA extraction of samples collected from previous experiments
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel analysis

Candidates should be:

  • Be able help out over term time and semester break
  • Willing to learn new techniques

Contact:
Please contact Zarina Zainul, Graduate student, Experimental Marine Ecology Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore at zarina (at) u.nus.edu

Field sampling

Field sampling at a marina (Photo by Zarina Zainul)

 

Internship position open for mammal outreach and research

Internship position open for mammal outreach and research

Do you have an interest in mammals? Want to learn more about wildlife and contribute to conservation in Singapore?

The NUS Common Palm Civet Research Team seeks an intern to help with outreach, research and public education activities for 2015.

An urban common palm civet (Photo by Xu Weiting)

An urban common palm civet (Photo by Xu Weiting)

Duties and responsibilities

  1. Assist with the administration, communication, and implementation of outreach and public education activities e.g. setting up a common palm civet resource website and designing materials for public education
  2. Maintenance of the common palm civet blog and Facebook page, and mammal sighting records
  3. Recovery of mammal carcasses and collection of civet scat samples through public submissions
  4. Assist in common palm civet research as needed

Requirements

The ideal candidate should be interested in nature and is passionate about conservation and the environment in Singapore. Candidate should be responsible, communicative, has to be proficient with social media and interacting with members of the public. Enthusiasm and the ability to work independently is a requirement. Able to work on weekends or at night depending on the activities.

Application deadline:  03 April 2015, Friday

Interview date:  Mid – late April 2015

Internship duration: 6 months commencing April 2015.

To apply, please send a cover letter and CV to Mr N. Sivasothi at mammal@sivasothi.com.

All applications will be processed in the 1st week of April and shortlisted applicants will be notified. The interviews for shortlisted applicants will be in the 2nd last week of April 2015.

Fri 03 Oct 2014: 2.00pm @ DBS Conf Rm 2: Sinlan Poo on “Reproductive Ecology and Parental Care of a Southeast Asian Treefrog”

PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral ExaminationSheila

Reproductive Ecology and Parental Care of a Southeast Asian Treefrog”

Sinlan Poo
Graduate Student,
Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS
Supervisor: Asst. Prof David Bickford

Fri 03 Oct 2014: 2.00pm
DBS Conference Room II (S1 Level 3, Mezzaine)

All are welcome

Abstract – 

“Parental care is a reproductive strategy that increases fitness of parents by having more surviving offspring. The evolution of parental care is closely linked to sexual selection, mating systems, and other life-history characteristics of an organism. However, parental care can be overlooked or assumed in taxa that are underrepresented in the literature. Consequently, there is a gap between observations and analyses, which limits our understanding of general and taxa-specific trends associated with parental care.

I used in-situ observations and experiments to study the costs and benefits of parental behavior in a Southeast Asian treefrog, Chiromantis hansenae. Female frogs that attended egg clutches contributed to offspring survival primarily by preventing egg desiccation. Parental behavior was the main factor in determining offspring survival and was driven by harsh environmental conditions. Using a predatory katydid, I tested prediction of parental investment theories by observing anti-predator behavior of frogs. Defense against predators and ability to differentiate risk levels was sex-specific and only present in female frogs caring for their eggs. Maternal defense was positively correlated with predation risks and was not influenced by offspring age. These results are contrary to existing theory, which suggests investment ought to be negatively correlated with parental predation risks and affected by offspring age. Finally, I examined hatching plasticity of eggs. When exposed to predation cues, both young and old eggs shortened their embryonic period by hatching early. Hatching time was not correlated with duration of maternal egg attendance. Rather, embryonic response to cues depended on their developmental stage. Younger eggs, not yet capable of hatching, continued to develop after being exposed to predation cues, while older eggs hatched rapidly in response to predation of neighboring eggs.

This is the first empirical, experimentally-driven, parental care research on a Southeast Asian amphibian. Results demonstrate behavioral adaptations by parents and offspring to reduce egg stage mortality. It supports overarching theories of parental care evolution, but provides unexpected trends of parental investment in relation to certain life-history characteristic and environmental factors. This study highlights the importance of examining parental care in underrepresented taxa and geographical regions, and the potential of using C. hansenae as a study system. These findings form a basis for further research on reproductive strategy comparison and hatching plasticity that will lead to improved understandings of decisions involved in both adult and offspring behavior and the evolution of parental care.”

All are welcome