Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology publishes A Special Tribute to Dr. Benito Tan

The Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology has published “A Special Tribute to Dr. Benito Tan” – please see their webpage for the articles. It includes an article by Ho Boon-Chuan Ho and James R. Shevock entitled, “A tribute to Benito C. Tan (1946–2016), distinguished muscologist”.

“Benito’s interest in Asian mosses brought him back to Asia where he took up the position of Associate Professor in Botany in the National University of Singapore (NUS) from 1998 to 2007.”

He is fondly remembered by us all.

BenitoTan
Thanks to Adrian Loo for the alert.
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Call for Student Research Assistant for Songbird Trade Project (Nov 2018 – Feb 2019)

Project Overview

The keeping of songbirds is a popular pastime in Southeast Asia. However, unsustainable trapping pressures is one of the main drivers of species loss in the region. The dearth of consumer demand data impedes the effective implementation of conservation plans. This project aims to understand the underlying drivers of demand for songbirds in Singapore. We hope to implement an evidence-based approach to wildlife trade campaigns, to influence consumer preferences with demand-centric conservation efforts.

  • We are looking for enthusiastic students, with an interest in wildlife conservation, to conduct market-research style surveys with a specific target audience across Singapore.
  • This project is a joint collaboration with Wildlife Conservation Society, Wildlife Reserves Singapore and BirdLife International. This is an exciting opportunity to work with both local and non-governmental organisations on a conservation project in Singapore

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Duration

  • 1st Nov – 28th Feb (Part-time position with a non-traditional schedule — time of day, and days of week, will vary depending on research needs).
  • The candidate would need to dedicate a few hours each week for data collection.

Remuneration

  • Non-traditional pay scheme (non-hourly); project-based pay with flexible working days/hours. Exact duration to be confirmed.

Candidate Requirements

  • Keen interest in environment, nature, conservation and its social aspects.
  • Self-motivated and highly independent individual.
  • Highly methodical and meticulous with data collection and management.
  • Strong conversational, communication and interpersonal skills. Fluent in both written and spoken English.
  • Proficiency in Mandarin and/or Bahasa Melayu would be advantageous. Proficiency in dialects (hokkien etc.) would be a plus.
  • Non-honours students are also welcome to apply

Application

  • To apply, send your CV by 29 September, a brief paragraph highlighting why you are a good fit for this position to chiokwenxuan@u.nus.edu.
  • Shortlisted applicants would be notified for an interview in early Oct. There is also a possibility for selected candidates to explore a Honours internship position with Birdlife in AY18/19 Semester 2.

 

[Job] Full-time Internship (May to Aug 2018): Ecosystem Services in Urban Landscapes with Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore-ETH Centre

We are looking for a full-time intern to assist with field data collection and management for the ecological component of the Ecosystem Services in Urban Landscapes project from May to August 2018.

Project description

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.

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 intern will also assist with data entry and management, and literature review.

Main responsibilities and duties

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

Training and guidance will be provided.

Requirements

 The candidate should have / be

  • A current undergraduate, preferably in Life Sciences or Environmental Sciences, or related fields.
  • Able to work outdoors for extended periods of time.
  • Meticulous, responsible, communicative and able to work independently.
  • Keen interest in nature, environment and scientific research.
  • Willingness to learn new skills.
  • Able to commit to a minimum of two months period.

Desirable skills but absence is not a preclusion

  • Experience in ecological fieldwork and data collection
  • Prior exposure to GIS software and statistical analyses (ArcMap, QGIS, R etc).

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

Duration: Full-time internship position for 2 – 3 months between May to August 2018

To apply/for more information, Interested applicants should submit a CV, highlighting relevant experiences and skills, a personal statement explaining why they are interested in this position, and availability period 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.

Thu 28 Sep 2017: 3.00pm @ NUS DBS CR1 – Cecilia Larrosa on “Unintended Feedbacks: challenges and opportunities for improving conservation”

PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination: 28 September 2017, Thursday, (Cecilia Larrosa / Dr Carrasco) – 3pm

Abstract:

Human reactions to conservation interventions can trigger unintended feedbacks resulting in poor conservation outcomes. Understanding unintended feedbacks is a necessary first step toward the diagnosis and solution of environmental problems, but existing anecdotal evidence cannot support decision-making. The aim of this PhD is to improve our understanding of the role these unintended feedbacks play in conservation science, and provide recommendations for incorporating them into practice.

After analysing the implications these unintended feedbacks have for conservation from a social-ecological systems perspective, I present a conceptual framework and a typology of unintended feedbacks drawing on examples of conservation science and provide recommendations for future work. In the remaining three chapters I focus on large-scale potential economic feedbacks based on recommendations from chapter two. Widely used tools for conservation planning could produce misleading recommendations if feedbacks are ignored. For example, in systematic conservation planning, effectiveness depends partly on accounting for natural and anthropogenic dynamics. Some dynamic conservation planning approaches exist, but they need to be further developed, and assessed against static approaches. I develop a model that accounts for both economic and environmental feedbacks into spatial planning for a set-aside programme, and compare it with a static approach. I model changes in forest connectivity and land opportunity costs to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the set-aside programme based on spatial static and discrete dynamic conservation planning. Finally, I apply the model I developed to multiple policy relevant targets of Atlantic Forest restoration and provide recommendations for prioritising areas.

This work identifies an urgent needed for the collection of evidence in a structured way in order to understand the mechanisms by which human decision-making feeds through to conservation outcomes at different scales. Socio-economic data availability, a mismatch in scale between data availability and prioritisation grain, and economic model complexity present the main limitations to accounting for these feedbacks in spatial conservation planning. Even though a dynamic approach to spatial conservation planning does entail higher computational requirements and transactions costs, I find the potential benefits in terms of increased cost-effectiveness could offset these costs. Most importantly, the analysis shows that a dynamic approach can help decision-makers maximise the existence of informational rents by prioritising areas with higher informational rent capture and still result in a lower overall intervention cost. Accounting for environmental and economic feedbacks can be a valuable tool for more evenly distributed interventions that provide higher incentives for participation without increasing intervention cost.

People adapt and respond to conservation interventions, and their actions feed through into changes in the conservation situation itself; this fact is something that conservationists rely on for their impact. However, these same responses are being overlooked when they affect outcomes indirectly through unintended feedbacks. The research undertaken for this PhD advances knowledge on the role feedbacks play in both applied conservation and conservation science.

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LSM4263 Field Studies in Biodiversity: Registration open!

Dear students

Registration is now open for LSM4263 – Field Studies in Biodiversity! 

This 4MC module will be conducted in Semester IV of AY2015/2016 from Tue 21 Jun 2016 to Fri 22 Jul 2016. Timetable details will be available later.

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To qualify, students should be:

  • LSM majors specialising in Environmental Biology (EVB), OR from the Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) programme
  • Continuing into their Honors year in AY2016/2017
  • Possess a CAP of 3.2 or above
  • Willing to cover part of the module cost (amounting to less than S$400)

Other details:

  • The Pulau Tioman field trip is scheduled from Tue 12 Jul 2016 – Mon 18 Jul 2016
  • Accommodation at Paya Beach Resort
  • Local student enrolment is limited to 30 students
  • Priority to students with LSM2251 Ecology and the Environment, or other relevant experience

To register, please complete the form at tinyurl.com/lsm4263signup by Mon 06 Jun 2016: 1800h. Successful students will be notified by email.

Best wishes,
Life Sciences Undergraduate Program Committee
http://www.lifesciences.nus.edu.sg

Dr Ong Bee Lian’s Memorial – Mon 20 April 2015: 4.00pm @ LT 32

Dr Teresa Ong Bee Lian

Born in Singapore on 16 September 1957
Passed away in Singapore on 23 March 2015
Aged 57 years
Always remembered by family and loved ones.

OBL memorial photo

From Paul Thomas Matsudaira (Head, Biological Sciences) 


Subject: Dr Ong Bee Lian’s Memorial – 20 April 2015 at 4.00 p.m., LT 32
 

“Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
 
The department is planning a memorial for Dr Ong Bee Lian  on Monday, 20 April 2015 at 4 pm in LT32 and all are invited to attend. Her family members will also be present.
 
She was a long standing member of the department from the time she was a student (B.Sc. Honours) University of Singapore. Many count Dr Ong as a close friend and colleague. She was a passionate teacher and mentor of our undergraduates. She will be missed and we intend to honor her memory with sharing by a few colleagues and students, as well as a presentation slide into a glimpse of her life in the department.
 
Please attend.

Regards,
Paul”