A wonderful afternoon at the Kent Ridge Alumni Family Day (18 Aug 2018)

Did you see us at the Kent Ridge Alumni Family Day (18 Aug 2018)?
It was the first time that the NUS Biodiversity Crew (Dr Amy Choong & Xu Weiting) and Life Sciences Society (LSS) undergraduates participated in this alumni family day.

The guests were a diverse lot – visitors, exchange students, current students and alumni from other faculties and ex-students visited the booth. They were drawn to the booth by the games designed by LSS and intrigued by the specimens we brought along to share stories about – a common palm civet specimen, cocoa and coffee plants. Visitors learnt about pedigree and genetics through the games and discovered more about civets and the tragic link with kopi luwak.

That evening, NUS President Tan Eng Chye graced the event and visited the booths. We warmly welcomed him with civet stories and he was intrigued that NUS also has civets.

We enjoyed ourselves so the four-hours passed by rather quickly as the team made the effort to interact with as many visitors as possible. They in turn enjoyed learning about the new things that are happening at the Department of Biological Sciences in NUS’ Faculty of Science.

Special thanks to all the LSS volunteers (Genevieve Tang, Nicholas Yeo, Leanne Teh, Wong Zhi Wei, Benjamin Tan, Loshini D/O Sunthar, Nicholas Seng & Muhammad Faiq), Fatin Nadzirah Bte Zahari, Tan Xing Zhi for manning the booth. And Mrs Ang-Lim Swee Eng, Mr Kaka Singh and Mr Ismail Bin Arshad for helping to take the plant photos and to collect the plant specimens.

2018-08-18 20.01.05


Recycle your E-waste at Blk S2 and at Utown (From 20 to 27 Aug 2014, 11am)

E-waste recycling

This one-week E-waste recycling exercise is part of Dr Amy Choong’s efforts for her GEK1515 Environmental Biology students.  To make it convenient to staff as well, she has invited Cimelia staff to install two bins at these two locations (Utown Education Resource Centre and between S2 & S3) for a week so that you can also dispose of your e-waste.

Please make use of this opportunity to get rid of broken appliances.

Butterfly ‘eyespot’ research by Antónia featured on ScienceDaily

Congratulations to Associate Professor Antónia Monteiro and colleagues on the publication of their latest paper, “Nymphalid eyespot serial homologues originate as a few individualized modules” in the Proceedings of The Royal Society B.

Butterfly spots

Diversity of butterfly eyespot numbers and location in the Family Nymphalidae (Oliver et al., 2014)

The paper was highlighted on ScienceDaily in “Butterfly ‘eyespots’ add detail to story of evolution“. The first author, Jeffrey Oliver, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Integrative Biology of the Oregon State University College of Science stated that the study indicated how continued mutations allowed eyeposts to move to different positions on the wings to perform a different function from its original placement. With the help of butterfly eyespots, we are inching closer to understand the existence of serial homologues and even the fundamentals of evolution.

For full citation: J. C. Oliver, J. M. Beaulieu, L. F. Gall, W. H. Piel, A. Monteiro. Nymphalid eyespot serial homologues originate as a few individualized modules. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2014; 281 (1787): 20133262 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3262

Hunkered down at the Department Retreat

We’re all at the annual department retreat during which we review the progress and direction of the department and discuss plans for the future.

We kick off with a state of the department review by the head.

Sometimes the news is good, sometimes it can be gloomy. As with everything in Singapore, it’s interesting to observe the influence of the economy on the status of the department and projections for the future.

It’s an intense schedule of short presentations and discussions so its impossible for anyone not to be clued into reality, defying the ability to be isolated in an ivory tower.

Science in a modern era is tiring this way but the exposure is unavoidable. Some of that reality should trickle down to students who ultimately do feel the effects.

It’s not all gloomy though. We tend to compare with the best objectively and the department is not half bad. And when comparative metrics are produced, debate invariably emerges as far as time allows. And then you get to observe personalities.

Which is the bonus when sitting through long meetings!


Paul Matsudaira starting with the state of the department review

The NUS Biology Crew at their breakout session at the department retreat.

The NUS Biology Crew at their breakout session at the department retreat.

Faculty of Science Awards 2012

This just in from the Dean of Science!

Congratulations to everyone who keeps the department ticking, for the recognition of your fine efforts!

Commendation Award 2012

  • Abdul Rahim Bin Ramad
  • Ng Quee Kee

Outstanding Service Award 2012

  • Ang-Lim Swee Eng
  • Chan Yee Ngoh
  • Lai Soh Fun
  • Lau Li-Cheng, Lisa
  • Li Xingzuan
  • Lim Miah Kyan
  • Mok Lim Sum
  • Nursyidah Binti Mansor
  • Reena Devi a/p Samynadan
  • Soh Siew Eng
  • Subha, N
  • Tan Han Tong, Tommy
  • Tan Siong Kiat
  • Tan Swee Hee
  • Wang Luan Keng

Teaching Assistant (Part-time) Award AY2011/2012

  • Chong Kwek Yan
  • Chua Aik Hwee, Marcus
  • Huang Xiaoqian
  • Lam Kuen Kuen, Millie
  • Martin Graf
  • Maxine Allayne Darlene Mowe
  • Neo Mei Lin
  • Sindhuja Sridharan
  • Toh Tai Chong
  • Wee Kim Shan
  • Xie Zhicheng
  • Yee Thiam Koon, Alex

Teaching Assistant (Full-time) Award AY2011/2012

  • Law Sze Joo, Sylvia
  • Low Yi Lian
  • Xu Weiting

Honour Roll AY2011/2012

  • Dr Lam Siew Hong

Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards

  • Prof Ip Yuen Kwong, Alex
  • Assoc Prof Kunchithapadam Swaminathan
  • Dr Peter Alan Todd
  • Dr Yeo Chong Jinn, Darren
  • Dr Zeehan Jaafar