Job: Student Research Assistant for NUS‒NParks Marine Debris Project (2‒4 months; deadline 13 Jul 2018)

Student Research Assistant for NUS‒NParks Marine Debris Project (2‒4 months)

The Student Research Assistant will assist in the NUS‒NParks Marine Debris Project, which involves establishing a national baseline data of marine debris. The role involves mainly assistance in the processing of microplastic samples and possibly in marine debris monitoring programme, and volunteer management.
The position is part-time with hourly wages.

The job responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Sorting and identifying of microplastics from sediments.
  • Assisting in marine debris field surveys at coastal areas.
  • Compiling existing data from International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and data management.

Job requirements:

  • Must be a current undergraduate in a local university.
  • At least A’level / Diploma knowledge in Biology.
  • Keen attention to detail.
  • Meticulous and responsible with samples and data management.
  • Strong oral, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently.


  • Training will be provided but some experience in sorting (e.g., macroinvertebrate sorting) would be useful.
  • Some knowledge and experience in marine debris.
  • Experience in data and volunteer management.

To apply, please send a cover letter and CV to Ms Joleen Chan at by 13 July 2018. Shortlisted applicants will be notified for the interview by mid–July 2018.


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


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 –

If you have any other queries, feel free to email Jerome Kok (

QE 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.

Life Sciences graduating students – you are invited to a Farewell Dinner, Fri 08 Apr 2016: 6.00pm – register now!

Dear Life Sciences Students,

“If you are completing the undergraduate course and graduating at the end of this semester, an early congratulation to you for the achievement made!

The Department of Biological Sciences would like to invite you to a farewell evening event!

Farewell Life Sciences Graduating Students
Friday 8th April 2016: 6.00pm
Venue: To be confirmed

To register for the event, please go to

We hope to see you there!

Amy Choong
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore


Invitation to An Evening of Biodiversity II: “The Secret Lives of Mammals in Singapore”, Wed 16 Apr 2014: 6.30pm @ NUS LT25

Evening of Biodiversity 2014

I am glad to announce “An Evening of Biodiversity: The Secret Lives of Mammals in Singapore” presented by six young graduates of the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. They share with us short stories about wild mammals from their recent student research and their hopes for Singapore’s wildlife and heritage.

Come and be surprised by the stories about Singapore’s wild leopard cats, small mammals, smooth-coated otters and the common palm civet. The graduates, Amanda Tan, Chloe Tan, Marcus Chua, Meryl Theng, Fung Tze Kwan & Xu Weiting do this as part of a desire to contribute to public awareness and the protection of our fragile ecosystems.

And they look forward to entertaining the audience!

An Evening of Biodiversity will be held on
Wed 16 Apr 2014: 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Lecture Theatre 25 (next to the Science Canteen)
Science Drive 2
National University of Singapore

Please RSVP at

(Parking is available at Car Park 10 across the road)

Veteran vertebrate naturalist Yeo Suay Hwee of the Nature Society (Singapore) had these kind words for the group,

“I hope this kind of presentation become a tradition where I can see more and more young scientists and new graduates/undergraduates ready to contribute in protecting our fragile wildlife and the habitat.”

We do look forward to your company.

Do RSVP if you are able to join us and feel free to forward this invitation to family, friends and colleagues.

Thank you!


Sivasothi aka Otterman

N. Sivasothi
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

About the talks

Small mammals have rarely been studied in Singapore and after over a decade Amanda Tan conducted a study of the diversity and abundance of small mammals around the Eco-Link. Once again the value of our unique, precious and fragile Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was demonstrated and the importance of the new forest connection with the Central Catchment realised.

Chloe Tan took small mammal exploration island-wide for the first time, documenting diversity in nine sites of varying forest quality. Eight species and three habitats later, she realised we cannot be hasty about connecting all our green areas – what were her concerns?

Sometimes we conduct surveys just for completeness. But on April Fool’s Day no less, the eyes of a leopard cat gleamed at Marcus Chua from amidst the undergrowth. After more than four decades, three populations provide relief about the longevity of this rare species but new issues emerge for our attention.

The smooth-coated otter (“anjing ayer”) returned to Singapore in 1998 exactly as predicted – Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve, where these fish-eaters enjoyed prawns too! In the northeast, otters spread from Pulau Ubin through Punggol and eventually south to Marina Bay! Meryl Theng tracked the otters, not only by foot but through the enthusiastic and generous submissions of Singaporeans delighted at the return of this wild carnivore.

The common palm civet is a wild carnivore nestled in our backyard but surprisingly poorly understood. At Pulau Ubin, poop-specialist Fung Tze Kwan was surprised to discover that civets favoured the fruits of the common fish-tail palm and improved the growth of its seedlings! When adopted as the logo of the Raffles Museum, the toddycat was entwined with a palm leaf – little did we realise this poorly studied pair was linked in an ecological partnership which may prove to be relevant in habitat restoration in the future.

As wildlife spreads in this garden city, they feel the pinch of space too. As Xu Weiting studied wildlife-human interactions, orphan civets needed care and the protocols which arose went online and helped civets elsewhere in Southeast Asia too! This furry animal is not always greeted with delight, sometime conflict arises. Awareness of these neighbourhood acrobats has helped to transform fear to delight and a hope in the hearts of young researchers of a future of greater co-existence.


Job opportunity: Help us out at the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey!

The Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (CMBS), is a  national project that takes stock of Singapore’s marine ecosystem and species diversity, species distribution and abundance. It began in 2010 and will conclude in 2015. Besides regular surveys, the project includes two intensive 3-week expeditions in which local and international researchers come together to study the various marine taxa found in our waters.

The first expedition surveying the northern shores (Johor Straits) was held in October 2012 and we are now gearing up for an encore in May, this time in the southern waters of Singapore.


We need help!


TMSI is recruiting four student assistants to help out during the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey workshop.

If you have a passion for biodiversity research, fieldwork, or just want to learn and interact with local and international marine scientists, this is a golden opportunity to garner the necessary experience.

Job Scope

The successful candidate will be involved in various aspects of the expedition, such as logistics, equipment cleaning and maintenance, field collection, dredging, sorting, preservation, photo taking, data entry and assisting researchers.

Candidates should be:

Be able to stay in expedition base camp (at St John’s Island) for the duration of the expedition (20 May to 8 June).

Enthusiastic and able to work well with others.No prior experience necessary, but that will be a bonus!

For more information please visit, in particular the posts about the Northern Expedition (

Please contact Joelle Lai, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at dbslcyj[@] if interested.

Volunteer opportunities as Field Assistants for Honours Field Projects. Dec 2012 – Mar 2013


Email sent out to LSM1103, LSM2251 and LSM3261 students:

Dear students,

Our honours students need help with small mammal trapping, civet and squirrel surveys, frogging, hunts for forest termites, mangrove horseshoe crab measurements in the mangrove, and other projects.

This is a great way for undergraduates to gain exposure to field work, explore nature areas in Singapore and learn about how science is conducted in the field.

To help on field trips which will be conducted between Dec 2012 and Mar 2013, please apply at:

After you register, various Honours students will contact you with their field trip schedule.
It’s not a blanket period, you will be able to pick and choose dates.



N. Sivasothi (Mr) • Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences • Research Associate, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research • National University of Singapore • 14 Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543 • Office – S2-04-20; Lab – S2 02: at • Map: http// • Phone: +65-6516 8869 • Fax: +65-6779 2486 • Email:, (IM) • Web: • Blog: • Modules: LSM1103, LSM1303, LSM2251, LSM3261, LSM4262, MW5201/2 • Staff Advisor, NUS PEACE, • Coordinator, Raffles Museum Toddycats, • Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, http//

Announcing “Birds of NUS”, a resource for LSM1103 and LSM2251 students by undergrad David Tan

David Tan was a rabid birder before he came to NUS. In the LSM2251 Ecology and the Environment class, he was the hallelujah chorus, head nodding with enthusiasm about ecological perspectives. So it was really noticeable when he was missing in class, usually battling some last-minute assignment deadline.

He found an outlet for his enthusiasm about birds with an undergraduate research project (UROPS) with Richard Corlett, during which he evaluated distance sampling as a tool for population estimates of bird species in our NUS Kent Ridge Campus.

David guiding for Raffles Museum Toddycats during
the Festival of Biodiversity, 27 May 2012

I was one of his examiners and conducted his oral exam at University Hall Spinelli’s over coffee. The session lasted several hours, as I explored the depths of his observations of our campus birds in addition to the question he had addressed.

His report was a dry, colourless affair, satisfying page limits and academic objectives. But he had carried a load of equipment during his surveys, taking photos and identifying animals at point locations as well as estimating distance and had lots of useful information about individual species.

Represented graphically, could become a resource for students and the public alike – especially with the Kent Ridge being part of the Southern Ridges.

So he did just that before leaving for a year overseas and produced “The Birds of NUS” at which includes a guide to identifying birds, artificial keys, a checklist and maps with point locations of observed species (may favourite bit). He roped in co-conspirator Zachary Kok, a Physics major who ‘authored more than 25% of the bird profiles’ on the webpage.

This is a resource for LSM2251 and now LSM1103 Biodiversity students as well. It’ll come in handy with younger students who work on mapping project with me in future too. Pretty neat, huh?

Ong Say Lin to be appointed Director of ACRES Laos PDR

ACRES announced the long-awaited news yesterday, “A warm welcome to Say Lin to ACRES. He will be the Director of ACRES Laos PDR!”

Ong Say Lin, one of our 3rd-year life science undergraduates was in Laos PDR for the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore) (ACRES) and Laos Zoo for the establishment of the first Wildlife Rescue and Education Centre there.

You can read all the news reports on WildSingaporeNews.

Say Lin & Louis
Say Lin and Louis in Laos PDR. Photo by ACRES.

Say Lin is completing his third year this semester (including his wild boar UROPS) and after a reservist stint with the Singapore Armed Forces, will be on his way to Laos to take up his duties to setup the wildlife rescue centre there. During his undergraduate years, Say Lin interned at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC), minored in Environmental Biology with University of Toronto, interned at The American Bear Association’s Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary, resuscitated NUS PEACE, spoke up at and later eventually chaired sessions at the Animal Welfare Symposium.

He follows in proud footsteps – his boss at ACRES, Louis Ng, is a biology graduate too and presented at the Biodiversity & Ecology Journal Club way back in 2002, when he was still a student. He spoke out for animal welfare, started ACRES and has kept it going and motivated others all these years.

Congratulations Say Lin, we are all proud of you and will look forward to your updates!

Students who are interested in helping out at the ACRES Laos PDR can contact Say Lin at

See “Where is pigboy?!” By N. Sivasothi. Otterman speaks…, 30 Mar 2012.