Tue 06 Mar 2018: 4.00pm @ DBS SR2 [S2-04]– “More than honey: insect pollinators in urban and farmland areas,” by Anna Sofie Persson

Click for PDF
20180306 Anna Persson


Tue 27 Feb 2018: 3.00pm @ NUS SR1 [S-04] – Lim Jun Ying on “Oceanic islands as time machines: Understanding the drivers of species diversity over time using the Hawaiian islands

Oceanic Islands - CKY


The geologic and climatic dynamism of the landscape can drive the pace of speciation and extinction of the organisms that occupy it. However, regional abiotic histories are often complex, making the study of how they have shaped the species diversity of mainland biotas challenging! Oceanic islands, however, offer extraordinary opportunities for unravelling the nature of diversity dynamics. Volcanic hotspot archipelagoes like the Hawaiian islands are sequentially formed, effectively providing multiple temporal snapshots of diversity. Furthermore, each island has a tractable and relatively predictable geologic trajectory, which allows us to characterize the role of landscape dynamism on species diversification. Here, using a novel geologically-informed diversification model of the relationship between species richness and changing island area, we infer how species richness of various endemic plant and animal clades have changed over their macroevolutionary history. The results suggest that landscape dynamism can drive the evolutionary dynamics of clades over large temporal scales, including long-term and ongoing evolutionary decline.


Lim Junying is a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley. His research lies at the intersection between macroevolutionary dynamics, niche evolution, community ecology and biogeography. He is especially interested in how large scale geologic and climatic dynamism has shaped the spatial and temporal variation in Earth’s biota up to the present day, and how ecological and evolutionary processes may play out in an era of global climate change.

Date & Time: 27 Feb (Tue) 3pm

Venue: NUS Block S2 Level 4 Seminar Room 1

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 – tinyurl.com/chalk2017.

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

Thu 27 Oct 2016: 6.30pm @ SR1 – For undergraduates: A chat about research opportunities in NUS with grad students

DBS graduate students Jerome Kok, Dorothy Cheong & Kenny Chua present a chat about about research opportunities in NUS. This is a lovely opportunity for undergraduates to get some advice from your seniors and to ask some frank questions.

Thu 27 Oct 2016: 6.30pm – 7.30pm @ Seminar Room 1 (S2-0414)

Sign up at http://tinyurl.com/dbs-gradchat

Fri 11 Mar 2016: 4.00pm – Dan Friess – “What’s driving mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia?”

NewImage“What’s driving mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia?”

By Dan Friess
Department of Geography
National University of Singapore

Friday 11th March 2016: 4.00pm

Conference Room 1 (S3-05)
Department of Biological Sciences,
National University of Singapore

All are welcome!
Register here please (for room requirements)
Host: N. Sivasothi aka Otterman

Abstract – Coastal mangrove forests provide important ecosystem services at local and regional scales, though are generally considered one of the most threatened habitats in the tropics. However, this assumption is often based on the upscaling of local studies or otherwise uncertain data. This seminar will discuss the uncertainty in previous estimates of mangrove loss across the tropics, present the results of a regional-scale remote sensing analysis that quantified rates of mangrove change in Southeast Asia over the last decade, and discuss the impact of previously under-appreciated proximate drivers of mangrove loss.

Mangrove forests in the last decade have been lost at a much reduced rate, and the spatial distribution of loss has changed; while Thailand was previously seen as a deforestation hotspot in the region, this has now shifted to Myanmar and parts of Borneo. Traditional proximate drivers such as aquaculture and rice production are still leading causes of mangrove loss, though under-appreciated drivers such as oil palm expansion are beginning to play a more important role in the region. Their management thus needs to draw upon experiences in other ecosystems, such as peat swamp forests.

While this seminar uses mangroves as a case study ecosystem, issues of data uncertainty and methods to map habitat loss are applicable to all forested ecosystems.

See: Richards, D. R. & D. Friess. 2016. Rates and drivers of mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia, 2000-2012. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 344-349. [abstract]

About the speaker – Dan is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography, NUS. Dan is the Principal Investigator of the Mangrove Lab [themangrovelab.com], a group of researchers with broad research interests in coastal ecosystem services. Research projects range from quantifying ecosystem services, understanding threats to ecosystem services (land cover change, sea level rise), and managing threats through habitat restoration and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES). Research is conducted throughout Southeast Asia, Madagascar and New Caledonia. Dan was a postdoctoral researcher in the Applied Plant Ecology lab in Biological Sciences, NUS between 2009 and 2011 and an organiser of the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat Workshop in 2013.