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

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:
Essential

  • 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.

Desirable:

  • 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 joleen.chan@nus.edu.sg by 13 July 2018. Shortlisted applicants will be notified for the interview by mid–July 2018.

Job: Research Assistant @ Insect Diversity Lab (deadline: Aug 1 2018)

The Insect Diversity Lab at the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, is in search of a full-time Research Assistant. We study global insect diversity with current focus on bees and related wasps of Southeast Asia. A key goal is to develop taxonomic infrastructure and to use this to advance research on insect urban ecology, behaviour, and conservation.

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Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Data entry and management of specimen and bibliographic databases.
  • Technical and report/scientific paper editing.
  • Field sampling of bees/wasps using a sweep net.
  • Processing of collected specimens (pinning, labelling, curating, dissection for DNA).
  • Specimen imaging using an imaging system.
  • Acting as a liaison with various external agencies, e.g. NParks to obtain permits.

Abilities:

  • Prior experience in the field of entomology will help greatly but can be picked up on the job.
  • Written and verbal competency in the English language is a necessity.
  • Prior technical expertise or familiarity with software used in data management, analysis, and visualization is preferred.
  • Additional abilities/experience in statistics and/or genomics is desirable, but absence of either is not a preclusion for consideration of hire.
  • The candidate should be conscientious and adaptive, and enthusiastic about working with insects both alive and dead.
  • The job requires attention to detail and the ability to maintain focus when working independently.

Application details

  • This position is for 1 year, with potential for renewal.
  • Applicants should be ready to start work in August/September.
  • Degree in Life Sciences or related field.
  • Remuneration: SGD $3,000/month (dependent on qualifications and includes CPF contribution for Singaporeans/PR).
  • Interested applicants should submit their CV, a short write-up about how this job may contribute to the applicant’s long term goals, and a sample of their academic writing.
  • Please submit these to dbsajs@nus.edu.sg and benjamin.ho@nus.edu.sg.
  • Short-listed applicants will be notified for an interview

Assistant Professor John Stoskopf Ascher
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore
14, Science Drive 4, Singapore 117543
Email: dbsajs@nus.edu.sg

Jobs: Postdocs & RA positions with Roman Carrasco’s Bioeconomic Modelling Lab (apply by 20th May 2018)

Psychological benefits of biodiversity in Singapore.

Positions: 1 Postdoc & 1 Research Assistant

Project description: Exposure to nature has been linked to human wellbeing. These benefits range from increases in life satisfaction and health (e.g. reduced mental health problems, obesity and high-blood pressure). The majority of studies linking urban greenspaces and wellbeing have however been limited to temperate regions, and information to guide recommendations on how to achieve positive wellbeing outcomes from tropical urban greenspaces remains largely non-existent.

In addition, research has in general focused on green spaces without distinguishing between the different components of biodiversity in ecosystems (e.g. species richness, functional diversity) and how the type of exposure to these components may affect wellbeing.

This project aims to fill these gaps by studying the relationship between tropical biodiversity exposure and measures of wellbeing through nature walks, semi-controlled and controlled experiments.

Roles: The research fellow and research assistant will contribute to the project through devising research experiments and developing surveys to study how biodiversity influences wellbeing.

Period & Application

  • Successful applicants will join the BioEcon Lab at the Department of Biological Sciences of the National University of Singapore.
  • Funding for the research fellow and research assistant is at competitive rates and available for 2 years.
  • To apply please send your CV to dbsctlr@nus.edu.sg (Roman Carrasco) before the 20 May 2018.

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Sustainable diets in Singapore

Position: 1 Postdoc

Project description: A global transition towards diets high in refined sugars, fats and animal protein is taking place as income rises in nations. This new diets unite human health, food security and the environment in unprecedented ways. On the one hand, they lead to higher prevalence of diseases such as coronary heart disease and type II diabetes, on the other hand, they require inefficient crops with large environmental footprints (e.g. cattle ranching, sugarcane) and that are produced, in most instances, at the expense of tropical forests. These multifold negative impacts open an opportunity to curb the rampant increase in non-communicable diseases while conserving nature and strengthening the food security of countries like Singapore.

The project has two main research objectives: (i) identify and map the trade-offs between health, the environment and food security of individual ingredients and most consumed dishes in Singapore; and (ii) identify the substitutability between ingredients according to the preferences of consumers in Singapore.

The project will aim to help Singaporean’s policy makers identify interventions that would most effectively switch consumer patterns towards healthier eating with minimum impact on their utility and respecting their preferences. Likewise, achievable dietary switches that increase the food security of Singapore and the preservation of nature will be identified.

Roles: The research fellow will be in charge of survey design and data analysis using GIS and R and leading publication writing.

Period & Application

  • Successful applicants will join the BioEcon Lab at the Department of Biological Sciences of the National University of Singapore.
  • Funding for the research fellow and research assistant is at competitive rates and available for 2 years.
  • To apply please send your CV to dbsctlr@nus.edu.sg (Roman Carrasco) before the 20 May 2018.

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Fri 27 Apr 2018: 10.00am – Lawrence Liao on the clues herbarium specimens provide about recent environmental changes

Friday, 27 April 2018 | 10am | DBS Conference Room 1 SEMINAR
Hosted by A/P Peter Todd

“Dead Men Tell No Tales but Dead Plants Do: Herbarium specimens provide clues about recent environmental changes”

By Lawrence M. Liao
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Biosphere
Science, Hiroshima University

About the talk – “Herbarium specimens deposited in museums around the world have traditionally been used to support taxonomic studies. Lately, new uses have been identified on top of their traditional roles. Some histological and chemical features therein have been used to describe and relate with changing environmental conditions, providing proxy data potentially useful for studies in climate and environmental change.

In this presentation, examples from flowering plants and marine algae showing variability in phenology and morphological characteristics including their presence or absence have been used for mapping general community changes through time and space, biogeographical shifts, invasion history, urbanization and other anthropogenic impacts, affording a record of the recent past even if sketchy and perhaps, a peek into the future.

About the speaker – Associate Professor Lawrence Liao has worked with hundreds of herbarium specimens as part of his research on the taxonomy of marine algae in the USA and Southeast Asia. He took graduate courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of the Philippines and was a recipient of a research fellowship in museums management at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Still very much active within the ASEAN network of seaweed taxonomists, he is completing a seaweed database of the South China Sea.

He is the president of the Association of Systematic Biologists of the Philippines and currently holds a teaching appointment at the Graduate School of Biosphere Science of Hiroshima University.

LawrenceLiao