I am particularly interested in the conservation of rare and threatened butterflies which I address using techniques such as hotspot mapping, ecological correlates modeling, landscape ecology and experimental methods to enrich degraded habitats. I am also experimenting with techniques to improve connectivity among butterfly habitats in Southeast Asia’s fragmented landscape. My broad interests are in fields of conservation biology, plants and insects and conservation education. Prior to joining NUS, I have spent few years working with some amazing naturalists driving citizen science projects and conservation campaigns.
Dr. Brett Scheffers is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida.
Brett is a global change ecologist with interests in drivers of biological organization in space and time and the effects of human disturbance on these processes. His research is diverse and global in scope, encompassing multiple taxonomic groups across boreal, temperate and tropical ecosystems. Brett's most recent research foci include multidimensional species distributions in rainforest canopy environments, ecophysiology of ectotherms, microhabitat buffering in structurally complex environments and extreme climate events. His work converges under a single theme - assessing species and habitat vulnerability and resilience under novel climates and disturbances.
Dr. Christina P. Colόn is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Kingsborough Community College, faculty advisor for the Ecology Club and Chair of the campus-wide Eco-Festival Committee. Dr. Colόn conducted her dissertation on the ecology of the Malay civet (Viverra tangalunga) in a logged and unlogged forest in Sabah, Borneo, and her Masters' thesis was conducted on environmental education at Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve in Belize. She currently conducts ongoing research on the impact of storm damage and sea level rise on the reproductive success of the Atlantic horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) in Brooklyn. During the winter months, she has an active research program in Southeast Asia, where she studies the effects of small carnivores on ecosystems. Currently, she is radio tracking translocated common palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) in Singapore.
As an ecologist, her passion for nature is evident in all aspects of her teaching and service to her students and to the campus. Her classroom and campus-wide work emphasize civic engagement through citizen science which promotes concern for conservation of local species and ecosystems. As a proponent of active learning, she regularly involves her students in her research on the Atlantic horseshoe crab, and shares information about her work on civets in Southeast Asia. She believes that students learn best by doing, and that by taking action, students can become powerful agents of change.
Emilie has always been interested in the study of Animal Behavior. She previously studied mating and acoustic behavior in Pachycondyla Ants (Université Paris 13), the mechanisms underlying the phonotactic behaviour of female crickets (University of Cambridge). She is currently doing a PhD at the National University of Singapore. Her thesis aims to study the emergence and loss of differentiation in understorey birds of Southeast-Asia using genetic and acoustic methods.
Daniel Ng recently graduated from National University of Singapore with a Doctor of Philosophy and has been working as a research fellow since 2014. He works on amphibians and freshwater crabs and has considerable husbandry experience in rearing them. His research interest is on conservation biology, ecology and climate change in aquatic systems. Currently, he is working on conserving the Singapore freshwater crab, Johora singaporensis.
Lionel works as a research assistant at the Tropical Marine Science Institute and his research interests include coral reef rehabilitation, coral reef ecology, and environmental management. He is currently involved in a project that explores innovative ways to assist the recovery of reefs in Singapore which have been affected by coastal development and port operations. He recently completed the MSc (Environmental Management) programme at NUS. The findings from this WRSCF-funded project contributed to his MSc dissertation “Coral reef restoration in Singapore: past, present and future”.
Marcus Chua completed his MSc at the National University of Singapore on the ecology and conservation of leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis) in Singapore. He is hopeful that findings from his studies would help to ensure the survival of threatened native wildlife in Singapore. In addition to leopard cats, his research interest includes the ecology and conservation of mammals in human-modified landscapes. Marcus is active in nature conservation and outreach activities and works as a Museum Officer at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.
Mary-Ruth graduated from NUS in 2013 and now works as a research assistant in the lab. She studied habitat use by bamboo pit vipers (Trimeresurus albolabris) in Hong Kong in her final year. She is currently spends most of her time radiotracking reticulated pythons in the forests and drains of Singapore. When not tracking pythons, she cruises around on her bike searching for herpetofauna carcasses on Singapore`s roads. She also started a citizen science driven initiative for gathering information on road kill in Singapore where members of the public contribute their own sightings via the online portal.
Dr. Melissa Whitaker received her PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. She studies the evolution and ecology of lycaenid butterflies in the lab of Professor Naomi Pierce, focusing on the fascinating and sometimes bizarre associations between lycaenid larvae and ants.
Norman Lim is a lecturer at the Natural Sciences and Science Education Academic Group at National Institute of Education (Nanyang Technological University). His research focuses on the ecology of understudied vertebrates in the Southeast Asia region, such as the Sunda colugo (Galeopterus variegatus) and Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica). Investigating at multiple levels of biological organisation (e.g., organismal, physiological, and molecular levels) whenever appropriate, Norman aims to effect conservation within this highly threatened biodiversity hotspot.
Postdoctoral Associate @ Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology
2008 – 2014: University of California Berkeley (UCB)
Ph.D. Environmental Science, Policy and Management
2000 – 2004: National University of Singapore (NUS)
B.S (Hons) Biological Sciences
How do plant species response to anthropogenic disturbances, and how do those responses scale up to affect ecosystem functions at the landscape level? I am broadly interested in these processes within tropical ecosystems such as mangroves, peat swamp and inland forests. I examine feedbacks between plants and their environment over time and space, as well as across disturbance regimes, and apply research findings to management or to affect polices. Currently, I am researching on the regeneration of peat swamp forests in Brunei. Southeast Asia peatlands are critical components of the global carbon budget – they make up 77% of tropical peat and are fast changing from carbon sinks to carbon sources as these forests are converted to agriculture. Peat swamp forests recover poorly after disturbance and my research investigates the linkages between nutrient availability and peat forest regeneration dynamic. Aside from these research questions, I am also keen to explore how different disciplines such as plant ecology, hydrology, atmospheric sciences, engineering and social science could interact, and devise holistic solutions to human-induced ecological and environmental problems.
Dr. Toh Tai Chong is currently a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Tropical Marine Science Institute, NUS and he is concurrently holding a joint teaching appointment in the university. The WRSCF has enabled him to complete his PhD in marine biology in 2014 and has helped him achieved the prestigious “Best Graduate Researcher Award in the Department of Biological Sciences” presented by the Faculty of Science, NUS. His current research builds on his PhD dissertation work on coral reef restoration and conservation, and he is actively spearheading educational and outreach events to promote marine science research and conservation in Singapore.
Fung Tze Kwan is a current MSc (Biology) student in the National University of Singapore examining the diet, home range and seed dispersal role of the common palm civet in Singapore. This research is a continuation of her Honours thesis on the diet of the common palm civet in forested and urban environments in Singapore. With an appreciation for nature and an interest in research, Tze Kwan has also undertaken a diversity of ecological research projects on freshwater macroinvertebrates and forest phenology. Besides her passion in research, Tze Kwan believes that education and outreach are important in the conservation of our local biodiversity. She conducts outreach activities to raise awareness for the common palm civets and is an active volunteer with the Toddycats!, a volunteer group with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. She also gives public talks to educate the public on the common palm civet in Singapore.
Xu Weiting has an interest in mammal ecology (especially small to medium-sized carnivores), conservation and human-wildlife conflict in urban landscapes. She graduated from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and investigated the autecology and public awareness of the Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) in an urban environment in Singapore for her honours thesis.
With an interest in education and nature, Weiting has been a Full-Time Teaching Assistant in NUS since 2010 where she teaches, as well as coordinates, biodiversity and ecology modules for the Life Sciences undergraduates. Besides teaching, she is involved in civet research and outreach activities in Singapore. She maintains a civet blog, helped initiate Kid’s Musang Watch with Cicada Tree Eco Place and also give talks to educate to schools and the public on the common palm civet. Weiting is also a part of Project LUWAK Singapore, a group which raise public awareness among retailers and consumers of the cruelty behind the civet coffee.
Wildlife Reserves Singapore contributes to the protection of wildlife in their native habitats by funding local and regional conservation and research projects. We collaborate with likeminded organisations such as other zoos, NGOs, government agencies, academic institutions and nature interest groups to ensure the best possible conservation outcomes for the species or environment of concern. In this regard, WRS is proud to support the IUCN Species Survival Commission. We help build local and regional conservation capacity through professional training courses, workshops and consultancy services.
In our parks, we create memorable wildlife experiences that inspire in our visitors a love and respect for nature. We encourage and foster sustainable and ethical behaviours towards animals and nature through engaging education and conservation out-reach programs. We conduct research that can help develop better tools and strategies for the management of captive wild animal populations and that will benefit conservation strategy planning for species in their native habitats.