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Fri 21 May 2010
Sat 22 May 2010 @ Science Centre Singapore - Otterman tells stories about Singapore's biodiversity on the International Day/Year of Biodiversity
Category : talks
In conjunction with the Shell Singapore Youth Science Festival 2010
the Science Centre Singapore presents a public talk
“In Celebration of Singapore’s Biodiversity:
By N. Sivasothi
Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences
Saturday 22 May 2010: 2.00pm - 3.00pm
ALL ARE WELCOME
Registration - Please register by clicking this link
About the talk - Amidst the urbanised city state of Singapore and her surrounding islands remain precious patches of tropical ecosystems which are still revealing new species to science. Lovely surprises still await the casual visitor including the ever popular otters, dugongs, sea stars, octopus, dolphins, sea snakes, turtles and crocodiles.
Photo by Marcus Ng
Surprisingly though, the ecology of even some of our well-known denizens remain elusive. In recent years, we have learnt more about the ecology of a variety of creatures including civets, freshwater crabs, mudskippers, mousedeer, pangolins and wild boar. This talk will share highlights of Singapore's biodiversity through stories about people, encounters, events and issues.
Despite these exciting developments, our ecosystem fragments face many challenges to their survival. Have we addressed or neglected these issues? Has public interest increased since the 1980's? What can be done about it now?
The natural history community has grown and is actively engaged in discovery, research, management, public education and feedback through a growing number of channels and engagement with government. Find out about the opportunities to tap into and contribute to this active natural history community in Singapore.
About the speaker - N. Sivasothi, a.k.a. 'Otterman' is most comfortable when immersed in the mangroves which formed the backdrop to most of his research, education and conservation activities at the National University of Singapore since the late 80's.
Currently focused on undergraduate teaching and research, his students have explored studies with freshwater and mangrove crabs, horseshoe crabs, mudskippers, civets, mousedeer, wild boar, otters and even stray cats!
During his years with the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, he and a team of “The Body-Snatchers” would race to recover skeletons from fresh or rotting carcasses of dugongs, pangolins, dolphins and long-tailed macaques off the streets and beaches of Singapore. Many of these stories were shared with the public through exhibitions and talks.
In 2001, he led efforts to explore, share and appeal the fate of the newly-revealed jewel of an inter-tidal shore called Chek Jawa. Threatened with reclamation then, the "last chance to see" public education walks led surprisingly to the largest nature outing by the public in Singapore's history.
In 1999, he spent many nights at the Science Centre Singapore editing the "Guide to the Mangroves of Singapore". For over a decade now, he has been both the coordinator of the Raffles Museum Toddycats! and the national coordinator of the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore.
Since 1998, he initiated Habitatnews and numerous other blogs and mailing lists. The Otterman is also a bicycling, macintosh, web2.0 and history enthusiast and a great story-teller!
Photos also by Xu Weiting (civet)and Jani Thuaibah (dugong carcass).