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(last updated : Wednesday, May 19, 2004 )


Visitors for December 2002 to March 2003:

Name: Ms Huei-Ping Shen
Institution: Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute
Research topic: Earthworm diversity in Singapore
Duration: 2-15 Mar 2003
Host: Dr Darren Yeo

1) Dr. Harold Voris (Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, USA)
2) Dr. Bill Jeffries (Dickinson College, Carlisle, USA)
Research topic: Pedunculate barnacles
Duration: 17 Jan - 27 Feb 2003
Host: Mrs Yang Chang Man and Dr Serena Teo (TMSI)

Name: Dr Simon Pollard
Institution: Canterbury Museum, New Zealand
Research topic: Stalking spiders: spitting spiders and jumping spiders
Duration: 8-18 Feb, 2002
Host: Dr Li Daiqin

Name: Dr Victor B. Amoroso
Institution: Central Mindanao University, Philippines
Research topic: Ferns and fern allies
Duration: Feb 2003
Host: Dr Benito Tan

Name: Mr Arvin C. Diesmos
Institution: Conservation International Philippines
Research topic: Taxonomy of Philippine/Sundaic amphibians
Duration: 9-22 Jan 2003
Host: Mr Kelvin Lim/Mr Leong Tzi Ming

Name: Dr Richard Corlett
Institution: University of Hong Kong
Research topic: Diversity of flora of Singapore
Duration: 4-17 Jan 2003
Host: Dr Hugh Tan

Name: Dr Colin McLay
Institution: University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Research topic: Systematics and taxonomy of marine crabs
Duration: 11-19 Dec 2002
Host: Dr Peter Ng

Name: Dr Yutaka Kunimatsu & Ms Ayumi Yamamoto
Institution: Kyoto University, Japan
Research topic: Systematics and taxonomy of primates
Duration: 8-15 Dec 2002
Host: Mrs Yang Chang Man

Name: Dr Patrick Grootaert
Institution: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium
Research topic: Taxonomy of dolichopodid flies
Duration: 1-14 Dec 2002
Host: Dr Peter Ng and Mrs Yang Chang Man

1) Dr Fabrice Demeter (Laboratoire de Paleoanthropologie et Prehistoire, College de France)
2) Dr Anne-Marie Bacon (Laboratoire de Paleoanthropologie et Prehistoire, College de France)
Research topic: Examination of mammal collections for comparison with/identification of fossil material
Duration: 10-13 Dec 2002
Host: Mrs Yang Chang Man



Visitors for November:

Name: Dr Maurice Kottelat Institution: Independent Consultant; Honorary Research Associate, RMBR
Research topic: Systematics and taxonomy of freshwater fishes
Duration: 29 Nov - 7 Dec 2002
Host: Mr Kelvin Lim

Name: Ms Supiyanit
Institution: Prince of Songkla University, Thailand
Research topic: Cladoceran Zooplankton
Duration: 25-29 Nov 2002
Host: Mrs Yang Chang Man

Nov 20 - Dr Darren Yeo, Kelvin Lim and Leong Tze Ming visited Bangkok (11-18 Nov 2002) to do some collaborative work with researchers from Chulalongkorn University and National Science Museum on freshwater crabs, amphibians and reptiles.


Oct 30 - Chek Jawa Guide Training Workshop IV. Raffles Museum has been conducting an on-going series to train volunteer field guides for public guiding sessions at Chek Jawa, Pulau Ubin. The fourth workshop will train students from Tanjong Katong Secondary and Temasek Junior College. The course, a series of 9 full-day lab and field sessions, will begin on 30th October and last through November. Click here to see more information.

Oct 26 - Raffles Museum staff, Benito Tan (Dy Director), Darren Yeo and N. Sivasothi (Research Officers), have been elected into the committee of the Singapore Institute of Biology (SIBIOL).

Oct 28 - Nature Walk at MacRitchie Nature Trail and Boardwalk. Museum staff acted as nature guides for a walk by university administrators led by the Vice President of NUS, Professor N. Varaprasad.

<Click on the picture opposite to see the photos>


Oct 27 - RMBR conducted two training workshops for school teachers on the Preparation of Plant and Animal Specimens for Teaching and Display on Oct 19th and 26th.

Oct 2 - EX Anambas a success: An account of EX Anambas was reported by N. Sivasothi to the 12th Workshop on Managing Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea last week. This expedition, jointly led by RMBR and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, was considered a successful mission by the Workshop, from the perspective of both scientific results and regional cooperation. The consolidated results will be published in a special volume of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology in future. Updates will be available at this webpage



Sep 23 to Oct 5 - Dr Darren Yeo attended the "Training Course on Diversity and Biology of Ants in Tropical Rainforest" at UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. The course was organised by ASEANET, the Southeast Asian LOOP of BioNET International in collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Sep 27 to Oct 1 - The 3rd Sino-Singapore Biotechnology Trilateral Symposium on plant molecular biology, cell & molecular biology & biodiversity was held in Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.

Professor Hew Choy Leong led the team from the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Other staff members who attended the symposium are Peter Ng, Li Daiqin, Leung Ka Yin, Hong Yunhan, Prakash Kumar, Pan Shenquan, Cynthia Lee & the distinguished visiting professor, Michael James, from University of Alberta.

28 Sep - N. Sivasothi conducted a half-day mangrove orientation programme for instructors of Outward Bound School, Singapore, in preparation for an international conference they will be hosting in October. The session was facilitated by NParks Ubin.


NParks Data Workshop

Besides attending lectures, participants were shown how to record data in the field:

A lively 'Question and Answer' session:


Sep 24-25 - NParks Data Workshop: RMBR staff conducted a workshop for Rangers of the National Parks Board, Singapore. Besides basic procedures for preservation and recording data, the rangers also gained an insight into the end-product of this work: catalogued specimens are referred to by scientists and managers 100 years down the road, and forest records are integrated into management plans, Red Data Books and local, regional and international conservation plans. To see the photos taken at the workshop, click here



Sep - Congratulations on Teaching Awards - Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards to Chou Loke Ming (Reef Ecology Lab.) and Hugh Tan (Plant Systematics Lab.). Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards to Koh Li Ling (Reef Ecology Lab.), Ng Ngan Kee (Systematics & Ecology Lab.) and Farida Yusuf (Plant Systematics Lab.)

Sep - The Nature Society (Singapore)'s Tan Teck Guan Gold Medal is an award presented annually to the best higher degree thesis related to nature conservation or environmental protection/improvement from selected tertiary institutions in Singapore. Inaugurated in 1992, it comes in the form of a 20 gram, 24 carat Gold Medal. Mr Jeffrey Low, a student with Professor Chou Loke Ming, is only the second recipient of this medal, for his 1999 Masters of Science entitled "Artificial Reefs as a Marine Resource Tool".


International Coastal Cleanup Singapore

A pile of trash to be cleared by the volunteers:

Loading trash for disposal:

Sep 8th & 15th - International Coastal Cleanup Singapore: RMBR and the Nature Society (Singapore) are the national coordinators for this event, now in its 11th year. At Kranji mangroves, 3.7 tonnes, a fraction of the rubbish accumulated over decades, was removed. A lighter but daily load of less than 1 tonne was cleared from beaches around Singapore. The programme involved some 1,500 volunteers on the 8th and 15th of September. Data collected about the type of trash found on shorelines will be analysed and submitted to relevant government and non-government bodies. Click here to visit the webpage.


Sep 7 to 13 - Assoc Professor Peter Ng led this year's Honours' field course to Pulau Tioman, Malaysia. Other staff members involved include Professor L. M. Chou, Assoc Professor B. C. Tan and Dr R. M. O' Riordan

Sep 12 - Associate Professor Navjot Sodhi has received a grant from the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration for the project "Effects of forest disturbance on rainforest birds in Sulawesi."



Visitors for August/September:

Name: Dr Dwi Listyo Rahayu
Institution: R&D Center for Oceanology, Jakarta, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)
Research topic: Systematics and taxonomy of crabs and hermit crabs
Duration: 8-20 Aug 2002
Host: A/P Peter Ng

Name: Dr Woro W. Kastoro
Institution: R&D Center for Oceanology, Jakarta, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)
Research topic: Systematics and taxonomy of molluscs
Duration: 8-20 Aug 2002
Host: A/P Peter Ng and Dr Tan Koh Siang (TMSI)

Name: Dr Barry W. Brook
Institution: Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife Management, Northern Territory University, Australia
Research topic: Biotic extinctions in Singapore
Duration: 1-7 Sep 2002

Host: Dr Navjot Sodhi


Visitors for July/August:

Mr. Paul Clark,
The Natural History Museum, UK
Research Topic: Crabs
Duration: 17-20 Jun, 27-29 Jun & 5 Jul
Host: A/P Peter Ng

Dr. Shane Ahyong,
The Australian Museum
Research Topic: Stomatopods
Duration: 3-5 Jul
Host: Dr. Darren Yeo

Dr. Maurice Kottelat (Switzerland)
Research Topic: Freshwater fishes
Duration: 7-9 Jul
Host: Mr. Kelvin Lim

Dr. Richard Wassersug,
Dalhousie University, Canada
Research Topic: Tadpoles
Duration: 31 Jul-4 Aug
Hosts: Mr. Kelvin Lim &
            Mr. Leong Tzi Ming

Ridgewalk 2002

July 20 & 27 - The Museum is organising a 3-hour walk to experience the history, geography and biology of Kent Ridge; from the Public Gallery of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, via the Gap and Kent Ridge Park to Reflections at Bukit Chandu. Click here for more information...




20 June to 7 July - Drs. Gao Lei and Yang Xiao Dong of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens, Yunnan, China.
Topic: Aquatic insects
Host: Mrs Yang Chang Man & Dr Li Daiqin



5th to 20th June - Dr Zohrah hj Sulaiman, from Universiti Brunei Darussalam, visited the RMBR to conduct collaborative research on Torrent Loaches of Brunei.
Topic: RMBR fish collection
Host: Kelvin and Heok Hui

Click here for more…


June 2002 - Chek Jawa Volunteer Field Guide Course III.

The third Chek Jawa Volunteer Field Guide Course was conducted by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research. Four sessions of lectures and practicals were complemented by lessons in the field and understudy sessions at Chek Jawa itself. The class was made up of NUS undergraduates and members of the public. The first two courses were offered to NParks staff in January 2002. This is part of the effort by the museum to train volunteer guides for public guiding days at Chek Jawa.

Click here for more information...


Lawrence Liao

June 3 - Dr. Lawrence Liao, a phycologist from University of San Carlos, Cebu, Philippines, visited the RMBR in June/May 2002 to document the marine flora of Singapore. Click here for more…



May 29 - A team of researchers from the Prince of Songkhla University, Thailand, visited the RMBR in May 2002 to conduct collaborative research on freshwater aquatic organisms from southern Thailand. Click here for more…


May 21 - Dr Kees Swennen, Netherland Academy of Science.
Topic: Gastropods, bivalves & nudibranches
Host: Sukree Hajisamae


David Lohman

May 11 - Mr. David Lohman, a PhD student from Harvard University, working on ecology of butterflies and ants, visited the Raffles Museum (9-10 May).

He gave a seminar on 9 May at 12.30pm-1.30pm, entitled "Chemical ecology of lycaenid butterfly-ant symbioses: A comparison of herbivorous Australian theclines and carnivorous Thai miletines", at DBS Conference Room.

May 4 - The 2nd isssue of the Raffles Museum Newsletter is scheduled to come out this month. For those interested to have a copy of the newsletter, please sent a email request to the Webmaster

May 3 - Seminar:

Biodiversity And Diplomacy On The High Seas: Exercise Anambas, A Confidence Building Measure For Countries Of The South China Seas

Speakers: N. Sivasothi & Tan Heok Hui, Raffles Museum Of Biodiversity Research (RMBR), Department Of Biological Sciences, NUS

Date: Friday, 3 May 2002
Time: 4 – 5 pm
Venue: LT32, Blk S1A, Science Dr 4
Hosted By: A/P Peter Ng



Group photo

Lab session

field session

April 28 - A team of experts from the Raffles Musuem of Biodiversity Research--Mrs Yang, Darren Yeo, Kelvin Lim and Leong Tzi Ming--had conducted a training workshop on the collection, curation and identification of aquatic resources in Kuching, Sarawak (April 15--19).

The purpose of this workshop was to train researchers and scientists from the following institutes:

  • Foresty Department Research Centre,
  • Inland Fisheries,
  • Marine Fisheries Department,
  • International Tropical Timber
    Organisation (ITTO), and
  • Sarawak Biodiversity Centre

Read what their local newspapers have to say:

  1. Talk on freshwater fish (The Malaysian Today, April 17, 2002),
  2. In Layman's Term (The Malaysian Today, April 18, 2002),
  3. Singapore link in biodiversity projects (The Malaysian Today, April 18, 2002),
  4. Talk on freshwater fish of Sarawak and Brunei (Sarawak Tribune, April 18, 2002),
  5. State has potential for ornamental fishes (Sarawak Tribune, April 19, 2002),
  6. Biodiversity centre to hold talk on freshwater fish (The Borneo Post, April 17, 2002),
  7. S'pore experts to help State raise interest in biodiversity (The Borneo Post, April 18, 2002),
  8. State's freshwater fish species among most diverse in region (The Borneo Post, April 19, 2002), and
  9. SBC berusaha tingkatkan minat terhadap bio kepelbagaian (Utusan Malaysia Khamis, April 18, 2002)

March 22 - For the post expedition press release on Exercise Anambas, go to Unexplored islands yield 1,000 marine species(The Straits Times, March 22, 2002)


Exercise Anambas is an exploratory expedition to study the biodiversity of the poorly explored islands of Anambas and Natuna of the Republic of Indonesia. It will be the first expedition of its kind in history involving scientists from the territories surrounding the South China Sea. Participants are from countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, People's Republic of China, Philippines, Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam.

The participants, who will meet in Singapore on Sunday 10 March 2002, will be involved in a 10-day expedition aboard the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) research vessel, the Baruna Jaya VII, from 11 to 20 March 2002, followed by a three-day post-expedition workshop in Singapore. The group will leave via Batam on Monday 11 March 2002. This scientific expedition is being led by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research of the National University of Singapore and the (LIPI).

The results of the biodiversity survey will be published in a special scientific volume for use by scientists internationally. The area has not been surveyed scientifically for more than 100 years, and the biodiversity of the area is almost unknown. This is also the first time a large group of scientists from different countries are working together on a biodiversity project, and the expedition will not only contribute towards regional cooperation, but also towards the future conservation of the marine environment.

The proposal for this expedition was submitted by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research of the National University of Singapore, in February 2000 to the South China Sea Workshop, at the recommendation of the Workshop on Biodiversity Assessment in May 1997. The 11th Workshop for Managing Potential Conflicts in the South China Sea adopted the proposal as a confidence building measure in Jakarta on March 2001.

For more information, please contact:

  • Assoc Prof Peter Ng,
    Director, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research National University of Singapore
  • N. Sivasothi,
    Research Officer, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National
    University of Singapore

March 8 - Professor Wu Sugong, from the Kunming Institute of Botany, China, visited RMBR from March 8-31, 2002 to conduct collaborative research with Assoc. Prof. Benito Tan on the diversity and biogeography of tropical ferns in China and Malesia. Click here for more…

He was hosted by A/Prof. Benito Tan (Deputy Director, RMBR)


Journeys Acknowledgement Ceremony

Mar 7 - Learning Journeys Acknowledgement Ceremony 2002

At a ceremony held at the Mandarin Hotel Ballroom on 6 March 2002, the National Education Branch of the Ministry of Education (MOE) acknowledged the Raffles Museum, together with over 40 other institutions, for its participation in its Learning Journeys Programme. As a participating institution in this programme, one of our aims is to convey to students the importance of our collections of Singapore and Southeast Asian fauna as both a national as well as natural heritage.

The programmes consist of guided and unguided tours of our public gallery, which are booked by teachers via an online calendar hosted by MOE. The guided tours are especially useful for raising awareness of local biodiversity and biodiversity studies, as the guides are NUS graduate students that are actively involved in biodiversity research.


Feb 8 - Dr. Harold Voris (Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, USA) and Dr. Bill Jeffries (Dickinson College, Carlisle, USA) are visiting the Raffles Museum and they will be presenting a BioD Journal Club Seminar on February 21th.
Click here for details ....

They are hosted by Mrs Yang Chang Man.


Feb 7 - Visitors to the Raffles Museum for February:

Dr. Lanna Cheng (Scripps Institute of Oceanography, USA)
Research area: Aquatic and marine insects

Dr. David Wells (UK)
Research area: Ornitholo

Dr. Helen Larson, an ichthyologist from the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia, visited the RMBR in Feb 2002 to conduct collaborative research on taxonomy of gobiid fishes in Singapore. Click here for more…


Jan 30 - Dr. Christoph Schubart of the Universität Regensburg, Regensberg, Germany, visited the RMBR in Jan 2002 under the Visiting Attachment Programme to conduct collaborative research on various groups of grapsid crabs.
Click here for more…

Dr. Richard Corlett, a tropical ecologist from the Department of Ecology & Biodiversity, The University of Hong Kong, visited the RMBR in Jan 2002 to conduct collaborative research on invasive exotic plants in Singapore and cultivated plant flora of Singapore.
Click here for more…

Dr. Arthur Anker from the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, France, an expert in snapping shrimp (Family Alpheidae) systematics and taxonomy, was on a visiting attachment to the RMBR in Jan 2002 to help in curation of our alpheid collections, and to study the alpheid fauna of Singapore and surrounding areas.
Click here for more…

Dr. Indraneil Das, a herpetologist from the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) visited the RMBR in Jan 2002 to study our reptile collection. Click here for more…

Dr Herbert Zettel, an entomologist from the Vienna Natural History Museum, Austria, visited the RMBR in Jan 2002 to conduct collaborative research on aquatic bugs of Southeast Asia. Click here for more…

Jan 9-12:

Chek Jawa Guide Training Workshop 1: Volunteer staff from the National Parks Board (NParks). Participants examined specimens from the Chek Jawa salvage trips (May-Aug 2001) and discussed habitat distribution and guiding techniques. This is the first of a series of workshops planned for volunteers from NParks, Nature Society (Singapore) and the RMBR volunteer programme.

The workshop, conducted by Darren Yeo, Kelvin Lim, Tan Swee Hee and N. Sivasothi, was held at the NUS DBS Biodiversity Lab (courtesy of Tommy Tan) & the RMBR Public Gallery. Participants continue with two days of understudy during public trips to Chek Jawa.

Jan 4 - The teaching awards for the academic year 2000/1 was announced. RMBR Staff and students were recipients of 3 out of 7 of the awards, namely:

  • Professor Chou Loke Ming and A/Prof. Hugh receive the Teaching Excellence Award, and
  • Graduate student Ms Ng Ngan Kee is the winner of the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.





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Department of Biological Sciences, The National University of Singapore