Talk to public on the freshwater crab project, Sat 10th May 2008: 2pm

To celebrate Earth Day and World Biodiversity Day this year, NParks Conservation Division is organising a four-week Biodiversity Talk Series. Jeffrey Low goes first on 22 Apr 2008.

Biodiversity Talk 06
“The status and biology the Singapore Freshwater Crab, Johora singaporensis,” by N. Sivasothi.

Function Hall, Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens
10th May 2008: 2.00 pm

About the talk – True freshwater crabs have evolved to be completely independent of the marine environment and possess unique characteristics as a result. Many large freshwater streams are home to endemic species and Singapore Island is no exception. The freshwater crab diversity here has been well reported as a result of Peter Ng’s studies in the 1980’s. One crab in particular, was especially celebrated – the endemic Singapore Freshwater Crab, Johora singaporensis. Since that taxonomic examination, little else has been revealed about the crab, partly due to concerns about impacting the small but endangered population. In a recent study, aspects of the population biology, distribution and status of J. singaporensis were studied. This talk discusses the historical discovery, reports highlights of the recent study and discusses conservation implications for the future.

About the speaker – N. Sivasothi is an instructor at the Department of Biological Science more interested in otter and mangroves but Inadvertently spent a lot of time in freshwater and peat swamp habitats in the early 90’s on zoological expeditions with Peter Ng. This recent examination of the freshwater crabs in Singapore by both was due to the supervision demands of honours student Daniel Ng.

Notice the subtle swipe at Daniel? He has to be present so I’ll have to be polite.

Talk to NUS librarians on lecture preparation

“Digital library, web2.0 and shareware contributions to LSM1103 Animal Behaviour lectures.”
By N. Sivasothi, Dept. Biological Sciences. Wed 23 Apr 2008: 3pm – 5pm.

Abstract – LSM1303 Animal Behaviour is a cross-faculty module for students with no ‘A’ level biology. The class of 200 students are exposed to the diversity and complexities of animal behaviour and the scientific process behind this relatively young science. Digital resources have contributed significantly to the story-telling approach employed during lectures.

In the absence of a suitable textbook, the lectures are built on a foundation of classical and recent case studies from academic papers obtained through NUS’ Digital Library. The approach is softened by material from a variety of web2.0 contributions which increase each year. The catalyst facilitating this use is a host of shortcuts and shareware that radically increase ease of use. I will illustrate the typical lecture preparation process involving various tools and methods and discuss practical issues affecting design.

An NUS Module Blog compliments this course and after experimenting with five blogs, we embarked on a student blog assignment. Kenneth Pinto and other CIT staff were instrumental in this attempt and he will join the discussion as well. See:
Module Blog –
Student Module Blog –

Tools used that will be featured – NUS’ Digital Library, Google Scholar, AcidSearch, Creative Commons, Flickr, delicious, Tooble, Youtube, TubeSock, iTunes, podcasts, rss feeds, NetNewsWire, Textpandr, MarsEdit, Google Earth, Skitch, a variety of browsers, tabbed-browsing and sessions (most of these are either platform independent or have pc equivalents).

About the speaker – Sivasothi teaches biodiversity and ecology at the Department of Biological Sciences. He is an enthusiastic macintosh and web2.0 proponent and has numerous blogs and mailing lists dealing with macintosh, cycling, biology, nature and the environment. See