Dispose of e-Waste in NUS any day – or during the “e-Waste, we-Recycle” festival in September (there’s ice-cream!)

Update – date change to Mon 14 Sep 2015 due to national elections in Singapore on 11 Sep 2015.

Recycling e-waste was not convenient a decade ago and schemes were episodic, often in response to something like Earth Day. Then in 2012, Starhub provided a dedicated e-waste recycling (RENEW) and I was finally able to recycle my laptops from the 1990’s!

Funan chipped in two years later so we have even more locations around Singapore. The NEA page on e-waste recycling has a longer list.

Well, it’s time to make a trip to an e-waste recycling bin again, as I have accumulated a hefty pile of small e-waste items like cables, unused plugs and spoilt bicycle lights which have not recovered despite years of hope (happily some did).

This time though, I needn’t travel far – NUS’ Office of Environment Sustainability has an informative and well organised webpage reflecting the initiatives that have cropped up on campus in recent years. And this includes e-waste recycling bins which are located at:

  • Kent Ridge Campus: Central Library, Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library, Medical Library, Science Library and Ventus Building
  • UTown: Stephen Riady Centre (inside Office of Admissions)
  • Bukit Timah Campus: C J Koh Law Library

How convenient!

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If you want a festive air with ice-cream rewards, there is an annual e-waste collection drive – “e-Waste | we-Recycle,” which will be held on Friday 11 Sep 2015. I will support this excellent cappingcampaign by reminding my department staff (Department of Biological Sciences) and some 500 undergraduates in the modules I handle – LSM1103 Biodiversity, LSM2251 Ecology and the Environment and GEM1917 Understanding and Critiquing Sustainability.

The NUS OES page also has information on paper recycling in offices and recycling for glass, ink & toner cartridges, light bulbs, banners, clothes, name card boxes, pens and canteen waste reduction – and that’s just the section on waste!

Grace & Joys Tan agree – everything is better with ice-cream! 2014 E Waste recycling

Interns for wildlife documentary team filming Singapore’s wildlife (1 – 3 months)

Claire Clements from Beach House Pictures who made Wild City is looking for a couple of interns for their latest wildlife documentary filmed here in Singapore about Singapore’s wildlife. She says,

Beach House Pictures is offering a paid internship (1 – 3 months) working on our latest wildlife documentaries!

This is a great opportunity for young nature lovers to get involved, have input and get some great experience in a very niche industry.

Please note if you are studying and cannot commit to full time but would like to be involved we could potentially hire you as a part term intern. This is a unique opportunity to join a small team following Singapore’s wildlife.

The ideal candidate will want to gain experience in working in the field – duties will include:

  • helping to track wild animals,
  • assist with carrying equipment,
  • assist with planning of shoots
  • potential camera experience depending on skill levels,
  • some office duties such as research and planning.

There are potential of night shoots, over night camping shoots, early starts. You will likely be seeing parts of Singapore that most people don’t!
This is a role where hard work and enthusiasm will be rewarded with increased opportunities and responsibilities and you will really get a chance to be part of the team.
You don’t necessarily need any prior experience but preference will be given to people with a experience/enthusiasm for wildlife and TV documentary.
Must be based in Singapore. Start date immediately.

Please contact the Production Manager at shalini@beachhousepictures.com with a CV and cover letter.

Want to reduce smoking? John Oliver lets rip about what tobacco companies did in Australia, Honduras, Uruguay, Togo, Namibia, Solomon Islands

“The host of ‘Last Week Tonight’ led an 18-minute segment to expose tobacco companies’ use of litigation and bullying tactics to stop countries from removing their brands on tobacco products.” – Joe Landau, NY Daily News (Feb 2015) link.

The Australian plain packaging case isn’t over, however, and hearings are happening right here in Singapore!

“Australia’s legal bill for defending its cigarette plain packaging legislation is set to hit $50 million as it battles to contain a case brought by tobacco giant Philip Morris before a tribunal in Singapore.

And that is just for the first stage. If in September the three-person extraterritorial tribunal decides Australia has a case to answer, the hearing will move on to substantive matters and the bills will become far bigger.”

See: “Australia faces $50m legal bill in cigarette plain packaging fight with Philip Morris,” by Peter Martin. Sydney Morning Herald, 28 Jul 2015.

The 4th Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium, Sat 01 Aug 2015 – 24 five-minute presentations and 30 posters!

The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is pleased to announce the Fourth Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium (BoSS IV) to be held on Saturday, 1st of August 2015: 8.00 am – 4:30 pm. The symposium will be held at UTown Auditorium 2 (Stephen Riady Centre) at the National University of Singapore.

We are really pleased that our Guest of Honour gracing the event is the Minister of State for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee who has been very active in this arena.

BoSS IV showcases a cohort of young and passionate folks who have stepped up to study and champion various aspects of Singapore’s biodiversity in four, one hour-long sessions. 24 speakers will excite you through snappy five-minute presentations with news and developments in the field. And we just had to include a special update about the Singapore Whale.

The symposium tradition is maintained with two hour-long teas featuring 30 posters, and of course sumptuous food to promote interaction and collaboration! Programme details can be viewed at https://biodiversitysg4.wordpress.com.

There is a registration fee is $10 for adults and $6 for students (includes grad students!) Please register at https://biodiversitysg4.wordpress.com/registration, which has cash, electronic and cheque payment options.

Do inform colleagues, friends and acquaintances who may enjoy this interesting approach to getting quickly acquainted with some aspects of biodiversity research and education in Singapore.

Previous biodiversity symposia in Singapore 2003 – 2015

  • “The Future of Marine Science in Singapore.” Wed 27 May 2015 [link]
  • “An Evening of Biodiversity: The Secret Lives of Mammals in Singapore.” Wed 16 Apr 2014. [link]
  • “The Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium III” 24 Sep 2011. [link]
  • “An Evening of Biodiversity: Zoological Explorations in Singapore.” Fri 16 Apr 2010. [link]
  • “The Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium II.” 22 May 2007. [link]
  • “The Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium I.” 11-12 Jul 2003. [link]

A cycling-friendly city where no one looks like a cyclist! (UK’s Chris Boardman gawks in Utrecht)

British Cycling policy advisor Chris Boardman detours from tour de France to comment on the evolution of a cycling city in Utrecht in The Netherlands – an evolution because it didn’t happen overnight. The catalyst of the shift from a motor to bicycle-centric design of urban spaces include road fatalities especially that of children and the 1973 oil crisis.

So the people-first policy is decades years in the making. The liability laws (stronger protects weaker), giving way on turns and keeping safe by providing enough space, commuting at low speeds, the supportive laws and citizen familiarity with cycling from an early age are really some four decades in the making.

So there the bicycle is an everyday tool, for regular folk.

We need’t be wistful. I see more of this being addressed and emerging in Singapore. Admittedly, while I can cycle safely and enjoyable from Holland Village to Marina Barrage, cycling next door to Ghim Moh might kill me!

LTA says wait for it – it will come. And by their enthusiasm, I think we won’t have to wait 40 years.

Enoka Kudavidanage frowns at plastic in the sea

22 Oct 2010 – At a LSM1103 Biodiversity practical at Changi Beach, Enoka fishes out a plastic bag from the seine net and holds it aloft in disapproval. Her message is clear – plastic doesn’t belong in the sea. Some eight million tons are dumped in our oceans every year.


Now lecturing in environmental sciences at Sabaragamuwa University, Sri Lanka, NUS students with the Department of Biological Sciences at National University of Singapore were lucky to have Enoka Kudavidanage as their Teaching Assistant back then. An excellent educator, she taught in LSM1103, LSM2251 and LSM3261.

Missing you, Enoka!

“See You at the Capitol Lobby, 6pm,” a talk by Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, Sat 18 Jul 2015; 10.00am

“See You at the Capitol Lobby, 6pm,” a talk by Yu-Mei Balasingamchow Sat 18 Jul 2015; 10.00am – 12.00pm @ @ The URA Centre, Level 5, Function Hall.


Free, but register for the talk at EventBrite.

“For several generations of Singaporeans, Capitol Theatre was the place to meet friends, or that special someone. From 1930 until 1998, the landmark drew countless starry-eyed movie-goers into its luxuriously decorated cinema hall, which was large enough to seat almost 1,600 people. Many people fondly remember the ‘Pegasus’ statues in the hall, as well as the Magnolia Snack Bar in Capitol Building.

Now that Capitol Theatre has been restored and reopened, there’s no better time to explore the social history of this grande dame. Why did someone build such an ornate theatre in the first place? How did it survive World War Two and the Japanese Occupation? And what made it such a special place in the post-war decades? Come and take a walk down memory lane, as we revisit Capitol’s highs and lows over the decades.”

Yu-Mei Balasingamchow is the co-author of Singapore: A Biography (2009). Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2014. She has written a history of Capitol Theatre (forthcoming, 2015) and is currently working on new permanent exhibitions for the National Museum of Singapore. Her website is toomanythoughts.org.

Job for biology graduates: biologist at PUB (by 28 Jul 2015)

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Apply at webpage: http://careers.pageuppeople.com/mob/688/cwlive/en/job/498166/biologist

Agency: PUB , The National Water Agency
Job no: 498166
Work type: Permanent/Contract
Location: Singapore
Categories: Sciences (e.g. life sciences, bio-technology etc.)


As a biologist in PUB, you will be involved in the following:

  • Working with a team to resolve and propose solutions for chironomid challenges faced at the reservoirs . You will learn to identify the different nuisance and potential nuisance chironomid species (adults). You will also work on improving chironomid monitoring and monitoring methods in the reservoirs.
  • Working with another division to provide advice on larvae monitoring, BTI dosing and fogging operations.
  • Investigating and reviewing fish-kills issues at the reservoirs or waterways.
  • Working closely with external parties on aquatic ecology and biodiversity related research projects in the reservoirs. Thereafter you will assist to implement the findings of the project on the ground.


  • Degree in biology or life science equivalent
  • Relevant work experience is preferred
  • Highly motivated candidate who is able to independently carry out field work and multi-task
  • Experience in the field of aquatic ecology local aquatic fauna preferred
  • Excellent written and oral communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong conceptual and analytical thinking skills

Advertised: Jul 14 2015
Application close: Jul 28 2015 

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