Otterman Holt, 2015/16: eight undergraduate research students – six honours and two UROPS

I am supervising eight undergraduate research students this year. Six are in their honours years and two in UROPS. In the shadows is an MSc Zoology student and thus far, two MSc Science Communication students.

While these undergraduate projects are part of their academic training, the projects will, as always, address issues of local conservation relevance, which we use for action on the ground and share with the public through public seminars and talks at An Evening of Biodiversity or the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium and other meetings.

Some of my former students will thankfully come into play as mentors to the current cohort who build on existing lines of inquiry. We hope to make further progress this year:

  1. Claudine Tham – Distribution of frogs in a secondary forest (NParks proposed)
  2. Tan See Yi – Population status of the mangrove horseshoe crab at Mandai mangrove and mudflat
  3. Sarah Wee – The status of the small-clawed otter at Pulau Ubin, Singapore
  4. Diana Afiqah Binte Mohamed Juwahir – The vertebrate fauna of two impacted forest sites in Singapore
  5. Amanda Soh – Application of a pre-emptive strategy to reduce human-macaque conflict at a park in Singapore
  6. Tan Jia Xiu – Application of a pre-emptive strategy to reduce human-macaque conflict at a park in Singapore
  7. Max Khoo (4MC UROPS) – The ecology of smooth-coated otters in the Singapore River (Bishan Park and Marina Reservoir)
  8. Nicole Siew (8MC UROPS) – The freshwater fauna at two impacted primary forest patches in Singapore

I was glad to get everyone in a room this morning in Week 1 and we have identified proposed topics. But really, we just getting started. – to get these projects on the road, we will meet weekly this month to review the following:

  1. Research proposal (with project timeline): two rounds.
  2. Literature review: two rounds.
  3. Field Log, Field report and Protocols.
  4. Consultation with mentors.
  5. Consultation with and approval of relevant NParks managers.
  6. Application for NParks permits (Week 2).
  7. First aid certification (by September).
  8. Issue of personal first aid kits (Week 2).
  9. Project Risk Assessment approval: two rounds.
  10. IACUC approval (“use of animals for biodiversity/field study”): two rounds.
  11. Emergency scenarios responsiveness.

Oh boy!

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