13 May 2010

22 May (Sat): Siva shares on "In Celebration of Singapore’s Biodiversity: News, Views and Surprises!"

Come for a rare opportunity to hear personally from 'The Otterman' - who is happiest when up to his eyeballs in mud. He is next most happiest telling stories about his adventures!

A happy Otterman - From Ordinary Singaporeans lead the green charge Shobana Kesava, Straits Times 16 Aug 08;

Learn more about Singapore's biodiversity from this hardcore intrepid explorer, educator, author, blogger and much much more!

"In Celebration of Singapore’s Biodiversity: News, Views and Surprises!"
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.
Playful otters at Sungei Buloh Wetland ReserveSurprisingly 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.

N. Sivasothi
Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore
Coordinator Raffles Museum Toddycats
Coordinator International Coastal Cleanup 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!

This talk is part of the Shell Singapore Youth Science Festival 2010 in conjunction with the International Day of Biodiversity and the International Year of Biodiversity 2010 and is presented by the Science Centre Singapore.

All are welcome. The talk is free but pre-registration is required. Those registered for the talk can get free entry to the Science Centre. And receive SSYSF2010 premiums, as well as access to the newly opened Copyright Nature and Wildlife of Gondwana Exhibitions. Register online.

Time: 2-3pm
Venue: Maxwell Auditorium, Science Centre Singapore map
Website and contact: http://www.science.edu.sg/ssc/index.jsp

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