20 May 2009

22 May (Fri): Prof Peter Ng on “Crossing the Line - Illegal and Unwanted Aliens in Singapore”

This talk by Prof Peter Ng is in celebration of The International Day for Biological Diversity. This Day falls on 22 May and the theme for 2009 is "Invasive Alien Species".
Rich reefs adjacent to major shipping lanes
Singapore is a global city with extremely efficient international land, sea and air connections.

However, this connectivity and the globalised nature of its open economy mean that a great variety of plants and animals have entered Singapore, intentionally or accidentally. Some of these have become established in the local environment and become “indigenized”.

The number of such species is growing annually and the long-term impacts they will have is a serious concern for ecologists, conservation biologists and managers alike. How do we track them? How do we ensure dangerous species do not enter the island and become established?

How do we make sure that native species of great heritage value do not get “compromised”? How can we make sure that these aliens do not cause secondary problems like disease transmission etc.?

What about our national responsibilities to international conventions on biodiversity and what are the implications for our neighbours? For that matter, do their activities have an impact on us? And to do all this with minimal impacts on our economy, development and natural heritage. These are indeed challenging times for biodiversity workers and managers in Singapore …

Professor Peter Ng is Director of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) of the Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore. Fondly known as ‘The Crabman’, Prof Ng's areas of research interest include all kinds of crabs, fresh water fishes, marine biodiversity and Southeast Asian conservation biology. Much of the current work focuses on systematic revisions of key groups of crabs and fishes, which invariably involve comparative material from around the world. He has been or is still on the scientific committees of some 30 international organisations. With more than 510 technical papers published over the past 15 years, Prof Ng has also obtained many scientific awards for his research work.

*Light refreshments will be provided after the seminar.

Please RSVP Wei Ling at lim_wei_ling@nparks.gov.sg by Thursday 21st May 3pm

Time: 11am-12pm
Venue: Function Hall, Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Contact: Wei Ling at lim_wei_ling@nparks.gov.sg

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