On echinoderms, orthopterans and work in NBC

I’ve started work at the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) of the National Parks Board (NParks) for about 3 weeks now! And work so far has been pretty interesting (: Apart from my projects, I get to go for walks, field surveys and talks!

Marine walk at Big Sisters Island on Mon, 20 Feb 2012:
Asia Pacific Breweries sponsored the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey a.k.a.  Mega Marine Survey, so NParks brought a small group of them down to Big Sisters Island to show them the marine biodiversity of Singapore 🙂 Ria Tan from WildSingapore was also there to do the guiding for the group. She blogged about the trip here. It was a very enjoyable walk, the weather held up and was nice and clear. Though the tide was a little high and the water was rather murky, we still managed to see quite a number of interesting animals! Carpet anemones, hairy crabs, fan clams, sea cucumbers and a great number of common sea stars! Being from the brewery, there was also plenty of beer 😛

My first time on Big Sisters Island!

Ria giving a background of the island's history and geogrpahy

Can you spot what's here??

Lots of these relatively large Common Sea Stars around!! 🙂

Each of us was given a bottle of beer to bring home 😛


Field survey of Orthopterans at Neo Tiew on Friday, 24 Feb 2012:
Robin Ngiam from NBC is doing a project surveying orthopterans (grasshoppers, crickets and katydids) with Tan Ming Kai (currently studying in NUS), and asked if anyone was keen. Since I hadn’t done anything like that before (the closest being TeamSeagrass monitoring and Mega Marine Survey collecting), I happily volunteered my services.
It was pretty fun and interesting, because I don’t know much about orthopterans.  I don’t know anything about them, actually, apart from the fact that they’re good jumpers. But I now know that grasshoppers are the ones with relatively short antennae, and katydids are skinnier than crickets. So I can more or less group them now at least xD Apart from orthopterans, there were plenty of spiders, snails (cute little ones with spiral shells), flies, a bronzeback, a terrestrial flatworm and a slug of some kind around. And of course, plenty of mozzies too.

No photos, cos it’s too dark (it was a night survey) and my Olympus Tough does not work well in poor lighting.

Talks on Ecology of Malay Civets and Research by NBC and Singapore Botanical Gardens (SBG) on Fri, 17 Feb 2012 and Fri, 24 Feb 2012 respectively.
Live-tweets from the Ecology of Malay Civet talk can be found here.
And the research tea session was an internal one for staff to know more about what each department in the organisation is doing. Interesting to listen and good to know. Personally I think a lot of times, imperfect information is one of the greatest obstacle to trying to get things done.


So yes, work has been interesting so far and I’m sure it’ll get more exciting (:


About Jocelyne Sze

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
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