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(last updated : Thursday, March 11, 2004 )

December 2001

Witnessing the ceremony at the back are Prof. Victor B. Amoroso (left) and Prof. Porferio M. Balanay (right), both from the CMU

Dec 30 - On 21st December 2001, Prof Benito C. Tan, on behalf of the Raffles Museum for Biodiversity Research (RMBR), signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) in Musuan City of the Philippines with the President of Central Mindanao University (CMU), Prof. Mardonio M. Lao.

The MOC aims to promote academic cooperation in the field of systematic biology, especially botany, and tropical ecology between the two parties. RMBR plans to invite Prof. V. Amoroso who is the incumbent Director of the Office of Research of CMU to visit NUS later this year for discussion of specific project of collaboration.

Dec 26 - A joint media release by the National Parks Board, the Nature Society (Singapore) and the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research announces a new system to restrict public access to Chek Jawa. This was prompted to save the site, soon to be protected, from the large numbers of visitors originally rushing down for a last glimpse of the marine ecosystems at Chek Jawa. Visit here for details.


Dec 20 - A press release by the Ministry of National Development announces a deferment to the reclamation of Chek Jawa to discuss " best the marine life there can be protected." The museum has been actively providing information to help the authorities reconsider the original reclamation plans originally proposed in the early 90's. See here for further information.

Dec 18 - Confirmed RMBR SPRINT visitors for next few months (As of 18 Dec 2001).

Name: Assoc. Prof. Richard Corlett
Institution: University of Hong Kong
Duration: 5-17 Jan 2002
Host: A/Prof. Hugh Tan (RMBR Assistant Director)
Objective(s): To collaborate with A/Prof. Hugh Tan on the studies of:
a) the cultivated flora of Singapore and
b) invisibility of Singapore vegetation types by exotic species.

Name: Dr. Christoph Schubart
Institution: Universität Regensburg
Duration: 7-18 Jan 2002
Host: Dr. Darren Yeo (RMBR Research Officer)
Objective(s): To collaborate with A/Prof. Peter Ng (Director, RMBR) on studies and revisions of grapsid crab genera, including Selatium, Chiromantes, Pseudosesarma and Sesarmops.

Name: Dr. Indraneil Das
Institution: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Duration: 7-27 Jan 2002
Host: Mr. Kelvin Lim (RMBR curator, herpetology & ichthyology)
Objective(s): To collaborate with Mr. Kelvin Lim on compiling and publishing an updated catalogue of RMBR’s holdings of herpetological specimens.

Name: Dr. Arthur Anker
Institution: Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle
Duration: 7-26 Jan 2002
Host: Dr. Darren Yeo (RMBR Research Officer)
Objective(s): To sort Raffles Museum alpheid collection and identify down to species or species-complex level; and to work on a report on Singapore alpheids, including description of new species and documentation of new records.

Name: Prof. Herbert Zettel
Institution: Natural History Museum Vienna
Duration: 8-26 Jan 2002
Host: Mrs. Yang Chang Man (RMBR chief curator/research officer)
Objective(s): To collaborate with Mrs. Yang Chang Man on aquatic bugs in RMBR collections - specifically, on a review of the Rheumatogonus (Gerridae) of Borneo, and on describing new species of Rhagovelia (Veliidae) of south China and north Thailand.

Name: Dr. Helen Larson
Institution: Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Duration: 6-20 Feb 2002
Host: Mr. Kelvin Lim (RMBR curator, herpetology & ichthyology)
Objective(s): To collaborate with Mr. Kelvin Lim on work on taxonomy of gobiid fishes.

Name: Prof. Wu Sugong
Institution: Kunming Botanical Institute
Duration: 1-28 Mar 2002
Host: A/Prof. Benito Tan (RMBR Deputy Director)
Objective(s): To collaborate with A/Prof. Benito Tan on biogeographical study comparing biodiversity of tropical ferns in China and Malesia.

Dec 3 - Professor Peter Crane, Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England, visited the Department of Biological Sciences from Nov 28 to Dec 2. He gave a lecture at the 4th Graduate Congress on "The Origin Of Flowering Plant Diversity".

November 2001

Nov 20 - The Conservation and Environmental Grants by the Ford Motor Company were offered in Singapore for the first time. They were awarded to six projects on Tuesday, 20th November 2001, and four of the awards were to projects from the Department of Biological Sciences. Leong Tzi Ming was awarded $20,000 for his frogs of Singapore project, Sasi Nayar received $5,000 for the assessment of pollutants in Punggol estuary, while N. Sivasothi was awarded $15,000 for public education of Singapore's flora and fauna and $5,500 for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore (mangrove).

Nov 9 - RMBR staff received a phone call from a Mr Lim Meng Meng of NTU. He was returning to his campus at 2am the same day and saw the "freshly hit" pangolin on the road. He moved it to the side of the road and called us later that morning, at more earthly hours! We drove down to collect the carcass, and the specimen is now in one of our freezers. It will be dissected to remove its internal organs for preservation in alcohol. The whole animal will be preserved by immersion in formalin and later alcohol. The animal may later be displayed in the Public Gallery to inform visitors on the presence of pangolins in our western catchment and the importance of reporting in roadkills.


Sep-Oct 2001

Sep-Oct 2001 - The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and friends kicked of the Public Education series with two days of guide-assisted educational visits to Chek Jawa, an inter-tidal area consisting of several habitats. Guides in bright orange caps helped the public in their discovery of marine life on two days in September and October 2001. More than 1,000 people were guided through the area, which is slated for reclamation in November 2001. For details and photo galleries, click here...

September 2001

Sep 8 - The International Coastal Cleanup Singapore Mangrove Section saw Participants from schools clear 2.7 tonnes of marine debris from the Kranji-Buloh mangroves. 90% of the debris was plastic or foamed plastic, and the effort which took 90 minutes was the culimination of weeks of planning. The effort was organised by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research with support from Sungei Buloh Nature Park, the Nature Society (Singapore), the Singapore Amateur Transmitting Society and Altvater Jakob.
More details here...

Mr. Mohomed Bahir, a Research Associate from the Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka, visited the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research in Sep 2001 to collaborate with museum staff and students on research projects involving mainly the study of Sri Lankan freshwater crabs and prawns.  Click here for more...

Dr. Lawrence Liao, a phycologist from University of San Carlos, Cebu, Philippines, visited the museum on a short-term fellowship from Aug-Sep 2001 to study the marine flora of Singapore, with emphasis on macroscopic red algae. Click here for more…

August 2001

Aug 31 - The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research is now officially a member of the Museum Roundtable. An informal association of 19 museums in Singapore, the meetings are coordinated by the National Heritage Board and in previous years have organised Museum Fest and produced a brochure featuring museums in Singapore.

Herpetology course

Dr. Lee Grismer from the La Sierra University in California, USA will be conducting a herpetology course in Pulau Tioman next week.

[This Thursday, 5 July, he will be taking his 20 undergrad students to the RMBR in the evening (time not confirmed) for a visit and slide show on Southeast Asian herps, for his students only.]

Ming, Norsham, Boo Liat and Indraneil Das will be on that trip with them.

June 2001:

June 21 - RMBR is now listed with the Museums of the World website

Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, The National University of Singapore



Official Opening of
The Public Gallery
of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research by Rear-Admiral (NS) Teo Chee Hean, Minister of Education

Date:15 June 2001 (Friday)
Time: 10:00 AM
Place: LT 31, Block 16, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore

Newspaper articles:
Straits Times
June 15, 2001
Zaobao June 16, 2001

<= Rear-Adm Teo (center) admiring the momento, presented to him by Prof Shih (left), with Prof Ng looking on







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Department of Biological Sciences, The National University of Singapore