Dr. Rachel Oh, Dr. Maxine Mowe and I organised a one-day workshop on empowering female early-career researchers in environmental science in Singapore. It was a great opportunity to meet young scientists from different backgrounds, institutions and stages of their career. Altogether a very fun and meaningful event with lots of good ideas shared and great talks from our diverse set of speakers including Dr. Nalini Puniamoorthy (NUS), Dr. Rhita Simorangkir (TNC), Dr. Kwek Yan Chong (NParks), Dr. Ian Chan (NUS), Dr. Rudiger Lauberbach (Universitat Leipzig).
Maple attended the EGU conference in Vienna and presented her PhD thesis chapter on geophysical and anthropogenic drivers of global fire emissions. She received good feedback and also spoke with esteemed fire scientists present at the conference. Anushka made the long journey to ATBC in Colombia and presented her PhD research on cashew agricultural systems in the Western Ghats. Her talk was well received by the audience and she took a well deserved break birdwatching in forests.
The relaxing of travel restrictions to Singapore allowed for more visitors to drop by and pay a visit. We were happy to welcome Dr. Stuart Smith back from Europe and host an overdue get-together among the Tier 2 peat research team in Singapore. Great to catch up with everyone, celebrate the work we have done and plan for future outreach activities as well as papers in the pipeline.
We also had the opportunity to meet up with Dr. Diana Chalil from Universitas Sumatera Utara to discuss our Tier 1 palm oil supply chain research project and catch up over a nice dinner at Suntec City Mall. We hope to make a visit to Medan someday!
FYP students Parvathi Sreekumar and Fan Yi Zeng delivered interesting and engaging presentations today at the Final Year Project Presentations for Undergraduates at ASE. Parvathi was co-supervised with Anushka Rege and developed a map of cashew monocultures in the landscape of Sawantwadi-Dodamarg in 2010. Fan Yi was co-supervised with Stuart Smith and Maple Wu and assessed the proportion of peat revegetation sites burnt from 2001-2019. Great work and fantastic presentations!
The group is expanding with recent funding received for a Land use and land cover change study in Singapore funded by the Ministry of Education Tier 1 project:
One on monitoring land use and land cover change (RA):
As well as funding received for a mega black soldier fly project funded by the National Research Foundation
Two positions (RA and RF) on comparing environmental performance of black soldier fly products with conventional agri-inputs:
Many congratulations to Anushka Rege for being awarded the Women in Education, Science and Technology travel award from Women@NTU! This award will be used to fund Anushka's plans for attending an overseas conference this year for networking and presenting her PhD work. Congratulations Anushka!
We celebrate Nur Estya bte Rahman, an RA in our group, her cool research on understanding plant traits for maximizing peat reforestation success and her passion for science!
Check out more about Estya and her work on this video produced by EB-Impact and United Women Singapore: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CZ0ZeSyrtLK/?utm_medium=share_sheet
Several exciting workshops and talks happened in the month of September.
We started with a one-day workshop on Google Earth Engine which was organized with Sabrina Szeto, Jose Don de Alban from the NUS Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions, Sheryl Rose Reyes from ISPRS-SC and Minerva Singh from Imperial College London. This workshop was co-located with the Singapore Land Authority GeoFest week.
I gave a talk at the Singapore Science Centre's Public Forum on Environment Sustainability and participated in the Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain workshop on land use and deforestation, organized and led by the Consortium Studies on Smallholder Palm Oil, Dr. Diana Chalil's team at Universitas Sumatera Utara.
Some members of our group have been participating in virtual conferences held over June and July. The International Peat Congress was held in June and was supposed to take place in Tallinn, Estonia. Despite not being able to travel, it was still a fun time on their virtual platform and catching up with talks on the latest peat research. Our peat team, Estya, Stuart, Yuti and I, presented three posters and a talk. The posters are available under our 'Research' page in English and Bahasa Indonesia.
Muhammad Lubis and I presented at the American Institute for Indonesian Studies-Michigan State University (AIFIS-MSU) Conference on Indonesian Studies, also held in June. It was great to hear talks related to lots of different topics and themes in the conference, and to participate and present our work at the Climate, Vulnerability and Development roundtable led by Micah Fisher, Lisa Kelley and James T. Erbaugh.
Congratulations to Anushka Rege on receiving the Navjot Sodhi award from the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC)!
Navjot Sodhi was my former FYP and Masters advisor and was very supportive of women in conservation science. In 2010, Priya Davidar, Madhu Rao and Navjot wrote a piece on empowering women in conservation. They emphasized the importance of building capacity for women in the conservation sciences. Thank you Anushka, for embarking on this PhD!
Check out Anushka's talk on the role of subsidies on cashew plantation expansion in northern Western Ghats here: