Public Seminar: Crossing the Line – Illegal and Unwarranted Aliens in Singapore

Date May 21, 2009

To commemorate The International Day for Biological Diversity 2009, Professor Peter Ng will be giving the above titled talk on Friday 22nd May, 11am – 12pm, at the Function Hall, Botany Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens.

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 …

About the speaker:
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.

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