Two students join the lab for summer internships

Two students have joined our lab this summer for internships.

Laura Berman is a recent graduate of Juniata College in the US. For her internship she is working with David Tan and Nadiah Kristensen on the undetected extinctions project. She is compiling a database of all of the records of reptiles and freshwater decapods known from Singapore based on the specimen catalogue of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum as well as archived journal articles in order to find the complete list of dates that each species has been recorded in Singapore. She is also updating specimen records at the National Herbarium and adding missing specimens to the BRAHMS database so that a similar list can be compiled for the plants of Singapore. This information will be used to calculate the number of species that went extinct in each taxonomic group, and also to estimate statistically the number of undetected extinctions—extinctions of species that occurred before the species could even be discovered.

Phua Yu Ning is an undergraduate majoring in Physics and Applied Physics at Nanyang Technological University. She is working with Tak Fung on modelling the biodiversity and biogeography of small islands. She is learning to analyse the stochastic master equations of the Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography and related theories to predict archipelago species–area curves for taxa including plants, birds, insects and mammals.


Yu Ning and Laura