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October 2018

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Introduction to Conservation Biology and Biodiversity (For Students and Open to All)
Dr. Han Y. H. Chen, Lakehead University

Introduction to Conservation Biology and Biodiversity (For Students and Open to All)

Event date: 5 October 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr. Han Y. H. Chen, Lakehead University
About the speaker:

Dr. Chen received his undergraduate and MSc education in China, and Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, Canada, in 1997. Before joining Lakehead University as an assistant professor in 2003, he worked for Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources as senior forest management specialist for five years. He has been a full professor since 2008 and Lakehead University Research Chair professor since 2014.
Dr. Chen has authored 172 articles in peer-reviewed journals including as Nature Climate Change, Nature Communications, and Ecology Letters. His research program has been continuously funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada with three Discovery grants and three Strategic Project grants among other research supports.
Dr. Chen has successfully supervised about 60 highly qualified personnel (15 postdoctoral researchers, 16 Ph.D., 13 MSc, and others), who have actively published in peer-reviewed journals. Most of Dr. Chen’s students are active in research and government policy as university professors and research scientists.
Dr. Chen received an Ontario Early Researcher Award in 2008 and numerous awards from Lakehead University including the highest recognition, Lakehead University Distinguished Researcher Award in 2014.

 


In this class, we will introduce course outline, evaluation methods, and expectations. We will define the concept of conservation biology, overview the state of global biodiversity, and examine the role of conservation. 

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Earth Girl Volcano - An interactive casual strategy game of volcanic preparedness and response
Isaac Kerlow

Earth Girl Volcano - An interactive casual strategy game of volcanic preparedness and response

Event date: 5 October 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Visualisation Laboratory (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Isaac Kerlow
About the speaker:

Isaac Kerlow is an award-winning director and artist. Prior to joining the Earth Observatory of Singapore he was involved in classic Disney Interactive games such as Disney's Hercules for Playstation, Mulan and Toy Story 2 Animated Storybooks, and 101 Dalmatians: Escape from DeVil Manor. Isaac's most recent documentary "HAZE it's complicated…" is nominated for Best Feature Film at the 2018 Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival, the premiere eco film festival in Southeast Asia. His work can be found here


Earth Girl Volcano is a preparedness and response tablet and computer interactive game for a core audience of 7-14 kids and also a general mainstream audience. The game was developed and produced by an interdisciplinary team at the EOS Art and Media group with input from the scientific research staff and students from the Asian School of the Environment. At this session we will do a game postmortem and discuss some of the lessons learned.

The game simulates a variety of volcanic hazard and evacuation scenarios at different levels of expertise with single or multiple hazards. This casual strategy game offers players a variety of tools and strategies to mitigate risk and respond to scenarios based on real-life situations. Players can “chat” with villagers at the market and learn about local knowledge and past volcanic activity.

This interactive game represents the cutting edge of games that seek to be engaging and also communicate hazard and monitoring realities through the gameplay. The game can be used as a tool for learning in the classroom and also to explain volcanic hazard and risk mitigation to a non-technical audience including community leaders. We will demonstrate some of the game scenarios played at different levels of difficulty, and will discuss some of the design strategies used to translate volcanic hazard complexity into an interactive game of preparedness and risk mitigation.

The game is currently available as a pre-release prototype in English. Localizations to other languages and cultures from the Pacific Ring of Fire are in the works, including Indonesian, Tagalog, Japanese, Bislama (Vanuatu), Russian and Spanish.

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Seminar by Stuart Davies
Stuart Davies

Seminar by Stuart Davies

Event date: 9 October 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: To be confirmed
Speaker: Stuart Davies
About the speaker:

Details to follow


Details to follow

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Revised history of the interplate earthquakes along the Sagami Trough
Junki Komori

Revised history of the interplate earthquakes along the Sagami Trough

Event date: 12 October 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Junki Komori
About the speaker:

Junki is a visiting Ph.D. student from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He received B.Sc. (2016) in Earth and Planetary Environmental Science from the University of Tokyo. He has published one academic article related to the part of today’s talk at EPSL as the first author.


As evidence of the recurrence of the past M8 class subduction earthquakes, the marine terraces along the southernmost coast of the Boso Peninsula, central Japan, called Numa terraces, have been investigated for a long time. For the future hazard assessment around there, it is necessary to understand the formation history of them.

We reexamined it by updated geomorphological and geological surveys. First, we conducted a landform investigation using digital elevation model (DEM) to identify the paleo-shorelines whose elevation corresponds to the accumulated vertical deformation since their emergence. Second, the formation ages of the Numa terraces were re-estimated by dating survey. A highly reliable estimation was realized due to a dense drilling survey in this study.

The result of the dating showed that the formation intervals of the Numa terraces greatly differ with each other, unlike the previous interpretation. On the other hand, the result of the DEM analysis showed that the Numa terraces’ relative heights have almost same distribution. These two results are inconsistent with each other considering the classical deformation model of earthquake recurrence.

 

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Counting Microbes
Dr Janelle R. Thompson

Counting Microbes

Event date: 15 October 2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr Janelle R. Thompson
About the speaker:

Dr. Janelle Thompson is an environmental microbiologist whose research and teaching activities are driven by a desire to achieve a sustainable future through careful stewardship of energy and water resources. She obtained her BS and MS from Stanford University in Biology and Environmental Engineering, respectively, and her PhD in Biological Oceanography from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She taught undergraduate and graduate-level Environmental Engineering courses for seven years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which included development of a laboratory-based microbiology course for engineering students. She is currently a Principal Investigator and Associate Director at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling. Her specific research projects are focused on protecting surface water quality and maintaining energy security through improved tracking and control of microbial pollutants, a better understanding of geologic carbon dioxide sequestration's microbiological footprint, and developing "green" biotechnologies for production of biofuels and bioproducts. Dr. Thompson's research is carried out through multidisciplinary collaborations, including undergraduate and graduate students, and employs the tools of modern molecular ecology, environmental genomics, and systems biology. Dr. Thompson currently resides in Singapore with her husband and daughter, and in her spare time enjoys gardening, traveling and sharing culinary adventures with her family.


How many microbes are in a sample? And more specifically, how many microbes of a particular type are present? These questions are asked in a multitude of contexts, from medical diagnostics to soil ecology. The methods available to address these questions have evolved with innovations in microscopy, cultivation, enzymology, and nucleic-acid based quantification. In this lecture we will learn about several different methods to quantify microbial groups, including their biases, challenges, and advantages. This discussion will be illustrated by examples from the field of water quality management where the abundance of specific microbial groups are used as proxies for health risks from exposure to human sewage contamination. After this lecture, participants will be able to outline several basic methods for determining the abundance of targeted microbial groups, identify appropriate methods for different contexts, and describe uncertainties associated with application of these methods.

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National Biobanking in Qatar and Israel: Co-productions of Global Science and Ethnic Identity
Ian McGonigle

National Biobanking in Qatar and Israel: Co-productions of Global Science and Ethnic Identity

Event date: 16 October 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Ian McGonigle
About the speaker:

Ian is a scholar of Anthropology and Science, Technology, and Society. He specializes in contemporary Middle Eastern societies, with a focus on precision medicine technologies and scientific development. Ian has Ph.D.s in Biochemistry (Cambridge 2010) and Middle Eastern Studies and Anthropology (Harvard 2018). He also has a B.A. in Biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin (2007) and masters degrees in Cultural- and Social Anthropology from the University of Chicago (2013) and Harvard University (2015). He was awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship by the Israel Institute in 2015, which he used to spend a year as a fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University. He has also been an affiliate of Harvard’s Program on Science, Technology, and Society, since 2013. His 2015 co-authored article ‘Genetic Citizenship,’ which discusses the relationship between genetic definitions of Jewishness and Israel’s Law of Return, was the most read and highest impact article in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences. Ian has been awarded SG$1 million to launch a Science and Society Research Group at Nanyang Technological University as part of the prestigious Nanyang Assistant Professorship scheme which aims to bring elite faculty from around the world to build up Singapore’s academic standing.


Biobanks are a growing phenomenon in global biomedicine, as they are a key tool of precision medicine initiatives. National biobanks, however, collect data and biological material from populations in specific regions, and the knowledge that national biobanks yield can impact understandings of identity, origins, and belonging. Scholars in the social study of science have developed the concept of ‘co-production’ to reveal the relationships between scientific knowledge, technology, and the broader socio-political context. Drawing on ethnographic work and documentary analysis examining the Israeli- and Qatari national biobanks, I find that these two Middle Eastern biobanks aim to contribute to global biobanking trends, while at the same time they reinforce local ethnic and national identities. The Israeli biobank reflects pre-existing ethnic identities in Israeli society, while the Qatari biobank predominantly emphasizes the emergent national character of the Qatari population. Through a comparative analysis of the co-production of global biobanking and ethnic identities in Israel and Qatar, this article demonstrate that biobanks are a rich site for tracking emergent national identities in the Middle East region.   

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Microbial Ecology and Engineering for Energy and Water Security
Dr. Janelle Thompson

Microbial Ecology and Engineering for Energy and Water Security

Event date: 16 October 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Viz Laboratory Room (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr. Janelle Thompson
About the speaker:

Dr. Janelle Thompson is an environmental microbiologist whose research and teaching activities are driven by a desire to achieve a sustainable future through careful stewardship of energy and water resources. She obtained her BS and MS from Stanford University in Biology and Environmental Engineering, respectively, and her PhD in Biological Oceanography from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She taught undergraduate and graduate-level Environmental Engineering courses for seven years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which included development of a laboratory-based microbiology course for engineering students. She is currently a Principal Investigator and Associate Director at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling. Her specific research projects are focused on protecting surface water quality and maintaining energy security through improved tracking and control of microbial pollutants, a better understanding of geologic carbon dioxide sequestration's microbiological footprint, and developing "green" biotechnologies for production of biofuels and bioproducts. Dr. Thompson's research is carried out through multidisciplinary collaborations, including undergraduate and graduate students, and employs the tools of modern molecular ecology, environmental genomics, and systems biology. Dr. Thompson currently resides in Singapore with her husband and daughter, and in her spare time enjoys gardening, traveling and sharing culinary adventures with her family.

If you would like to arrange a separate time to meet Dr. Janelle Thompson, please contact Asst. Prof. Patrick Martin to arrange a meeting.

 


In this talk I will discuss my research to advance technology for careful stewardship of energy and water resources. My team and I work to protect surface waters through improved tracking and control of microbial pollutants, and to promote energy security through a better understanding of geologic carbon sequestration's microbiological footprint, and development of "green" biotechnologies for making biofuels and bioproducts. Our research is carried out through multidisciplinary collaborations and employs the tools of modern molecular ecology, environmental genomics, and systems biology.  Specifically, in the water domain, we have tested and identified best-performing assays for tracking human fecal contamination in the tropics, developed methods to assess pathogen activity in marine microbiomes, and are leveraging next-generation sequencing (NGS) of environmental DNA in order to link waterborne microorganisms with the water quality properties that they mediate. In the energy domain, we work with microorganisms isolated from deep geologic CO2 sequestration (GCS) sites as models for GCS-microbiology and biotechnological development. To the latter end, we have developed a genetic system for synthetic biology in one of our supercritical (sc) CO2-tolerant strains and are currently working towards developing a two-phase system for engineered bioproduction of advanced biofuels with in situ scCO2 extraction for product purification. These projects open exciting new possibilities for enhanced water quality monitoring and control, as well as the production of advanced fuels and chemicals to support water and energy security in a sustainable future.

Link to shareable page
 
 
 
 
Structural control of the seismicity in Western Nepal revealed by the Hi-KNET seismological network
Dr Laurent Bollinger

Structural control of the seismicity in Western Nepal revealed by the Hi-KNET seismological network

Event date: 19 October 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Viz Laboratory Room (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr Laurent Bollinger
About the speaker:

Seismo-tectonician in a laboratory specialised in geological hazards, I had the chance to participate and animate research works in Nepal these last 20 years.
My researches focus on the study of the spatio-temporal behaviour of the seismicity along the Main Himalayan Thrust as well as on the historical and paleo-earthquakes along the Himalayan range.

 


According to historical chronicles as well as preliminary paleoseismological trenches, the latest devastating great earthquake in Western Nepal happened more than 500 years ago in 1505 AD .
Despite its inescapable repeat in the future, the seismic behaviour of the Main Himalayan Thrust fault segments ruptured during this earthquake are poorly known. Among others, large uncertainties remain on the downdip extent and geometry of the locked fault zone and its lateral variations as well as their relations with large and great earthquake ruptures.

A first temporary seismic experiment, the “Himalaya-Karnali-Network” (Hi-KNet), was therefore deployed for two years in western Nepal in order to image the thrust at depth and reveal the behaviour of the seismicity along the brittle-ductile transition zone. A total of 15 temporary seismic stations were installed above the main seismic belts in Chainpur-Bhajang and Karnali region, complementarily to the Regional Seismological Network.
More than 2000 local earthquakes were located below the network during the first year of experiment. Most of these events were clustered within pluri-kilometric long swarms that lasted a few days or weeks. The finest relocations of the local earthquakes reveal a complex pattern of along strike variations of the seismicity. Most clusters develop at the intersection between the megathrust and contacts between Lesser Himalayan tectonic slivers. Some of the seismic swarms migrate with time. Altogether, the swarms and individual earthquakes reveal ramps and flat geometry of the megathrust. Some of these structures, among them the largest active ramps, are likely to partially control the rupture of intermediate to large earthquakes. The structural segmentation revealed by the seismicity leads us to propose a fault model involving intermediate, large and great earthquakes in West Nepal.

 

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Active tectonics at the piedmont of a growing mountain belt in relation to recent seismicity and orogeny: The example of Southern Taiwan
Dr. Maryline Le Béon

Active tectonics at the piedmont of a growing mountain belt in relation to recent seismicity and orogeny: The example of Southern Taiwan

Event date: 23 October 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3D Viz Laboratory Room (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr. Maryline Le Béon
About the speaker:

Maryline Le Béon specialized in active tectonics in strike-slip and contractional settings in relation to seismic hazard assessment and in Quaternary geochronology. She received her Master degree in 2004 and her Ph.D. degree in 2008 from the Tectonics Laboratory of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France, working on paleoseismology and fault slip rates on the strike-slip Dead Sea Fault, in Lebanon and Jordan. In 2008, she moved to Taiwan as a post-doctoral researcher. She worked at National Taiwan University, Academia Sinica and National Central University where she still locates today. In Taiwan, Maryline gained experience with active folds and thrusts, connecting deformation at the land surface and active geological structures in the sub-surface. She also trained herself to Luminescence dating and started challenging Quaternary-dating techniques by applying different chronometers on the same sedimentary deposits. In 2015, Maryline obtained a 3-year research grant from the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology to work on active tectonics in southwestern Taiwan.  

 


The piedmonts and foreland basins of active mountain belts commonly concentrate human population, fertile land and industries. They are also the location of seismogenic faults that expose the population and economic activities to significant seismic hazard that active tectonics studies aim at better quantifying.

This seminar will focus on the active geological structures of the foothills of southern Taiwan that host about 5 million inhabitants. The island of Taiwan lies on the circum-Pacific Ring of Fire, at the junction between the Ryukyu Trench and the Manilla Trench. The mountain belt results from the collision at a fast rate of 8 cm/yr between the Luzon volcanic arc on the Philippine Sea Plate and the Chinese passive continental margin on the Eurasian Plate. In southern Taiwan, about half the plate rate is consumed across the western piedmont and the Coastal Plain, yet the active structures that accommodate shortening remain poorly documented. A Mw6.4 earthquake stroke the area in 2016, causing over 110 casualties in buildings collapse and emphasizing the need for further active fault investigations in the area.

In this talk, I will show how we constrain the location, geometry and, when possible, the kinematics of the active faults and folds at the front of the mountain belt at the latitude of the 2016 earthquake. This study combines multidisciplinary tools: geodesy during the interseismic and coseismic periods, geomorphology, shallow and deep boreholes, seismic reflection profiles, balanced geological cross-sections, and chronological constraints based on published nannostratigraphy and magnetostratigraphy. These results will be discussed together with recent seismicity and orogeny thanks to tomography at the scale of the mountain belt.

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Seminar by Heikki Setala
Heikki Setala

Seminar by Heikki Setala

Event date: 26 October 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Heikki Setala
About the speaker:

Details to follow


Details to follow

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Transforming exploitative land-based economy for sustainability: What options do we have?
Dr Goh Chun Sheng

Transforming exploitative land-based economy for sustainability: What options do we have?

Event date: 30 October 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Event type: Seminar
Venue: ASE 3-D Visualization Lab (N2-B1c-16c)
Speaker: Dr Goh Chun Sheng
About the speaker:

Chun Sheng Goh specialised in sustainability issues related to developing the bio-economy with research and working experience in Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan. He obtained his Master degree in Chemical Engineering with a thesis on the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass in 2011. In the next five years, he worked as a researcher at Utrecht University, focusing on topics related to bio-economy, particularly on international trade, land-use and carbon impacts. Two notable projects are ‘Monitoring of biomass and bioenergy trade flows in the Netherlands’ with Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and ‘Large-scale Investments in Food, Fibre, and Energy (LIFFE) Options for the Poor’ with Centre of International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Meanwhile, he also played the role as Secretary of IEA Bioenergy Task 40, an international working group with the theme of ‘Sustainable international bio-energy trade’. In 2016-2017, he worked at Agensi Inovasi Malaysia, responsible for the execution of National Biomass Strategy 2020. He received his Ph.D. degree from Utrecht University in May 2017 with the dissertation "Monitoring the bio-economy: Assessing local and global biomass flows, land-use change, carbon impacts and future land resources".
 
Since 2017, Chun Sheng moved to Tokyo as a postdoctoral fellow at United Nations University, conducting research on bio-economy/eco-economy development in Borneo and Japan. He manages and teaches in postgraduate courses and supports the Editorial Office of ‘Sustainability Science’, a journal of Springer. Chun Sheng originally comes from Penang, Malaysia and speaks multiple languages.


Large-scale land exploitation to jumpstart backward economies is often accompanied by massive environmental impacts. The broad concepts of productivity-oriented ‘bio-economy’ and conservation-oriented ‘eco-economy’ were proposed to transform exploitative land-based economies. Taking cases in Borneo as examples, transformative options for more sustainable economic growths were explored. It was revealed that utility-based development options with wealth creation as the centre of policymaking are inadequate to repair the previous environmental damage. Likewise, options that prioritise restoration have shown limited contribution to economic growth as observed in the case of Borneo. The interconnected nature of economic productivity and conservation means that no single option is a perfect solution but a combination of them may produce a better outcome. However, the existence of multiple stakeholders with different interests and values means that an ‘optimal’ combination would be a result of political negotiations rather than scientific investigations. Reconciling economic development and conservation requires serious thinking of the suitability of the options in a wider canvas of reality – the perspectives, attitude and influencing power of the various actors.

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