Public Events

16 Nov 2016

Citizen Science and Conservation


This talk recorded on Wed 16 November 2016, 6pm at University of Nottingham Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre, Level 2, Chulan Tower, Number 3 Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur.


Dr. Philip Johns

Dr. Philip Johns is an assistant professor in Life Sciences at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. He has studied the social behaviour and evolution of various animals, including praying mantids, spiders, scorpions, termites, and a group of stalk-eyed flies that lives in SE Asia. He has studied the evolution and genetics of mate competition, mate choice, cooperation and altruism, and sexual cannibalism. When he moved to Singapore, he became enamoured with the recently returned smooth-coated otters, and has been studying them ever since.

Seminar Summary

Smooth-coated otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) returned to Singapore a few years ago in response to improving water conditions. An extremely active group of enthusiasts has been following the otters almost daily. Technology and online conventions have grown to the point where people are collecting a large quantity of high quality behavioural data. This presentation discusses the Singapore otters as a case study in the role of community and technology in generating usable data — especially behavioural data — and presents preliminary behavioural analysis of the local otters. The presentation concludes discussing possible future directions of citizen science, including novel directions.