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  • Alexis Goh

Nature Finds A Way โ€” Reflections

Hello everyone, I'm Alexis, a year 4 undergraduate studying Ecology! It's actually my third year being part of the TEE Lab, and I couldn't be happier to be surrounded by such amazing, talented, and passionate individuals, united in our common pursuit of entomological knowledge. ๐Ÿ’•


Living out my Pokemon bug-catching dreams!


In June 2019, I approached Asst Prof Eleanor Slade to be my supervisor for a research project under NTU's Undergraduate Research Experience on CAmpus (URECA) programme. We brainstormed for topics, and eventually settled on investigating invertebrate pollinator usage of green corridors known as Nature Ways in Singapore. After overcoming setbacks including being hospitalised for dengue fever, complete disruption to fieldwork due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and of course my own perfectionist procrastination habits (I'm working on it!), I'm immensely proud that the fieldwork and report have at last been completed.

As part of the URECA deliverables, I prepared a 3-minute video abstract below that summarises my project, motivations, methodology, and some of my preliminary findings. I also included footage of some of the awesome species I spotted during surveys! Enjoy :)


3-minute video abstract of my project.


From 23-27 Aug 2021, I also had the honour of presenting my research at my first ever conference โ€” ENTO'21. I had more time to work through my data and findings at this point, so you might notice my poster figures are much more polished, and my findings are better articulated than in the video abstract.


The poster I presented for ENTO'21. My first conference experience!


Besides the talks by esteemed researchers all over the world, I also enjoyed taking part in the ENTOlympics with Li Si and Xin Rui! We might not have won, but I think we still scored great as budding entomologists! โœจ Let's win next year! ๐Ÿ‘€

Overall, this project has been an unforgettable learning experience for me. I'm thankful to my caring and patient mentors Xin Rui and Eleanor for their advice and help over the past two years. I have learnt so much about fragmentation, connectivity, dispersal, and solutions in urban landscapes, and the lab has also provided ample opportunity to pick up useful entomological lab skills such as specimen collection, insect pinning, and preservation. Statistics has always been a daunting area for me, but I'm incredibly thankful for the chance to practise data analysis skills in R under the careful guidance of my experienced mentors.

My butterfly-identification skills have improved over the course of the project too! I even had the opportunity to pick up nature photography, as I borrowed the lab camera to help me with survey identification.


A collage of butterflies I've photographed over the course of my island-wide surveys!


Moving forward, I've decided to continue working on the data collected in this project for potential future publication. And more excitingly, I will also be extending this study for my Final Year Project! We will be going one step further, by using Mark-Release-Recapture techniques to really test the usage of Nature Ways by invertebrate pollinators along different sites around Singapore.

I can't wait to get going again once the admin and permits have been cleared! Stay tuned for more updates soon. ๐Ÿ˜Š


Throwback to my first survey session with Prof Eleanor & Xin Rui!

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