rocks and water in forest
News Blog

ForestGEO hosts 2019 annual analytical workshop in Singapore

Fifty-three forest ecologists from 23 countries and 19 plots convened for ForestGEO’s 2019 annual analytical workshop at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore this summer. The group was a mix of early career scientists, students, postdocs, professors, and ForestGEO staff scientists, each working on a specific project using data from one or more of ForestGEO’s 67 forest dynamics sites.

A group photo of the 53 workshop participants, assembled in 2 rows, some sitting, and some standing, in front of leafy, green trees.
A group photo of the 2019 ForestGEO Analytical Workshop participants on their fieldtrip to Bukit Timah Forest Dynamics Plot, Singapore

The workshop began with a welcome to Singapore from the Chair of Biological Sciences at NTU, Peter Preiser, and an introduction to the workshop from ForestGEO Director, Stuart Davies.

Soon after, participants divided into topical break-out groups. Each group was led by one or two mentors – senior scientists and ForestGEO partners who volunteer their time to train and support early career researchers.  This year’s groups were organized into the following topics:  ecosystems and biomass, demography, diversity-negative density dependence, and diversity-niche.

Most days were filled to the brim with analysis and writing in work sessions, seminars, and presentations. A field trip to the Bukit Timah forest dynamics site led by Principal Investigator Shawn Lum and field staff served as welcome change of pace for the group. Shawn Lum, PI of Bukit Timah, led a tour of the 4-ha plot, which became part of the network in 1993, and which is the last remnant forest in Singapore. 

Two rows of seated passengers inside a bus.
En route to Bukit Timah site. Photo credit Chia-Hao Chang-Yang
Workshop participants listen intently as Shawn Lum lectures outside.
Shawn Lum (towards right, in yellow shirt) leads a tour of the Bukit Timah plot. Photo credit Chia-Hao Chang-Yang.

Participants shared their progress within their small groups and evening presentations, and every participant had the chance to give a 3-slide lightning talk on the last day in Singapore. Mentors offered seminars on science writing, R code, and statistical methods, as well as constant individual mentoring.

Workshop participants sit in a classroom with many screens.  Stuart points to a presentation.
Stuart Davies (right) introduces a speaker at an evening seminar. Photo credit Chia-Hao Chang-Yang.
Workshop participants stand in a common area, talking to each other.
Workshop participants mingling between sessions.  Photo credit Chia-Hao Chang-Yang.

ForestGEO is pleased to have brought together such a strong group of scientists to support each other in their analysis, and we look forward to reading published papers that come out of the many projects at the workshop.  In the interim, we’ll have to satisfy ourselves with other fruits of the workshop, namely a playlist to code by (graciously assembled by participant Bier Kraichak) and a video of Bukit Timah (artfully composed by participant Uzay Sezen).