EDUCATION

2010 – Present
Ph.D. Candidate, National University of Singapore

2008 – 2010

M.Sc. Candidate, National University of Singapore

2004 – 2008

B.Sc. with Honours, National University of Singapore
2000 – 2002 GCE 'A' Levels, National Junior College



RESEARCH INTERESTS

I am interested in how sexual selection influcences morphological evolution. While many studies have documented sexual selection as a powerful, creative force that gives rise to a diverse range of morphological adaptations (e.g. sexual dimorphism), few studies investigate this phenomenon in a comparative, quantifiable way. I aim to quantify how much influence does sexual selection have on the pverall evolution of morphology in an organism, and more importantly, how much a role it plays in the processes of speciation.

I am also interested in promoting the use of morphology, both as the mainstay tool for taxonomy, as well using it to investigate evolutionary patterns in organismal processes. This is done by improving the fidelity and ease of acquiring morphological data. Here I use innovative methods such as high-resolution micro-photography and synchrotron radiation-based micro-computered tomography (SRµCT) 3D virtual dissections to give details normally inaccessible by conventional methods such as light microscopy. Using computational methods to capture biological complexity in a quantifiable manner is also another important avenue that would benefit many other disciplines within evolutionary biology.


RESEARCH PROJECTS

The Coelopidae

The Coelopidae are a small, litorrally limited family of kelp-flies. While found elsewhere in mostly temeprate zones, they are predominantly diversified across the Australian continent. My honors project involved the application of morphological data for inferring phylogenies, based on the kelp-fly family Coelopidae (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha). DNA sequence data, while useful and superior to morphological data in many aspects, can still yield unstable results when subject to different analytical parameters. I investigated whether the integration of morphological data could potentially stabilize results in analysis. This data will also eventually be used in determining the role of sexual selection in morphological evolution.

I am currently writing a book chapter on the Coelopidae for the Manual of Afrotropical Diptera.



The Sepsidae

The Sepsidae are a rather ubitiquous family of flies (ca. 300 species) that are found throughout the world. Largely saprophagous, a number of species are key model organisms in sexual selection and behavioral studies due to their often conspicuous sexual dimorphism and resplendent mating behavioral repertoire. One unique feature here is that some sepsid males have evolved de novo brushy appendages on their abdomens that is solely used in courtship. Here I extensively study the morphology of sepsid flies using high-end morphological tools such as high-fidelity microptic bio-imaging (Visionary Digital Systems photography) and various tomographical methods such as SRµCT and microtome serial sectioning to complement more traditional morphological techniques. this data is then used to examine the role of sexual selection in morphological evolution, as well as determining the evolutionary origins of the novel abdominal appendages that have so far only been documented across multiple species in the Sepsidae.

Furthermore, all the coelopid and sepsid data will allow me to develop a repository of 'virtual organisms' that can be readily disseminated through the internet. Such practice should hopefully be the norm of taxonomy to come.



PUBLICATIONS

Ang Y, Puniamoorthy N, Meier R. 2008. Secondarily reduced foreleg armature in Perochaeta dikowi sp. n. (Diptera: Cyclorrhapha: Sepsidae) due to a novel mounting technique. Systematic Entomology, 33: 552-559.

Ang Y, Lim GS, Meier R. 2008. Morphology and DNA sequences confirm the first Neotropical record for the Holarctic sepsid species Themira leachi (Meigen) (Diptera: Sepsidae). Zootaxa, 1933: 63-65.

Tan DSH, Ang Y, Lim GS, Ismail MR, Meier R. 2010. From ‘cryptic species’ to integrative taxonomy: an iterative process involving DNA sequences, morphology, and behaviour leads to the resurrection of Sepsis pyrrhosoma (Sepsidae: Diptera). Zoologica Scripta, 39(1): 51-61.

Ang Y, Meier R. Five additions to the list of Sepsidae (Diptera) for Vietnam: Perochaeta cuirassa sp. n., Perochaeta lobo sp. n., Sepsis spura sp. n., Sepsis sepsi Ozerov, 2003 and Sepsis monostigma Thompson, 1869. Zookeys, In Review.


PRESENTATIONS

2006

6th International Congress of Dipterology, Fukuoka, Japan: Ang Yuchen and Rudolf Meier. Monogamy in the Promiscuous Sepsidae: The unique mating system of (Allo)Sepsis indica

2006

6th International Congress of Dipterology, Fukuoka, Japan: Ang Yuchen and Rudolf Meier. Monogamy in the Promiscuous Sepsidae: The unique mating system of (Allo)Sepsis indica

2009

Willi Hennig Society XXVIII Meeting, Singapore: Ang Yuchen. Towards virtual specimens: How digital photography can complement existing documentation techniques.
Willi Hennig Society XXVIII Meeting, Singapore: Ang Yuchen. From boring square to sexy flair: How sternite plates evolved multiple times into moveable brush-like appendages in the Sepsidae (Diptera: Cyclorrapha).
2010 TEDxNUS Conference, Singapore: Ang Yuchen. Of Insect French-Ticklers and Sex Bombs: The Role of Sexual Selection in Evolution.


AWARDS



2009

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (Part Time), National University of Singapore

2008 - present Research Scholarship, National University of Singapore
2008

University Scholar, National University of Singapore, July 2008

2007

Malayan Nature Silver Medal, July 2007

2006

University Scholars’ Programme (USP) Study and Research Grant



TEACHING



2008

Teaching Assistant LSM4263: Field Studies in Biodiversity

Teaching Assistant LSM3252: Evolution and Comparative Genomics

Teaching Assistant LSM3261: Life Form and Function

2009

Teaching Assistant LSM3252: Evolution and Comparative Genomics
Teaching Assistant LSM4263: Field Studies in Biodiversity

Teaching Assistant ULS2202: Evolution

2010 Teaching Assistant LSM3252: Evolution and Comparative Genomics
Teaching Assistant LSM1103: Biodiversity


RELATED WORK EXPERIENCE

2008

Biological Illustration work. For Biological Reviews Journal (Vol. 83 No.3)
2009 Macro-optical documentation of aquatic invertebrates. For A pilot biotic index for reservoir water quality assessment (National University of Singapore and the Public Utilities Board, Singapore).
Macro-optical documentation of vouchered specimens. For Singapore Mangrove Insect Project (National Parks Board, Singapore).
Organiser and Facilitator, Entomology Paratoxonomy workshop. For Singapore Mangrove Insect Project (National Parks Board, Singapore).
2010 Biological Illustration work. For An illustrated guide to the freshwater macroinvertebrate families of Singapore. (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
Macro-optical documentation of aquatic invertebrates. For Private Lives: An Exposé of Singapore’s Freshwaters. (Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Singapore).



SYNERGISTIC ACTIVITIES

2004 - present

Volunteer guide, 'Toddycats!' (Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research)

Volunteer guide, 'Naked Hermit Crabs' (NGO, Marine Conservation and Awareness)

Film Crew, 'WildFilms Singapore' (Marine Conservation and Awareness)

2008

Co-host, 'Once Upon a Tree 2: Tides and Coastlines' (Documentary on Central)

2007

Project member, 'Project Himalayas' (Fieldtrip and Exchange on Sustainability Issues in Dehradun Region)

2006

Organiser & Chief Competitions Officer, 'World Bank Symposium Singapore 2006'

 

Yuchen ANG

Evolutionary Biology Laboratory
(S2-02-01)
Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore
Science Drive 4
Singapore 117543 SINGAPORE


+65 6516 2968 (Lab)
+65 6516 3486 (Insectary
)
+65 6779 2486 (Fax)


yuchen(at)nus.edu.sg

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