I am a graduate student in the Guralnick Lab at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I'll be working on my research interests (biodiversity informatics, in particular looking at biological taxonomy) as well as other ongoing research projects in the Guralnick lab. Along the way, I build interesting tools to make it easier to replicate my findings.
- Since 2013: Linked Names
Tools used: Perl, TaxRef, R.
Since January 2013, I have been at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) in Durham, North Carolina. I am working on a graduate fellowship project (proposed by myself) in which I look at how we can link taxonomic names -- and the taxon concepts behind those names -- across time.
- Since 2012: Taxonomic referencing
Tools used: Perl, Java, Git.
My primary research interest is in taxonomic referencing and nomenclatural databases. To this end, I am working on TaxRef, an open-source taxon referencing program. I also helped make ITIS' name database permanently available as a DwC-A file (with a lot of help from the Global Name Architecture's dwca-hunter software.
- Since 2011: Software developer on the Map of Life project
Tools used: Python, Google App Engine, GDAL, Git.
My funding is currently covered by the Map of Life project, an ambitious project to create an online workbench for biogeographical data. In particular, we want to make it easy to compare, edit and combine different datasets - including your own private datasets - and then to share those results. I'll post more details here as we get closer to release!
- Since 2011: Graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder
Tools used: LaTeX, R.
I am a first-year graduate student on the PhD track at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
On campus, I've helped organize a Wikipedia Loves Libraries! event at the school library in October 2011.
- Since 2011: Species as distance clusters
Tools used: Java.
Over the next few months, I will begin working on an extension to Species Identifier which will simplify clustering of sequences by pairwise distances, a method which we've previously found to be surprisingly effective at guessing the number of recognized species in a dataset.
- 2012: The BHL's Art of Life project
Tools used: MediaWiki templates, Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Commons.
The BHL plans to make all of its illustrations available online. I worked with a small team to develop a schema to represent metadata about these illustrations. I am currently working with the BHL to add more of the illustrations to the Wikimedia Commons and use the schema we developed to describe BHL illustrations already uploaded to the Commons. The eventual goal is to automatically upload public-domain BHL images to the Wikimedia Commons for annotation and reuse in the Wikipedia project.
- 2011 - 2012: The Junius Henderson Field Notebook project
Tools used: Wikisource, MediaWiki templates, MediaWiki API, Perl, Git.
The Junius Henderson Field Notebook project was small project to digitize and annotate some of Junius Henderson's field notebooks on Wikisource. I developed MediaWiki templates to annotate dates, locations and taxon names in those field notebooks. I then wrote Perl scripts to extract those templates from Wikisource and identify observations, which can then be exported as DarwinCore CSV ("DarwinCSV") files.
- 2009 - 2011: Scientist-at-large (weekends)
Responsibilities: programming, project management, marketing.
Tools used: Java, Git, ScreenFlow (screencasting).
I've was working weekends at the Evolutionary Biology lab at NUS. I've completed work on Sequence Matrix, a software tool to assemble datasets for analysis by concatenating sequence files, which I presented at the Hennig XXVIII conference in June 2009. A paper describing Sequence Matrix was accepted for publication in the the peer-reviewed journal Cladistics in April 2010. My collaborators and I created a screencast video to promote Sequence Matrix to the broader scientific community.
I was also helping out with a biogeography-based honours project which uses some of the tools I wrote in 2004 to validate biodiversity hotspots for insects.
- 2009: NICF Certification in IT Project Management Preparatory Course
I completed a four-month course in IT project management, which taught me general project management techniques while focusing on its application to information technology projects. This improved my understanding of how software projects could be organized, managed and run effectively.
- 2007 - 2011: Software architect at Paper Terminal Pte Ltd, Singapore
Responsibilities: programming, project management, testing.
Tools used: Perl (incl. Catalyst), PHP, PostgreSQL, Amazon AWS, Debian GNU/Linux.
I worked at Paper Terminal Pte Ltd, a four-man startup in Singapore. My job scope was wide: my primary responsibility was to make websites and web services (in particular OCR Terminal, our flagship product) and maintaining and monitoring our server infrastructure. I also took on short-term projects on multiple platforms and in several programming languages.
Apart from strengthening my programming skills, this job gave me the opportunity to work with important Web 2.0 technologies, such as AJAX, web APIs, XML validation and server monitoring. I learned how to use useful tools such as the Catalyst framework, Nginx web server, Git SCM and Amazon Web Services (AWS). I also gained experience in planning, scheduling and delivering software projects on time.
- 2006 - 2007: Lab officer at the National University of Singapore.
Responsibilities: programming, IT management.After graduating, I worked at the Evolutionary Science lab for just under a year, finishing up work on DNA barcoding and getting started on Sequence Matrix, a tool for sequence concatenation. Our findings from Species Identifier were accepted for publication in Systematic Biology in April 2006. This paper has been very successful so far, having been cited more than 100 times since publication and was evaluated for the Faculty of 1000 list of significant papers.
Tools used: Java, Subversion.
- 2002 - 2006: Undergraduate student at the National University of Singapore.
Extracurricular activities: Special Programme in Science, research projects.
I studied life sciences for four years at the National University of Singapore. I realized early on that structured learning didn't work for me, and I pursued all the avenues available to me for self-directed learning. My favourite modules were those which allowed me to undertake independent literature review or research; in particular, I loved the introduction to chaos theory class by Frederick Willeboordse, the class in animal behavior, and the independent research (UROPS) modules which gave me the chance to take part in scientific work right from my first year in college.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Merit) in Life Sciences (Biology) with minors in Computational Science and Economics. My CAP was 3.21 on a 5 point scale, corresponding to an overall grade of B-.
In July 2005, I was awarded with the Silver Medal of the Malayan Nature Society for standing ﬁrst in a module on Evolution.
- 1984 - 2002: A summary
I was born in Bombay, India in 1984. As my dad worked at Grindlays, a multinational bank with branches around the country, I grew up in Bombay, Amristar, Calcutta, Bombay again, one year in Melbourne, Chennai and Bangalore. I've been living in Singapore for the last eight years, which is a fantastic place to live if you don't mind the year-long tropical summer.