PhD done!

On 31 January 2019, I was conferred my degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Geography) from the National University of Singapore. Special thanks to my supervisors, examiners, mentors, family and friends who have supported me throughout this journey. My thesis, titled “Fluvial change and the development of the Ping River, Thailand: sedimentological and chronological evidence”.

LED2017 and The Copernicus Prize

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 9.59.28 PMLast week, I presented at the 15th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating (Cape Town, South Africa). My presentation, titled “Optimising and testing time-resolved OSL of feldspar contaminated quartz grains”, was co-authored by P. Morthekai and Debarati Nag from Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences. Particular thanks to P. Morthekai for his guidance on this project!

I was also awarded the Copernicus Prize for my presentation (incidentally, the subject of this presentation is also the basis of this haiku).

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 10.00.57 PM

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My EGU2017 Experience + Winning Science Video Competition

My video (watch here) is the winner of the Communicate Your Science Video Competition 2017! Sincere thanks to those who watched and voted. I have been awarded free registration for next year’s EGU General Assembly. The recognition has motivated me to continue exploring science communication, and I am excited for future projects!


Photo courtesy of the EGU GeoLog.

My PhD research (EGU abstract here) was presented at the Advances of Quaternary Geochronology session, convened by Irka Hajdas, and co-convened by Andreas Lang, Susan Ivy-Ochs and Sebastien Nomade. It was an enjoyable and stimulating experience. Additional thanks to Prof Andreas Lang, who was also my EGU mentor.

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Lecturing in Indian palaeoscience institute

On 21st April, I gave a lecture on electrical resistivity tomography and optically stimulated luminescence dating (methods used in my PhD research) at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences in Lucknow, India. It was attended by the Director Prof. Sunil Bajpai and fellow research scientists of the institute.


VIDEO: Finalist for EGU Science Video Competition

I am a finalist for this year’s EGU Communicate Your Science Video Competition, as part of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna this April. I submitted a 3 minute video on my PhD research. I will also be doing an oral presentation of the same research at the conference this year (abstract link below).

The winner is based on the number of YouTube likes. If you enjoyed the video, please do give a virtual like on YouTube (the thumbs up symbol)! Last year’s winner had 1,200 likes. The winner will get free registration for next year’s EGU General Assembly and, of course, exposure.

The corresponding abstract of this research:

Teo, E.A., Ziegler, A.D., Wasson, R.J. & Morthekai, P. (2017). Digging for Lost Rivers in Thailand: Locating and Dating Paleochannels in the Chiang Mai Intermontane Basin. Geophysical Research Abstracts. Vienna, Austria, EGU General Assembly, 19.

Details of my oral presentation at EGU2017:
Session: CL5.03/GM2.3 – Advances in Quaternary Geochronology
Time: 26 April 2017, the session is from 3.30 to 5pm, my presentation is from 3.45 to 4pm
Venue: Room F2, Austria Center Vienna

POEM: Pulsed optical stimulation to separate mixed quartz/feldspar luminescence signals

Here’s a haiku (with reference list) I wrote while reading up on pulsed optically stimulated luminescence dating. I thought this might be a fun way to engage with the information I was reading. Sure beats boring summaries…

WCMK Hole 3 1.5-1.9 (more90,MS) copy

Sand-sized sediment for luminescence dating, magnified under a microscope. Clear grains are quartz, orange-pink grains are feldspar. Personal photo.

mixed quartz and feldspar,
age estimate may be wrong,
must separate them.

if impossible,
new method can help problem,
change the procedure.

stimulation is
usually continuous.
use short bursts and see!

feldspar glows bright first,
glow has rapid rise and fall,
but quartz is slower…

find the boundary,
isolate right mineral,
happy scientist!

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Acceptance into IRDR Young Scientists Programme

irdr_logo_high-21I was recently accepted into the IRDR Young Scientists Programme with Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR), a research program sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR).

Following the principles of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction by the United Nations, the program supports integrated research for actionable science, and aims to strengthen the link between science and policy. As an IRDR Young Scientist, my responsibilities are to be a contributor and ambassador of such research. I look forward to exploring and expanding my skills in implementing these principles into my work.

“The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) calls for enhanced role of science and technology for evidence based decision-making. It also urges the need for innovation and partnership, which is linked to practise and diverse stakeholders. IRDR, with its mandate for integrated and trans-disciplinary research, would like to promote capacity building of young professionals, and encourage them to undertake innovative and needs based research which makes science-policy and science-practice linkages stronger.” – IRDR

Edit: All Young Scientists are welcome to  join the official IRDR Young Scientists Facebook group I created in collaboration with IRDR.

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VIDEO: Augering in the Chiang Mai floodplains

Yearly, undergraduate students enrolled in the Field Studies module are brought to Thailand to get hands-on experience of being a geographer. For a few days, I brought the students to a few of my fieldsites to show them how to auger and to talk about my PhD research, OSL dating, and taking field notes. We later brought the sediments back to the research station where I demonstrated grain size analysis using sieves and hydrometers.

Thanks to Kelman Chiang for this GoPro footage (ingeniously attached to the handle of the auger) .

I did a similar exercise the year before. Here is a drawing of that day by a student!