David Tan


What do you do?

I’m a research assistant at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Biological Sciences, where I study the ecology and evolution of Southeast Asian birds. Much of my research interests centre around how birds interact with urban environments, with projects ranging from studying the dispersal of birds across Singapore’s fragmented forest patches to studying the diet of fruit-eating birds in Singapore. I collect bird carcasses from all over Singapore to better understand how birds interact with buildings and other urban structures in the Southeast Asian tropics. I am also interested in studying how humans interact with birds, particularly with regard to the ethics of nature photography, and I have presented some of my findings at the Post Museum’s Post-PopUp event as well as to the National Biodiversity Centre of the National Parks Board of Singapore.

What inspires you?

What inspires me most is the diversity of the natural world and how these novelties of life have been shaped by evolutionary processes. The richness of forms and behaviours we see in the natural world around us all bear some form of meaning for the organisms that exhibit them, and uncovering these signals and meanings is one of the many things that continue to inspire and drive my work.

Where are you originally from?


Artist or Scientist?