Eunice Jingmei Tan

Science (Environmental Studies)

Assistant Professor


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Assistant Professor Eunice Tan graduated with a Life Sciences degree from the National University of Singapore. Her honours project involved studying the paternity of highland moss using microsatellite markers. The project sparked her love for field biology and her Masters’ research studied the functional significance of web decorations of orb-weaving spiders in Yunnan, China and Singapore. For her doctoral research at the University of Melbourne, Asst Prof Tan examined the evolution of colour patterns in Australian chrysomeline leaf beetles using a combination of phylogenetic comparative analyses and field experiments. During her postdoctoral fellowship at Yale-NUS College, Asst Prof Tan examined the function of butterfly colour patterns and the genes involved in butterfly courtship behaviour.

Asst Prof Tan’s research investigates signalling in ecological interactions. Asst Prof Tan uses field and laboratory experiments, molecular techniques and a range of computing tools to address these issues in a range of arthropod systems.

Peng, P, Stuart‐Fox, D, Chen, S‐W, Tan, E. J., Kuo, G-L, Blamires, S. J., Tso, I-M, Elgar, M. A. (2020) High contrast yellow mosaic patterns are prey attractants for orb‐weaving spiders. Functional Ecology, 00: 1– 12.

Tan, E. J., Wilts, B. D., Tan, B. T. K., Monteiro, A. (2020) What’s in a band? The function of the color and banding pattern of the Banded Swallowtail. Ecology and Evolution, 00:1–9.

Tan, E. J., Reid, C.A.M., Symonds, M.R.E., Jurado-Rivera, J.A., and Elgar, M.A. (2017). The role of life-history and ecology in the evolution of colour patterns in Australian chrysomeline beetles. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 5, 140.

Tan, E. J., Reid, C.A.M., Elgar, M. A. (2017) Predators, parasites and heterospecific aggregations in chrysomeline larvae. Ethology, 123, 293-306.

Tan, E. J., Reid, C.A.M., Elgar, M. A. (2016) Colour pattern variation affects predation in chrysomeline larvae. Animal Behaviour, 118, 3-10.

Conversano, J., Tan, E. J., van Wilgenburg, E., Elgar, M. A. (2014) Background odour may impair detection of chemical signals for social recognition. Austral Entomology, 53, 432-435.

Tan, E. J., Seah, S. W.H., Yap, L. Y. L., Goh, P. M., Gan, W., Liu, F. and Li, D. (2010) Why do orb-weaving spiders (Cyclosa ginnaga) decorate their webs with silk spirals and plant detritus? Animal Behaviour, 79, 179-186.

Tan, E. J., and Li, D. (2009) Detritus decorations of an orb-weaving spider, Cyclosa mulmeinensis (Thorell): for food or camouflage? The Journal of Experimental Biology, 212, 1832-1839.

Tan, E. J., and Tang, B. L. (2006) Looking for Food: Molecular neuroethology of invertebrate feeding behavior. Ethology, 112, 826-832.

Scientific Inquiry 2
Field Research
Singapore Biodiversity: Past, Present and Future