Marine Ecologist | Science Communicator
Contact email: tmsnml @ nus.edu.sg
Educational background: Ph.D. (Marine Ecology, National University of Singapore)
My story: From a student to full-time staff, I have been conducting my research work at the St. John’s Island National Marine Laboratory. Trained as a marine ecologist, I had graduated from NUS with a B.Sc. in Life Sciences (2009) and Ph.D. in Marine Ecology (2013). While pursuing my degrees, I became inspired by the many local conservation workers, and took a strong interest in marine conservation issues. Through a serendipitous encounter, I found my favourite marine animal, the giant clam. My passion to save the endangered giant clams led to the genesis of two restocking programmes in Singapore, with the aim to breed and raise baby clams for putting back onto our reefs.
My big dream is to build up marine conservation awareness in Singapore and elsewhere through science communication. I believe that science can be used to change people’s mindsets regarding environmental issues, but science also needs to be relevant and relatable to people. That is why I am making science accessible to people through collaborations, engagements, and science communications – pushing the path to use science to generate societal impacts.
I’ve recently ‘upgraded’ to becoming a first-time mother to a baby girl! Motherhood has been emotionally gratifying, and I look forward to ensuring that I leave a positive environmental legacy for her to enjoy, as I had in my time. I used to actively volunteer with TeamSeagrass and Reef Friends to promote marine conservation and educate fellow volunteers. During my free time, I am an avid SCUBA diver and photographer, as well as volunteer with Mothers in Science.
I am a recipient of the World Future Foundation Ph.D. Prize in 2014, the L’Oréal For Women in Science National Fellowship in 2015, the NUS Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2017, and the Singapore Youth Award in 2019. I was also selected as the only Singaporean TED Fellow for the Class of 2017, and gave my TED talk in Vancouver, Canada in April of 2017!