What’s in the Lab?

Hello everyone! I’m starting a new series of science writing tagged with “What’s in the Lab?” to showcase behind the scenes of marine science research work. These posts, consisting of pictures and videos, are brief, informative, and hopefully, give you a sneak peek at what marine biologists do! Continue reading “What’s in the Lab?”


Knock, knock – Who’s there living on the sea urchins?

I love small marine critters. Whenever I go diving, I’ll be like a treasure hunter – looking for the little gems living on rocks, rubbles, seagrasses, corals, giant clams, and yes – the sea urchins.

Sea urchins are close relatives of the sea stars, sea cucumbers, and sand dollars, collectively known as the echinoderms. They may not look very similar, but they are easily recognisable by their penta-radial symmetry (or five-points).

Despite its spiny appearance (and yes, you should not go around handling and touching them!), it may be hard to think of anything wanting to live on the sea urchins. Amazingly, there are numerous and different smaller marine animals living on them, such as shrimps, crabs, snails, and fishes! Continue reading “Knock, knock – Who’s there living on the sea urchins?”

Asian Scientist feature – Taking to TED to Champion the Cause of Clams


Thank you, Asian Scientist Editors – Juliana Chan and Rebecca Lim for the opportunity to write about my TED experience! In this article, I wrote about my journey from being a scientist to a science communicator. 😀

Article link: https://www.asianscientist.com/2017/09/features/neo-mei-lin-ted-talk-giant-clams/

Tell me what you think of the article! Leave me a comment on my page! Thank you.

Fellow speakers, Shoham Arad, and Tom Rielly, TED Fellows Team, and the Bezos Scholars at TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

TED Talk – The fascinating secret lives of giant clams


Again, I like to thank the many individuals mentioned here for making this dream happen. Now, giant clams – show the world what you got! 😉

You can watch it here:

For more information about the conservation work on giant clams, you may read them in the various posts titled “Conservation of giant clams – Parts 1, 2, 3, 4“.


World Economic Forum – Young Scientists Science Communication Workshop

Thank you to the World Economic Forum (WEF) for having taken up our idea and hosted a fantastic science communication workshop for the Young Scientists in London last week! I like to also introduce the WEF’s Young Scientists (YS) community briefly and my experiences being one! Continue reading “World Economic Forum – Young Scientists Science Communication Workshop”

World Economic Forum – The Big Picture on Oceans

Thank you, World Economic Forum for giving me the opportunity to speak for the oceans and their issues at the recent Annual Meeting of New Champions 2017, Dalian, China!

In this video, I spoke about various issues affecting the oceans such as climate change, coral bleaching, overfishing, illegal fishing, and plastic trash. While we can be sad about the negative impacts happening now, we can also chin up and choose to make bold decisions that will help protect the few remaining healthy oceans!

Spread the word to save our oceans! 😀

Field work – Counting sea urchins on the seashores of Singapore

Together with my supervisor, Dr Serena TEO, we were awarded a grant from the Marine Science R&D Programme, supported by the National Research Foundation to conduct studies and develop tropical model marine organisms for experimental research.

On top of marine science experiments, marine animals are also increasingly being used as model organisms in multi-disciplinary studies such as evolution, developmental biology, biomedical sciences, biomimetics, and biophysical engineering. Current examples of model marine organisms include the tunicate (or ascidians), sea urchins, and marine snails.

In Singapore’s context, with so few habitats and sea space, experimental research is challenging as every field collection becomes a threat to natural populations. Hence, the other motivation of this project is to reduce collection pressures on wild populations by establishing culture protocols and stocks of local species, so that they may be readily available for experimental research. As a start, we are focussing on three groups of marine invertebrates: ascidians, tubeworms, and sea urchins. And I’m taking charge of the sea urchin component! 🙂

So you’re wondering now, how does counting sea urchins on the seashores help us in our project?

How many sea urchins can you spot? Photo credits: Lynette YING.

Continue reading “Field work – Counting sea urchins on the seashores of Singapore”

Field work – Bachok Marine Research Station (11-16 June 2017)

First and foremost, thank you to my collaborators, Professor LIM Po Teen, Dr LEAW Chui Pin, and Professor Aileen TAN, as well as the Malaysia Marine Park for supporting our field research to survey the giant clam populations in the Perhentian Islands, Terengganu! Also, thanks to L’Oréal Singapore For Women in Science National Fellowship for supporting my research! 🙂

Field sampling for giant clam tissues to examine the population genetic structure in Perhentian Islands. Credits: Lim Zhen Fei.

Continue reading “Field work – Bachok Marine Research Station (11-16 June 2017)”

TEDxSingapore Salon Event

TEDxSingapore Salon Event – 20 May 2017. Credits: TEDxSingapore FaceBook page.

Throwback to TEDxSingapore Salon Event last month at Collision 8! It was their first ever live broadcast via FaceBook Live! In this interview, I shared my first time experience at TED2017, my journey as a TED Fellow, and my work life as a marine biologist. You can catch my interview with Gillian (TEDxSingapore curator) by clicking on the video below! 🙂