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“.



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! 🙂

Post-TED gratitude – It’s ‘not’ a Clamity!

Speaking at TED in Vancouver, Canada (April 2017). Photo by Ryan Lash / TED.

It’s been almost 20 days since I had stood on the TED stage and gave one of my best talks so far (I kid you not!). Now that I have given my talk, I had spent the last 20 days thinking about my experience as a TED Fellow in the programme, and how meeting other Fellows has helped me figure out some things in my life.

Continue reading “Post-TED gratitude – It’s ‘not’ a Clamity!”

Conservation of Giant Clams – Part 4

Today’s the DAY! And by the time you read this post, I should be getting ready to give my TED talk at the conference! 😀 In my 5-minute comprehensive TED talk, my idea worth sharing is that giant clams are ecologically important to coral reefs, and we need to save them! For my final part, I will describe the numerous Ecological Roles that giant clams play on the coral reefs, and why we should care about conserving them!


Continue reading “Conservation of Giant Clams – Part 4”

Conservation of Giant Clams – Part 2

Phew! Time seems to have flown by more quickly, and I finally have some quiet time to write the second part of my conservation of giant clams post series… My days are now split into two halves: my day job as a researcher and my ‘night’ job as a TED Fellow – hahaha! So here we are, and today’s topic is Population Genetics.

American Museum of Natural History

Continue reading “Conservation of Giant Clams – Part 2”

Conservation of Giant Clams – Part 1

For the past year, I have had numerous opportunities to speak about the conservation of giant clams. Here, I decided to write a four-part series about the conservation issues surrounding giant clams to commemorate my TED talk in April 2017! For the first post in this series, I shall share the history of giant clam mariculture and explore some of the country case studies in implementing it as a conservation solution.

Cultured juvenile fluted giant clams (Tridacna squamosa), Singapore.

Continue reading “Conservation of Giant Clams – Part 1”

2017 class of TED Fellows and Senior Fellows



I’m a little late in sharing the wonderful news, but I am thoroughly thrilled to be selected as a TED Fellow to take the stage at TED2017 this coming April in Vancouver, BC! Together with myself, there are 14 other aspiring young innovators from four continents, who will also deliver their talks on the TED stage.

I wish to send a big thank you to the TED Team, my colleagues and friends for their heartiest support and well-wishes on my Fellowship. I am highly encouraged to know that I will have the opportunity to present my ideas and work on such a great platform!

I have also been asked: What is my motivation on applying to be a TED Fellow? What do I hope to accomplish as a Fellow in the upcoming year? So here are some of my thoughts about what becoming a TED Fellow means to me… 🙂 Continue reading “2017 class of TED Fellows and Senior Fellows”

Hainan bans the sale of giant clams

News have surfaced from within China that Hainan has now put a widespread ban on the sale of giant clam shells, particularly those found in Tanmen Village. Articles report that as of 1 January 2017, Hainan Island began the ban of sale, purchase, and use of corals, giant clams and other handicraft. (See Chinese article here)

In 2013, the local government (presumably Hainan) strongly supported the trade of giant clam shells, making it a pillar industry in Tanmen Village and provided work for thousands living in the village. However, in 2015, within a short span of 2 years, the support of the industry has turned to prohibition, and finally a total ban. (Translated materials)

A factory in Tanmen with mounts of fossilised giant clam shells.

On 30 November 2016, the Hainan Provincial Counsel passed the bill of “Hainan’s Coral and Giant Clam Protection Regulations”, which states the ban beginning 1 January 2017. Since the ban, the shops have reportedly removed the items and stopped selling giant clam shell products, whilst others have ‘closed down’. It is estimated that the ban will cause the loss of livelihoods of almost 10,000 people. (Translated materials) Continue reading “Hainan bans the sale of giant clams”