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Senior Research Fellow, National University of Singapore

Mei Lin Neo is a marine ecologist working at the St. John’s Island National Marine Laboratory. She had graduated from NUS with a B.Sc. in Life Sciences (2009) and Ph.D. in Marine Ecology (2013). While pursuing her degrees, she became inspired by the many local conservation workers, and took a strong interest in marine conservation issues. Through her research, she found her favourite marine animal, the giant clam. Neo's passion to save the giant clams led to the genesis of two restocking programmes in Singapore, with the aim to breed and raise young clams for putting back onto our reefs.

Neo's big dream is to build up marine conservation awareness in Singapore and elsewhere through science communication. She believes that science can be used to change people’s mindsets on environmental issues, but science also needs to be relevant and relatable to people. That is why she strives to make science accessible to people through collaborations, engagements, and science communications – pushing the path to use science to generate societal impacts.

In recognition of her efforts, Neo is a recipient of the Singapore Youth Award 2019. In 2017, she was also selected as the only Singaporean TED Fellow for the Class of 2017, and gave her TED talk in Vancouver, Canada last April 2017! When not doing research, she actively volunteers with TeamSeagrass and Reef Friends to promote marine conservation and educate fellow volunteers. During her free time, she is an avid diver and photographer.


  • 2020–present
    Senior Research Fellow, National University of Singapore
  • 2014–2020
    Research Fellow, National University of Singapore


  • 2013 
    National University of Singapore, PhD in Marine Ecology
  • 2009 
    National University of Singapore, BSc (Hons) in Life Sciences (Concentration in Biology)