Dr Neo Mei Lin
My Power is Marine Biology
My Shade is 035
To her friends, Dr Neo Mei Lin is jokingly known as ‘Clam Queen’, or ‘The Mother of Clams’. The nickname is well-earned, as the marine biologist and research fellow at the Tropical Marine Science Institute at NUS has dedicated her career to the study and conservation of the Tridacna gigas (or giant clam) species.
Dr Neo’s love for the “massive and colourful-shelled marine animals” began in her student days, when she took on a research project on giant clams as it was the only one that didn’t require her to kill the animals she was studying. Over the years, her interest in giant clams grew and evolved. “It started out with reading about them as much as possible, and then realising they are facing the threat of extinction,” shares Dr Neo. Today, her work covers studying them at a biological level, and also championing for their conservation. “I hope my voice can represent the groups that cannot speak for themselves,” she says.
Dr Neo’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, and she has won numerous awards, including the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Fellowship in 2015 and Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2016. She was also the only Singaporean selected for the prestigious TED Fellows programme of global innovators in 2017, and promoted the preservation of giant clams at her own TED Talk in Vancouver, Canada.
In time, Dr Neo hopes to create a network to share information and data between scientists in the region to enhance her research. Giant clams can live for as long as a century, and can give researchers a good indication of the reef’s health, she says. In spreading awareness about this iconic species, Dr Neo hopes to shed light on the importance of reef conservation as well.
MADE FOR YOU
With 16 different foundation shades, the Lancôme Ultra Wear Foundation is created to complement your skin tone perfectly.