Marine Biology & Ecology

Southeast Asia’s tropical marine habitats contain the richest flora and fauna on the Earth. These living resources have value to humans as (a) sources of food, (b) materials and products such as bioactive compounds used in medicines, nutrichemicals and agriculture, (c) indicators of environmental health, as well as (d) vibrant ecosystems in their own right. In land-scarce Singapore, coastal environments provide valuable recreational space that is enriched by resident marine organisms. Through our monitoring, survey and research programmes, the Marine Biology and Ecology Laboratory (MBEL) seeks to understand how the distribution and abundance of living organisms are affected by the environment. We are also interested in novel ways to detect presence of threats to our natural heritage, such as pollution, disease, invasions by non-native organisms, and climate change. Marine ecosystems are delicately balanced and subject to stresses, both natural and human-induced. Our researchers carry out research to inform and enable environmental managers to devise strategies to conserve biodiversity and sustainable development of our coastal resources. 



The marine sponge, Oceanapia sagittaria


Egg capsule of Thais clavigera



Some areas covered are:

Reef restoration


Coral energetics

Marine conservation

Harmful algal blooms

Seagrass physiology and ecology

Marine organisms and man-made materials

Marine biodiversity




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