LIM, Shirley

Executive Director (PaCE@NTU)

Associate Professor

Natural Sciences & Science Education (NSSE)

Office Location



Office Telephone Number

Research Interests
Environmental Biology, Intertidal Marine Ecology

  • A quantitative marine ecologist by training, Assoc Prof Lim received her PhD based on her research work on the ecology and population genetics of a sub-arctic clam in Hudson Bay, Canada. From 1990 to 1992, she worked at the Huntsman Marine Laboratory ( St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada) as the research scientist in-charge of a government project on the effects of salmon cage farming on benthic organisms. Ever since her return from Canada in 1992, she has served actively in the Singapore Institute of Biology’s 19th to 32nd Councils, holding diverse portfolios such as Hon. Treasurer and Hon. Secretary. She is the first lady to be elected as President and was at the helm of the society for five years (2000-2005).

    At present, she is Associate Professor at the Natural Sciences & Science Education Academic Group teaching many biological sciences courses. She was awarded the Certificate of Commendation for Excellence in Teaching in 1998 and 1999. For the past 11 years, Assoc Prof Lim has been actively involved with the organisation of the 1st to 10th Singapore Biology Olympiads, national competitions held annually to select JC students to represent Singapore in the International Biology Olympiads (IBO) as well as in the training of the short-listed students. She has successfully led 10 national teams with outstanding performances to Belgium (2001), Latvia (2002), Belarus (2003), Australia (2004), China (2005), Argentina (2006), Canada (2007), India (2008), Japan (2009) and Korea (2010).

    During her sabbatical leave in 2003, Assoc Prof Lim spent two months teaching a “Scientific Thinking Programme” workshop for the Ministry of Education, one month guest-lecturing at a summer Marine Ecology course at the Phuket Marine Biological Center (Thailand) and 2½ months conducting field work in southern Thailand, hosted by Walailak University. She has also conducted several “Scientific Thinking Programme” workshops for ELEMENTZ and the West 1 Cluster.

    Assoc Prof Lim participated in the 13th International Marine Biology Workshop in 2005 (Feb) at the Moreton Bay Research Station where she spent three weeks investigating the standing behaviour of littorinids as well as sampling fiddler crabs for comparative morphology studies. More recently, a life-long dream of working with Dr John Christy came true in Aug 2010 when she conducted field work at The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.  This was followed by another field expedition to the Gerace Research Center in The Bahamas to investigate the temperature profile of ghost crabs in 2011 (Jan – Feb).

    Academic Background
    • PGDipTHE 2000 (Nanyang Technological University)
    • Ph.D 1990 (University of Western Ontario)
    • M.Sc. 1985 (National University of Singapore)
    • BSc. 1980 (Hons. in Zoology, University of Singapore)
    Professional Organisations
    • Life Member, The Singapore Institute of Biology
    • The Crustacean Society (USA)
    • Malacological Society of London (UK)
    • Public Administration Medal (Bronze), 2008
    • AAB202 Animal Diversity and Evolution
    • AAB203 Ecology
    • AAB304 Quantitative Biology
    • MLS809 Advanced Biostatistics
    • MLS861 Comparative Functional Anatomy
    • MLS864 Current Topics in Animal Behaviour
    • MLS868 Seminars in Zoology
    Research Interests
    Research Grants (past 5 years)
    • RI 8/10 SL Habitat adaptations of ocypodid crabs in coastal marine ecosystems (2011 – present)
    • OER 20/10 TAL Partnership for change towards science as inquiry in elementary science classrooms: Collective responsibility of teachers and students
    • RI 7/09 SL The utility of molluscs as environmental indicators (2010 – present)
    • RS 4/08 SL Ecology of intertidal crustaceans and molluscs (2008 – present)
    • RP 34/2007 SL Ecology and community succession of submerged aquatic vegetation and related impacts on water quality of Lower Seletar Reservoir (2007 – 2011)
    • RI 6/06 SL Examining teachers’ understanding of inquiry based learning in primary schools (2006 – 2009)
    Professional Activities
    • Vice-Chairperson, International Biology Olympiad Steering Committee (Prague, Czech Republic) (2008-present)
    • Co-Chairperson, Organizing Committee of the International Biology Olympiad 2012 (Singapore)
    • President, The Singapore Institute of Biology (2000-2005)
    • Board member, Singapore Science Centre (1999-2005)
    • Singapore Biology Olympiad Organizing Committee (1999-2010)
    • Council member, Singapore National Academy of Science, SNAS (1997-2005)
    • Editorial board member of SNAS journal, Cosmos (2002-2011)
    • Advisory Editorial Board member, Phuket Marine Biological Center Research Bulletin (2005-2011)
    Graduate Supervision (past 5 years)
    • Current students:
      • Wong Yee Man, PhD student since Jan 2008
      • Frederick Talaue, PhD student since August 2010
      • Theresa Su Linting, MSc student since Jan 2009
      • Chin Pooi Pooi, MSc (Life Sciences) student since 2009
      • Karen Ng Lee Jiun, MSc (Life Sciences) student since 2009
      • Ng Guohui, MSc (Life Sciences) student since 2009
    • Students who have graduated:
      • Justina Lu Zhen Hui, MSc (Life Sciences), 2011
      • Lee Pei Sze, MSc (Life Sciences), 2011
      • Poon Chew Leng. PhD, 2010
      • Kalpana Subramaniam, MSc (Life Sciences), 2010
      • Chuah Ching Ee, MSc (Life Sciences), 2010
      • Adeline Yong Yean Pin, MSc (Life Sciences), 2009
    Conferences & Workshops
    • European Science Education Research Association Conference, Lyon, France (5 -9 September 2011)
    • X International Symposium on Littorinid Biology and Evolution (ISOLBE) 2011, St. Petersburg, Russia (24 – 29 July 2011)
    • The Crustacean Society Summer Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii (6 – 9 June 2011)
    • National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida (3 – 6 April 2011)
    • 23rd Biennial Conference of the Asian Association for Biology Education, Singapore (18 – 20 October 2011).
    • World Congress of Malacology, Phuket, Thailand (21 – 23 July 2010)
    • The 7th International Crustacean Congress, Qingdao, China (20 – 25 June 2010)
    • Workshop on Crustacean Bioturbation: Fossil and Recent, Lepe, Spain (30 May – 5 June 2010)
    • The Crustacean Society Summer Meeting, Tokyo, Japan (20 – 24 September 2009)
    • IX International Symposium on Littorinid Biology and Evolution 2008, Baiona, Spain (2 – 7 September 2008)
    • The Crustacean Society Summer Meeting 2008, Galveston, U.S.A. (9 –13 June 2008)
    • Conference of Asian Science Education 2008, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (20 – 23 February 2008)
    • 21st Pacific Science Congress, Okinawa, Japan (12 –18 June 2007)
    • International Conference on “Science education for the next society”, Seoul, Korea
      (16 – 18 November 2006)
    • The 13th International Marine Biology Workshop: The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia (7 – 25 February 2005)