Simon Yung Wa Sin


Assistant Professor
School of Biological Sciences

The University of Hong Kong
Email: sinyw(at)

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I am a behavioural ecologist and evolutionary biologist. My research interests span the fields of molecular ecology, evolutionary biology and behavioural genomics. I received my BSc and MPhil degrees from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I was awarded a Croucher Scholarship and joined the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit in the Zoology Department at the University of Oxford, where I completed my DPhil research. I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. In 2018 I joined the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Hong Kong.


Pei-Yu Huang

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am an evolutionary and molecular virologist. My research interests lie in the area of ecological and evolutionary genomics of hosts and zoonotic pathogens. I received my BSc and MSc degrees in Animal Science at the National Taiwan University and a second MSc degree in Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool. In between, I obtained immunological knowledge during my research in the vaccine development industry. I have been granted a PhD degree in Public Health at the University of Hong Kong focusing on the evolutionary and ecological genomic research of avian influenza viruses in poultry in Taiwan. I joined the Sin lab since 2019 to investigate the evolutionary and ecological genomics of birds and mammals and the co-evolution between hosts and pathogens.


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Stella Huynh

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am specialized in evolutionary and population genomics of plants. I have a keen interest in species evolution and adaptation and in conservation biology, especially using NGS data and bioinformatic tools. Understanding how species have evolved and adapted over millions of years is not only fascinating but also crucial to establish suitable conservation strategies and preserve the Earth. After my BSc and MSc degree in Organismal and Populational Biology at the University of Lille 1 (France), I started a PhD in Evolutionary Botany at the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), which I successfully obtained in 2018. I joined the Sin lab in 2019 to investigate the population and evolutionary genomics of birds and mammals, with a focus on species conservation.



Guoling Chen

PhD Candidate

My research interests fall into adaptation evolution, speciation and population genomics of animals. I received my BSc degree in Biological Sciences in South China Normal University, and MSc degree in Ecology in Sun Yat-sen University. Prior to my graduate study, I did some projects on phylogenetics, population genetics and DNA barcoding in birds and amphibians. I studied conservation genomics of the Chinese Crested Tern and Greater Crested Tern during my master period. This study is mainly focus on the genetic diversity, demographic history, hybridization and introgression of the critically endangered species. I joined the Sin lab in 2020 to study the co-evolution between host and pathogens.


John Chung

PhD Candidate

I received my BSc and MPhil degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I am interested in studying animal using molecular approaches. During my MPhil study, I analysed local swift's diet through DNA barcoding on fecal samples. I have been awarded the HKU Presidential PhD Scholarship and joined Sin lab since 2020, focusing on dietary and microbiome study of animals using DNA metabarcoding.

Jackie Ko

PhD Candidate

I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), with a minor in Environmental Sciences. Throughout my undergraduate study, I have been familiarized with molecular research by joining the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). In which, I studied the genetic components behind physiological responses of plants under natural stimuli. After I graduated, I became interested in how animal behavior is affected by genetic factors as well. Now I am working on the genetic components of plumage color in birds.

Derek Lam

PhD Candidate

I received my BSc degree in Cell & Molecular Biology in 2018 with the minor of Biology. I am very interested in understanding how life works in different aspects, ranging from molecular biology to behavioral ecology. It is very amazing to know how animal (including us) behaviors are controlled by genetic factors. My passion towards molecular biology deepened during my participation in the iGEM competition. Our project of influenza RNA detection by RNA switches won a gold model and was nominated for the best diagnostic method. I also did my research internship in the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre of the University of Melbourne. In addition, I took part in structural biology and plant cell biology projects throughout my undergraduate. Now my research project is to study the genetic basis of mate choice behaviors. Last but definitely not least, I am a big fan of traveling, diving, camping and nature!

Alex Chan

MPhil Candidate

I have always been fascinated and amazed by nature and wildlife and my obsession with birds germinated when I was first introduced to bird watching. I completed my BSc in Ecology and Biodiversity with a minor in Environmental Sciences at the University of Hong Kong. I joined the Sin Lab in 2018 and my scientific interests lie within molecular ecology and bird conservation. In 2019, I was granted the Summer Research Fellowship at HKU to study Parus species in Hong Kong. For my graduation thesis, I studied the diet of endangered birds using DNA metabarcoding. My current project aims to investigate resources and ecological niches partitioning between sympatric avian species using molecular approaches.

David Chan

MPhil Candidate

I recently graduated from The University of Hong Kong (HKU), majored in Ecology and Biodiversity. I am interested in behavioural ecology and movement ecology. In 2017, I was awarded the Overseas Research Fellowship by HKU to do a research internship at Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ) about migratory shorebirds site fidelity. For my graduate thesis I looked at distribution pattern of shorebirds at Tolo area, Hong Kong. I joined the Sin lab since 2018 to study avian ecology and genetics.

Boyee Lee

MPhil Candidate

I graduated with a BScEd degree major in Science and Web technology in 2017. I am interested in marine ecology and environmental studies. During 2016 – 2019 , I took part in an environmental DNA (eDNA) study, revealing cryptic fauna biodiversity in Hong Kong western waters using seawater and sediment samples with metabarcoding approach. I joined the Sin Lab in 2019 to continue my study. I am currently studying animal dietary composition using DNA metabarcoding.


Lucy Tsang

Undergraduate student

I am a year 4 student majoring in Ecology and Biodiversity with a minor in environmental science. I am interested in behavioural ecology especially about how genetics drive behaviours and how this can be applied to conservation. I have volunteered in the Sin lab as a student helper since 2019 to help with basic lab works. I am awarded the summer research fellowship scheme in 2020 to investigate host-parasite relationships and currently participating in the Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme for my final year project.

Megan Low

Undergraduate student

I am a student majoring in ecology and biodiversity. Generally, I like almost all animals, but I especially love butterflies. I am interested in predator-prey coevolution, such as all types of mimicry, and the color patterns and genes involved. I’m awarded the Student Research Fellowship (by the Science Faculty of HKU) in 2019 and 2020, and joined the Sin Lab in late 2018, hoping to learn more about behavioral ecology, genetics and evolution.


Hon Shing Fung

Research Assistant

I graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, majored in Biology. I am an experienced explorer of Hong Kong's wilderness. I mainly conduct field work in the Sin lab since 2019. Apart from that, I am an independent filmmaker to contribute to conservation through producing short films for independent projects, NGOs and the government.

Charis Chan

Technical Officer


Undergraduate Students
Andy Vu (ORF, 2019)

Visiting Students

Hilary Ngai (Summer 2018)

Anson Wong (Research Assistant, 2019)

The Sin Lab - Ecological & Evolutionary Genomics

© 2020 Simon Y. W. Sin  ●  Last Update: 11/09/2020  ● All photos © Simon Sin or FHS

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