PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Simon Yung Wa Sin

 

Assistant Professor
School of Biological Sciences

The University of Hong Kong
Email: sinyw(at)hku.hk

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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.

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHERS

Pei-Yu Huang

Postdoctoral Researcher

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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.

Google Scholar

Fushi Ke
Postdoctoral Researcher

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I got my PhD degree in insect population genetics and genomics from the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) with a focus on genetic differentiation of Plutella xylostella populations collected from local, regional and global scales. I also spent 17 months in the Department of Botany at the University of British Columbia during this period. I further did my first postdoc in plant (Primulina) population genomics and phylogenomics at the South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Science (SCBG, CAS), investigating evolutionary factors shaping genomic polymorphisms and differentiation. I am interested in understanding evolutionary forces shaping genomic variation and adaptation (e.g. ecological adaptation). I joined the Sin lab in 2021 to investigate the population and evolutionary genomics of animals, with a focus on the genetic basis of mating strategies.

ResearchGate

GRADUATE STUDENT

Guoling Chen

PhD Candidate

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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.

ResearchGate

Jackie Ko

PhD Candidate

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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

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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

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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.

Boyee Lee

MPhil Candidate

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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.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Yannes Choi
Undergraduate student

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I am a HKU final year student majoring in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (Intensive) and minoring in Spanish. I love nature and animals, especially mammals. I also hope that my knowledge in biotechnology can contribute to the field of ecology and biodiversity and ecological conservation, so I joined the Sin Lab recently to carry out my final year project on pathogen detection in pet birds.

Yiu Siu
Undergraduate student

Yiu is majoring in Ecology and Biodiversity. She joined the lab as a student helper in 2019. She is currently a Final Year Project student studying bird behaviour.

Winson Tsang
Undergraduate student

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I am a BSc student majoring in Ecology and Biodiversity. I love animals and wildlife since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I can spend my whole day with animals just observing their behaviours. By joining the Sin lab, it gives me a chance to study animal behaviour and its ecological and evolutionary significance. My research interest lies in behavioural study in biology and ecology, and my current research focus is on bird behaviours.

Devin Wan

Undergraduate student

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I am a BSc student majoring in Ecology and Biodiversity. I am also studying Molecular Biology & Biotechnology as my second major and Statistics as my minor. I am intrigued by investigating ecological topics through molecular approaches, which integrates the knowledge of my major fields of study. My research interest lies in conservation biology, molecular ecology, and evolutionary genetics. I joined the Sin lab in 2020 under the Young Scientist Scheme (YSS) for Outstanding Students. My current research focus is on amphibian pathogens  and microbiome.

Karen Yeung
Undergraduate student

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I am an Ecology & Biodiversity (Intensive) major student minoring in Biochemistry here at HKU. My interest lies in understanding evolutionary processes and relationships by studying genes, while conservation biology is also my passion. I joined the Sin lab under the Young Scientist Scheme (YSS) for Outstanding Students in 2021 summer.

STAFF

David Chan
Research Assistant

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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.

Charis Chan

Technical Officer

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LAB ALUMNI

Undergraduate Students

Lucy Tsang (SRF, 2020; FYP, 2020-21)

Megan Low (SRF, 2020; FYP, 2020-21)

Andy Vu (ORF, 2019)

Ally Shum (DS, 2018-2019)
Chin Chin Fok (DS, 2018-2019)
Natural Leung (DS, 2018-2019)
Vivienne Ho (DS, 2018-2019)

Visiting Students/Student Internship

Miranda Lam, Cambridge University (2021)

Priscilla Lau, Chinese University of Hong Kong (2019)

Hilary Ngai, University of California, Davis (Summer 2018)

Staff
Stella Huynh (Postdoc, 2019-21)

Hon Shing Fung (Research Assistant, 2019-21)

Anson Wong (Research Assistant, 2019)

FYP – Final Year Project. DS – Directed Study.

SRF – Summer Research Fellowship. ORF – Overseas Research Fellowship.