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Lab Alumni


Dr. Shelby McIlroy Contact:

Research Assistant Professor
Ph.D. (University of Buffalo), M.S. (Moss Landing), B.S. (Univ. of Florida)


My research interests centre on understanding the role of diversity, both genetic and functional, in the ecology and evolution of marine communities. I approach this question from three perspectives: 1) What ecological mechanisms structure the coral microbiome and how does symbiont diversity affect coral resilience? 2) How does species diversity within a community affect ecosystem function and ecosystem resilience? 3.) How does functional diversity (e.g., physiological plasticity) affect species distributions and their response to global change?


Tracey Prigge

Molecular Lab Manager
B.Sc. Zoology, M.Sc. Genetics (University of Pretoria)

Originally from South Africa Tracey received a BSc in Zoology and MSc in Genetics from The University of Pretoria. Her masters focused on the subcellular localization of Nonstructural protein NS3 of African Horsesickness virus. She has previously worked as a research assistant in the Forest Molecular Genetics Group at the University of Pretoria and currently acts as the Molecular Lab Manager supporting several of the ongoing projects. Tracey utilizes her molecular background to tackle wildlife trafficking in Hong Kong; using genetic data for species identification, determining sample origin, and mapping out trafficking routes along with using Stable Isotope Analysis as a forensic tool to monitor illegally trafficked wildlife. 

Dr. Isis Guibert Contact:

Post-doctoral Fellow
Ph.D. (Sorbonne) , M.Sc., B.Sc. (Aix Marseille)

My research is broadly centred on investigating the biodiversity and how anthropogenic stressors influence the biodiversity, as well as understanding how changes in the abiotic environment impact symbiotic organism’s physiology. I have taken an integrative approach combining cytology, chemistry (LC/MS, GC/MS, SIA) and genetics (metabarcoding, metagenomics) to investigate these questions.


Taneisha Barrett Contact: 

Research Assistant - Conservation Forensics
MPhil Zoology (UWI, Mona)​
BSc Biochemistry and Zoology (UWI, Mona)

Following my undergraduate I worked as a Laboratory Assistant (demonstrator) in the Departments of Biochemistry and Life Sciences at UWI, Mona. My interest for scientific research was renewed when I was introduced to the field of Forensic Entomology in 2013. I joined HKU to work as a research assistant in the Conservation Forensics Lab to support research on wildlife trade. I am currently working on a pangolin genoscape study (white- bellied pangolins) and a pangolin research and monitoring project (Chinese pangolins).

Wendy McLeod Contact:

Research Assistant
B.Sc. Biological Sciences, HKU

After graduating from HKU Wendy has been fascinated by cnidarian symbiosis with diverse Symbiodiniaceae and microbes, which she investigated in the model jellyfish Cassiopea xamachana. In addition to managing the lab's jellyfish, she now assists with various projects including giant clam metabarcoding and the MarineGEO Network. 

Haze Chung Contact: 

Research Assistant 
B.Sc. Environmental science, Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU)

Throughout my HKU environmental science degree Haze has worked in laboratories as well as for NGO's and government. organizations Learning from people with various conservation interests, ranging from illegal trade of endangered species to coral restoration. Through this work she acquired the skills to facilitate the research in the Baker’s lab and has assisted with the MarineGEO project. 

Dr. Jon Cybulski Contact:

SIRMS Post-doctoral Fellow
Ph.D. Student: Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU-SWIMS)
M.S. Environmental Sciences (American University)

I am a historical ecologist and science communicator interested in contextualizing ecosystems of the past in order to understand, conserve, and restore them for the future. I use a combination of historical research, archaeology, ecology, and biogeochemical methods in order to quantify changes in biodiversity, marine systems, and nutrient regimes through time. Through my science communication and storytelling, I hope to accomplish one main goal: humanize science and those who practice it, to foster its understanding and appreciation for all.

Dr. Phil Thompson Contact:

Senior Research Assistant
Ph.D.: Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU-SWIMS)
B.S. (Plymouth State Univ.)

My work focuses on coral restoration. In particular, I look at how different restoration methodologies impact coral survival rate, health, and ecological function. I aim to identify optimal restoration methodology in sub-tropical Hong Kong areas to increase coral reef resilience amidst a warming ocean. 

Dr. Inga Conti-Jerpe

Ph.D. Student & Post-doctoral Associate
Ph.D. (HKU), M.S. (UNCW), B.S. (Cornell)

My broad research interests center on the factors that mediate the benthic community structure of hard bottom reef communities. Specifically, I am interested in the trophic ecology of soft corals, or octocorals. During my master’s degree at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, I used controlled feeding experiments and stable isotope analysis to identify niche differentiation among three temperate Atlantic gorgonian octocorals. I also had the opportunity to participate in fieldwork diving off the coasts of North Carolina, Florida, and the Bahamas, including a 10-day saturation mission in the underwater habitat Aquarius Reef Base. For my PhD work, I am interested in continuing to look at nutrient acquisition in different species of pacific octocorals. My interests outside of research and diving include aquarium husbandry, outdoor activities (kayaking and hiking in particular), and amateur photography.

Sally Cameron-Huff

Research Assistant
B.Sc.H Geological Sciences (Queen's University)
P.Geol; AusIMM 

Sally has previously worked in mining as a professional geologist and in environmental communications. During her time at the Baker lab she has primarily been focused on assisting with the MarineGEO Network Project.

Chloe Webster contact:

Ph.D. Student: Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU)
MRes Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation (UCL)
B.Sc. Biology (Royal Holloway, University of London)​


Having a broad interest in applied conservation, ecology, and evolutionary biology, I've conducted a wide array of research, from determining the thermal tolerance of intertidal dwarf cuttlefish in Indonesia in my bachelor's at Royal Holloway University, London, to testing the impact of cod-fishing on benthic sponge and coral communities around Iceland for my Master's degree in University College London. In Hong Kong I perused my interest in marine biology using DNA barcoding techniques to identify species of shark being illegally traded into Hong Kong. I then progressed into a PhD on developing genetic techniques for questions about endangered wildlife that are of trade and conservation concern. However, I moved away from the marine environment into the aboreal and aerial, with particular focus on a critically endangered species of bird. My goal: to help figure out where the birds are being poached, what products are being bought and where, and to help create protocols to assist wildlife forensic labs with their enforcement efforts. 

Johnny Richards 

Research Assistant
B.Sc. Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (HKU)

Primarily studying conservation forensics, Johnny’s research helped to identify illegally traded wildlife while developing new tools, utilized by law enforcement and customs officials in Hong Kong,  to quickly and accurately identify trafficked wildlife. In 2020 Johnny left HKU to pursue a masters at Imperial College in London.

Dr. Taihun Kim 

Ph.D. Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU-SWIMS)
M.Sc. Marine Biology (UST, KIOST)
Taihun joined the Baker Lab after earning an MSc in Marine Biology and working as a research scientist at the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology under the Department of the Korea South Pacific Ocean Research Center (KSORC) located in Chuuk, Micronesia. They were involved in coral reef and seagrass monitoring, and coastal habitat mapping in Chuuk Lagoon. Their PhD focused on the biochemical and physiological interactions between corals and their symbionts under global change.

Leonard Pons Contact:

Research Assistant (HKU-SWIMS)
M.Sc. Marine Sciences 

My research interests focus on ecological shifts and anthropogenic impact on coastal ecosystems in the context of climate change. I mainly use biogeochemical tools (e.g. stable isotopes, lipids) to track the health and trophic regime of corals and giant clams, but I also work with remote sensing measurements (e.g. satellite ocean colour, time series analysis) to understand, at a large scale, which environmental parameters drive the most my organisms.My aim is to help both scientists and non-specialists to get a full picture of the changes that are taking place under the sea and, hopefully, to help local people to deal with them.

Dr. Vicki Sheng 

Ph.D. Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU-SWIMS)
B.A. Biology (Williams College)


Vicki is a certified DiveMaster. Educated in the US, and has traveled around Asia in a number of wild work experiences; diving with bull sharks in Thailand, training wolves, and working as a stunt double on films in Beijing. Vicki joined the lab in Fall 2015 as a Research Assistant and has now transitioned to a PhD. She aims to study biocomplexity at multiple scales; from coral skeletons to reefs to understand the relationship between complexity and biodiversity.

Dr. Jane Wong 

Ph.D.: Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU-SWIMS)
B.Sc. Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU)

An avid diver Dr. Wong’s research focused on the unique relationship on coral-algal symbiosis, and its implication on reef resilience under the threats from rapid population growth and global climate change. She has left Hong Kong to pursue post-doctoral research in Chile.


Dr. Archana Anand 

Ph.D, M.Sc. Environ. Management (HKU)
MBA, SP Jain School of Global Management
B.Eng (Hons), Biomechanics (NUS)
A 2018 National Geographic Explorer, Archana completed an M.Sc in Environmental Management at HKU and has since moved on to complete a Ph.D in nitrogen isotope analysis of sewage pollution in Hong Kong's coastal marine environment.  Follow her most recent pursuits at

Dr. Naomi Geeraert

Post-doctoral Fellow
Ph.D., M.Sc., B.Sc. (KULeuven, Belgium)
An accomplished Geographer, Naomi’s studies in soil and water management focused on working with stable isotopes to investigate the effects of nitrate input from human sources on river ecosystems in Kenya and South China. Naomi’s international expertise and knowledge of Dutch, English, French and Swahili made her an integral part of the Baker Lab. Naomi now resides in Belgium and is working as an expert in her field.

Yu-De Pei

Research Assistant, Baker Lab
BS, Life Sciences (NCKU)

Yu-De has extensive experience as a research assistant in Taiwan and Hong Kong. While working at the Baker lab he worked on restoring Platygyra and Acopora corals in Hoi Ha Wan marine park. He has since moved on to HKUST where he works as a research assistant.

Arthur Chung

Research Assistant
B.Sc. Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU)

Passionate about marine ecosystems Arthur worked to assist with the stable isotope analysis of Pacific octocorals, along with sclerite identification for Hong Kong and Myanmar octocoral samples. He has since moved on to working towards an M.Phil in molecular ecology and evolution.


Dr. Till Röthig

Post-doctoral Associate
Ph.D. (KAUST), M.S. (Bremen)

Dr. Röthig joined the Baker Lab after studying at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), and completing a PhD on coral reef resilience and response to environmental change. While at HKU his research focused on coral reef biodiversity and assessment of the impact of local salinity and oxygen gradients on the benthic habitats. Dr. Röthig now works at the University of Derby in the School of Environmental Sciences researching the complex interactions between corals and their microbiome.

Jordan Pierce 

Research Assistant
B.S. Geography/Oceanography (Texas A&M)

Interested in the applications of remote sensing and 3D modeling on underwater environments Jordan worked with us to understand the complex morphology of reef systems using remote sensing methods (photogrammetry, LiDAR). He has since returned to Texas A&M, completing a M.S and is now working as a graduate researcher. 

Yvonne Yau 

Research Assistant & MPhil Student (DES)
B.Sc. Environmental Science (HKU)

Yvonne joined the Baker lab as an undergraduate volunteer and became a summer research fellowship on coral-algal symbiosis. As a research assistant she worked closely with Dr. Geeraert on the Ocean HK project in the Pearl River Delta. After leaving the Baker Lab she went on to complete an M.Phil at HKU under Dr. Christelle Not and is now working as a Research Assistant.

Martin Wong 

M.Phil: Ecology & Biodiversity (HKU-SWIMS)
B.A. Environmental Studies (Johns Hopkins)

While working at the Baker Lab Martin assisted with research in conservation ecology and assisted with the planning and execution of field work. Martin continued his studies at HKU gaining and M.Phil in Ecology and Biodiversity. He has since gone on to work with multiple NGOs both locally and internationally, and currently works at Friends-International in Cambodia.


Dr. Nicolas Duprey

Post-doctoral Associate 
Ph.D. Paleoclimatology and Paleoceanography (UPMC)
B.S. Biology; M.Sc Ecology of Littoral Ecosystems, Université de La Rochelle
During his time at HKU Nicholas focused on understanding coral geochemistry as it relates to paleo-oceanographic records. Currently he is working as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute, in collaboration with Princeton University, to further research in the linkage between past climate variability and the Nitrogen cycle in the ocean using coral isotopic records.

Symphonia Li 

M.Sc. Environmental Management (HKU)
B.S. Environmental Studies (OUHK)

Symphonia completed his M.Sc. on the impact of water quality on coral biodiversity, he documented that some corals can grow well in Hong Kong despite poor water quality though proximity to sewage discharge is very detrimental to their heath. He also participated in public outreach on the topic of water quality and environmental health. Mr. Li has since moved on to work with the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department.

Dr. Michael Zhu​​ 

Research Assistant
Bachelors in Civil and Environmental Engineering (HKU)
PhD. Newcastle University

Mike applied his background in Civil and Environmental Engineering to several ecological and biological projects while working in the Baker Lab. He has relocated to the UK  to continue his studies at Newcastle University, completing a Ph.D. research in the Caribbean on coral reef fish community structure and function.

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