Mermaid and the Corals

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"Looking after the environment is a lifelong commitment. It applies to all of us who lives on this earth. Education and connecting people to nature are two key elements for conservation. It also helps to inspire behavioural and lifestyle changes to conserve the environment.”

Dr Apple Chui Pui Yi, WEGCA 2019 Eco Star of China Award Winner
Lecturer, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dr. Apple Chui is a marine biologist, conservationist, underwater photographer, and ocean lover. She obtained her M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Science and Biology programs from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and has been a lecturer in CUHK since 2016. Her research addresses two main questions: How will projected future climate change affect corals that are currently present in marginal coral environments like Hong Kong? And can coral chimerism be used as a tool to enhance the resilience of corals, and hence be used as one of the strategies for active coral restoration in the future? Her first successful laboratory-bred and outplanted Acropora corals in Hong Kong are now 5-years-old and are sexually mature in the wild. 

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As a lecturer, it is Apple's passion on coral and conservation research that arouse students’ interest and curiosity, so that her students not only learn intellectually but connect emotionally and take responsibility to conserve nature. 

As a committed science communicator and devoted conservationist, Apple has been actively engaged in community outreach and education activities in Hong Kong. Throughout the years, she has been invited to speak in over 50 public seminars on marine and coral conservation for various organizations, including Schools, AFCD, WWFHK, RTHK, Ocean Park Hong Kong and Hong Kong Science Museum. In 2018, Apple officially launched an outreach program “Coral Academy”, to raise students and public’s awareness and inspire action in marine conservation through various workshops. She launched the "Adopt a Baby Coral" project to engage her students in environmental stewardship.

Dr. Chui is also an amateur underwater photographer, combining her scientific background and photos, she hopes to share with people the diversity and beauty of marine life in Hong Kong waters, to raise awareness and inspire action in marine conservation. She has been selected as one of the 101 Outstanding People in Asia’s Dive Industry: Scientists by Underwater360 Magazine. Her learner-centered teaching approach has earned her the Faculty Exemplary Teaching Award 2018, Outstanding Teaching Performance for College General Education Course 2017-18 of Shaw College, Vice-Chancellor's Exemplary Teaching Award 2017 and Exemplary Teaching Award in General Education 2017. In 2019, Apple was selected as a Pew Marine Fellow, one of the eight awardees per year from around the world.

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“A lot of time, the real question is not about whether we can or cannot save the environment, but whether we choose to do so. Don't just follow your dreams,
go chase it”