Wong King Wai Kelvin (M. phil) 

How I got here: 

After my UG degree from City University of Hong Kong with chemistry and ecology major, I joined as a first MPhil student   of Rajan’s brand new lab at HKU.  

 

What I did for my MPhil?

First, I started walking around with Rajan to several shore areas of Hong Kong to collect barnacles, tubeworms and oysters for experiments and also started learning about ocean acidification (OA) along with my colleagues (especially Ackley). At the same time, I worked with Rajan, day and night, to learn 2D gel-based proteomics at SWIMS. Then I decided to look at the effect of OA on barnacle larval development and the underlying mechanism at proteomics level. I did it.  

 

What I am doing now?

Working as “technical officer” at HKU’s Genome and proteomics Centre for the past several years. 

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

Kelvin walked to my empty lab even before I moved into HKU – he dedicated his entire time for setting up our proteomics lab at SWIMS and he was successful in that mission. Thanks Kelvin – you will be remembered forever for such a valuable contribution. I do not know, how many 2D gels you have run in 2 years, but I am sure, no one else in the world could have run that many gels in the same period – You lived 24x7 in the lab for our success. Pleased that, in the end all your hard work paid off and you are successful in your carrier.

 

Contact: kwong.cpos@hku.hk 

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Vera BS Chan
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Vera BS Chan (PhD)

How I got here: 

After my UG degree at HKU with 1st class honours in Biochemistry and Ecology double-major, I joined as a first PhD student of the newly established Rajan’s lab.   

 

What I did for my PhD?

Studied the impacts of ocean acidification and climate change stressors on the tubeworms, Hydroides elegans. My research focused on the tube, i.e. the end product of biomineralization. Biomineralization is my research identity. I defended my PhD thesis in 2013 and Published 8 Papers. Received “Excellent Teaching Assistant Award” 2012/2013.   

 

What I am doing now?

Did 1st Post doc at HKU with Rajan, 2nd Postdoc at Clemson University and just completed 3rd Postdoc at Ifremer in France. This year 2020, I am looking to work in a non-academic science job. In my spare time, I have built a YouTube channel PhDCoffee to help PhD studies to become more productive and less stressed.

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

Vera – You told us what is biomineralization and quite quickly inspired us to develop it as one of our lab’s primary research areas. You identified, convinced and brought several collaborators from various parts of the world to work with us in this fascinating field of biomineralization. Your mentorship and leadership skills and your ability to keep your research collaborators happy are outstanding and exemplary. Vera –it may not have been possible for me to build our interdisciplinary research team without your highly talented and dedicated contribution from all angles. I strongly hope to see you as one of the brilliant scientists.

 

Contact: verabschan@gmail.com

dinesh ram (phd) 

How I got here: 

After my Master degree in biotechnology from India, I came to Rajan’s newly established lab to start my PhD using his RGC funded project on oyster proteomics. 

 

What I did for PhD?

Learned proteomics from many of the lab collaborators (from Ivan Chu of HKU, Pei Yuan Qian of HKUST, and  Timothy Ravsai of KAUST) and also oyster cultivation (from Ziniu Yu of CAS, China) – with Rajan and all his lab members, I played with oyster larvae and traced their metabolic pathways that helped them to adapt to ocean acidification stress. Successfully defended my PhD thesis with 4 publications including my research life changing paper in Global Change Biology.    

 

What I am doing now?

Scientist in one of the India’s leading marine science research centre, National Institute of Oceanography (Goa, India)

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

Dinesh – your contribution to our lab is immense, especially the way you have used your personal friendship with Kelvin, Ackley, Vera and Ginger for the success of our lab. Also, your work in mainland China with your several Chinese friends (especially Dr Xiao) without language and without bothering about the relatively poor living condition in the hatchery over there (in Zhanjiang) is all outstanding and I am sure you will have those experience with you forever. In the end, your KEY papers in prestigious journals like Global Change Biology and Proteomics have lifted our lab to next level. Thanks a lot Dinesh. 

Contact: dinbiot@gmail.com

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Ackley Lane (PhD)

How I got here: 

One of my UG teachers from Oregon, Craig Young, has introduced me to Rajan and thus I came to know about HK and HKU. Finally, spent most of my active life time in Hong Kong and somehow adapted to this Asian culture.  

 

What I did for my PhD?

I came here with larval biology and marine ecology background, I stick to this field until I graduated. In the  beginning, I played a lot with barnacle and tubeworm larvae with Rajan and we both have had great time in looking at effect of ocean acidification on their development. In latter part of my thesis study, I focused on multiple generation and adaptation capacity of tubeworms.   

 

What I am doing now?

Teaching biology, ecology and marine science   

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

 

Ackley – is a special character in almost all aspects. Myself and our lab members have thoroughly enjoyed working with you – your innovative thinking skills, your strong interest in setting up new experimental systems, your very different way of writing scientific manuscripts, and your super cool character – which all will be remembered forever.  I also hope you will not forgot about your first manuscript (in JEMBE), which was in the editor office for almost an year and then you left your barnacle work due to that delay in review process and moved to tubeworms – that is turning point. Ackley – your wonderful larval images will be with us forever – I am using them all for our teaching. Most importantly, my dance (in lady dress) with you in one of our schools Christmas party – is truly unforgettable. Keep enjoying your life in this part of the world Ackley.  

Contact: ackleylane@gmail.com

Ko Wai Kuen Ginger (PhD) 

How I got here: 

Rajan was my teacher for one of UG courses, conservation ecology and then subsequently I joined his lab as UG Final Year Project student. From there, I continued my research carrier in his oyster lab – I spent almost 7 to 8 years in the oyster lab.  

 

What I did for PhD?

I started looking at the effect of ocean acidification and hypoxia on oyster larval proteome using 2D gel during my UG final year project – but somehow I was so interested in oyster aquaculture and knowledge transfer, rather than digging into molecular aspects. Rajan’s lab allowed me to flourish in my area of interests while I have become PhD scholar with 5 publications including my land mark paper in Environmental Science and Technology.  I have also received the Brian Morton Postgraduate Prize in Marine Biology for my PhD thesis.  

 

What I am doing now?

After my brief experience in working with Hong Kong oyster company and Nature Conservancy of Hong Kong, I have started my own company for oyster aquaculture and environmental education in Hong Kong. 

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

Ginger – you have stayed with us since your UG degree and have become part of our lab even now – that shows how far you have integrated with our lab. You will be highly remembered for 1) linking our lab with local oyster growers, 2) developing various knowledge exchange projects for our lab, 3) made our lab’s oyster work visible through several local news papers. I hope with these training in both oyster research and KE projects, you have become an science entrepreneur and started your own NGO company to promote oyster aquaculture in the region – wish you all the Ginger.  

Contact: waikuenko@gmail.com

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Joy Mukherjee (Post Doc)

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How I got here: 

I came from strong bioinformatics and proteomics background from University of Sheffield, UK.   

What I did during my Post doc?

It was so interesting to see larvae for the first time in my life and I never thought that I will be setting up ocean acidification experiments and play with marine invertebrate larvae that hard for almost couple of years in Rajan’s lab. Finally, I got an opportunity to study tubeworm larval proteome response to ocean acidification and hypoxia using both gel and non-gel based  proteomics approaches. Pleased to have couple of good papers during my tenure. 

 

What I am doing now?

Scientist at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The University of Sheffield, UK.  

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

 

Hi Joy, sorry that we forced you to play with larvae of tubeworms – they are so cute – right. I always remember you working so hard with those larvae and while you have had tough time while marinating hypoxic condition along with low pH – Yes it is tough learning for a bioinformatics guy. But you made through and in the end able to enjoy the work. We applied for a HKU’s prestigious post fellowship for you and we got it – but somehow you wanted to go back to UK. Your nice collaborative work and your training to our graduate students like Dinesh and Ackley are highly memorable forever – Sai hi to your wife and daughter – I remember them well.

 

Contact: joymukherjee1@hotmail.com  

Khan (Research Assistant)   

How I got here: 

After my UG course on Oyster aquaculture (taught by Rajan) at HKU, I immediately decided to continue my research work in oyster aquaculture and thus ended up in Rajan’s oyster lab. 

 

What I did doing my tenure?

 

I have started my oyster research work through my Final Year Project during my UG degree in Ecology and biodiversity  – where I did work on the effect of ocean acidification on oyster metabolites. I did run GCMS. After FYP work, I started my carrier as research assistant with ambition of publishing couple of papers to qualify for PhD at HKU. Almost over an year, I worked on OA effects on oyster larvae of various oyster species – learned hatchery technology and also learned how to setup and do research work at very remote hatchery places such as Liuzhou and Zhanjiang – Great research journey.   

 

What I am doing now?

During my tenure, I had an opportunity to attend a oyster epigenetics workshop organized by Rajan – where I met Dr JD and then got interested to look at oyster adaptation through genetics and so moved into the newly established JD’s lab as research assistant. After few months, I moved into a new place, Dr Bayden’s lab and where I got an opportunity to continue my research as MPhil student in September 2020.   

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

Khan – you are amazing and what a great researcher. You devoted your young life for research – something hard to see these days. I had thoroughly enjoyed working with you and traveling with you in several remote places in China – especially our walk through a “Chinese sand based cemetery” in late afternoon in one of the villages in Liuzhou is unforgettable experience Khan. Your contribution to our lab is immense and timely. You came to us as God’s gift especially when we were struggling with oyster larval culture at bigger scale under OA – You took that challenging job and did in style – remarkable achievement. Also, the way you have trained and passed all your research knowledge and skills to James before you leave us – is a great character. Anyway, you are still working in our communal lab and always pleased to see you around – wish you all the best with your graduate studies and keep going Khan.  

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Upadhyay Abhishek (MPhil)

How I got here: 

I came to the lab with bioinformatics background from Indian Institute of Science and as internship trainee. After the training, I registered for MPhil degree.  

 

What I did for my MPhil?

I started learning cultivation of oyster larvae under ocean acidification with Ginger and then took their shell samples for proteomics analysis.  

 

What I am doing now?

My research experience in Hong Kong lead me to find a PhD in Germany to continue my studies in own field expertise, bioinformatics.  

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

 

You are an interesting guy – After your arrival, you gave very impressive presentation in our lab and then also in the school. Surprised everyone, especially me, with your outstanding presentation skill. Then, he started learning oyster cultivation with Ginger and also proteomics from Dinesh – somehow seems he could not adapt to our lab culture and work. But, he is smart enough to complete his degree. I am pleased that he is continuing his research in  Germany – Wish you all the best Abhishek.  

Meng Yuan (PhD)   

How I got here: 

Being a mechanical engineer from HKU, I first approached Kelvin Yeung at medical faculty for PhD – surprisingly he recommended me to Rajan’s lab since he had a collaborative project on that time. Then, I met Vera and Roy at Rajan’s lab and both of them triggered me to continue my PhD here.  

 

What I did for PhD?

First, I started learning oyster shell structure and mechanical analysis from Vera and Roy, then I started working in a mechanical engineering lab of Haimin Yau of Polytechnic University to learn shell mechanical tests and modeling. Then, I got an opportunity (HKU_Scotland Fellowship) to work with Maggie Cusack and Susan Fitzer of University of Glasgow on oyster shell analysis using EBSD. With all these knowledge and data, I completed my PhD. Immediately started publishing my PhD work – pleased to have 4 high quality publications from my PhD work. Then, I learned an art of grant proposal writing from Rajan – Yes, got our prestigious RGC-GRF grant to work on crystal orientation rotating proteins and also have hand an opportunity work with local oyster growers and government officers to secure over 10 million HKD grant for Rajan’s lab through SFDF and Lee Kum Kee grants.  

 

What I am doing now?

Time for me to enjoy with my family, so back to Guangzhou to continue my post doc in a medical department. However, I am still linked with Rajan’s lab through various collaborative projects.  

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

 

Yuan – you are outstanding. Without you, it may not have been possible for our lab to keep going with our biomineralization work with all our brilliant collaborators in this area (like Maggie, Susan, Kaimin and Haimin), and you also brought new collaborators to our group (Maria and Miki) – Thanks a lot Yuan. You also helped our lab to keep going with good publications, especially when we were starving for publications. Keep enjoying with your family Yuan – you are so close to  Hong Kong – just 45 min away by high speed train.

 

Contact: yuanmeng.connect@gmail.com     

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Camilla Campanati (PhD

How I got here: 

After my MSc Applied Marine Science degree from University of Plymouth (UK) I came to Rajan’s lab as Research Assistant. After almost an year, I have decided to continue research towards my PhD degree.  

 

What I did for PhD?

Initially I was interested to look a the effect of climate change on invasive species but subsequently my interest changed to ocean acidification (OA) effects on intertidal habitats – ultimately, I ended up in looking at the effect of OA  in predator and pray interaction.  

 

What I am doing now?

Immediately after my graduation, I got a post doc in one of the world famous and most prestigious institutions, at Oxford, to continue my studies in molluscs.   

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

 

Hi Camilla – Like Ackley, you have very quickly adapted to Hong Kong culture and attached with our lab family. Sorry, somehow I did not know much about invasive species to encouraged you to do PhD in that topic, I assume that is your most favourite topic. After almost 6 months, we seems have convinced you to look at OA. You rightly accepted it and started playing with barnacles and then tubeworms to figure out that those two species are not listening to your instructions – though you were able to publish your first paper in barnacles. Anyway, finally, you selected rock oysters and snail larvae to look at their interaction under OA. Camilla – I always remember your extreme hard work despite of your health issues. I will always remember our 24h (non sleep)  work on OA effect on embryo development in tubeworms at SWIMS and your key role for our successful 2nd ISOACC. Well done.  

Contact: camilla.campanati@gmail.com

Li Chaoyi Roy (PhD)   

How I got here: 

I am introduced to Rajan by my UG teacher, Kaimin from Civil engineering department of HKU. I graduated from HKU with first class honours and subsequently got HKU’s most prestigious University Post Graduate Fellowship (UPF) to do PhD in Rajan’s lab.  

 

What I did for PhD?

I am civil engineer by UG training and thought of learning biomineral structure to get new ideas to build much stronger biomaterials for construction industry. That is why I joined Rajan’s lab. But somehow, I ended up learning the impact of ocean acidification on mineral structures built by a tiny tubeworm.  I still able to use my engineering skills and tools, such as nanoindentation, FTIR, Final Element modeling analysis  and so on. I enjoyed publish some very good papers in journals like biofouling; Environmental science and Technology.  

 

What I am doing now?

After my PhD I started my job in Shenzhen (my native place), China as environmental engineer in one of the big international company.

 

My contribution to the Lab: Rajan’s view

 

Roy - a very smart engineer in our lab. Seems it took almost couple of years for you to understand what is larvae and biomineralization. But towards the end of your PhD you rocked it and developed several innovative ideas to finish off your PhD thesis in style. Your introduction of Haimin Yau from Poly (mechanical engineer) has added big weightage to our interdisciplinarity work – we together got 3 GRF grants and also we are still continuing our collaboration with his lab – Thanks Roy for brining such a highly productive collaboration to our lab . Hi Roy, somehow I lost your contact – but pleased to know that you have been enjoying your work as an environmental engineer in one of the big construction company in Shenzhen – keep enjoying Roy. 

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