Lab Members

Mathew Seymour 

Professor (Assistant)

I am a Molecular/eDNA ecologist specialized in generating and analyzing large datasets to assess the effects of environmental, temporal and spatial influences on biological communities, with direct implications to ecosystem stability, health and function.  Originally from the USA I obtained my BA at the University of Wyoming, my Msc at Holar University in Iceland and my PhD at ETH in Switzerland. I have worked in government and academic research institutions in the USA, UK and Sweden before joining The University of Hong Kong.  I started the eDNA and eEcology lab at The University of Hong Kong's School of Biological Sciences in 2022 to advance our understanding and use of eDNA for assessing ecological systems. My group overall specializes in developing and applying molecular based methods to assess trophic and biodiversity dynamics.  

Han Wu

PhD; Post-doctoral Fellow

Born in Henan Province, I got my BA at the Nantong University in Nantong, my MSc at Jinan University in Guangzhou, and PhD at NIGLAS in Nanjing. My research interests mainly focus on non-biting midges (Chironomidae), including integrative taxonomy, phylogeny, and their application in ecology. Now, I am working to figure out the biodiversity of chironomids in Hong Kong and explore their spatiotemporal patterns and response to environmental change using morphological taxonomy, DNA barcoding, and metabarcoding techniques.  


Taneisha Barrett 

PhD candidate

My PhD will focus on ticks, an organisms that pose major risks to humans and animals, yet are not well studied, especially in Asia. Since ticks are known to be associated with wildlife, for one aspect of my research, I’ll be utilizing morphological and molecular tools to determine community assemblage and hence general diversity of ticks obtained from seized wildlife products. The results are highly relevent for conservation and for furthering our understanding of ecosystem health. Additionally, I am aiming to incorporate abiotic and biotic factors to determine the distribution of ticks in HK and ultimately establish a method for rapid detection and monitoring of ticks using environmental DNA in order to reduce the risk of zoonotic outbreaks.

Baian Lin 

PhD Candidate

Baian's PhD focues on understanding the diversity, evolution, biogeography and conservation of Croaker and Drum species (Perciformes: Sciaenidae). With an extensive background in fisheries (ResearchGate) his research project will expand into the realms of genomics and eDNA to improve our understanding of key fisheries within Hong Kong and their links to global community  structure.

Qian Cheng Luke

PhD Candidate

I am a self-motivated ecology-enthusiast who is interested in the ecosystem stability, dynamics, and global climate change. I obtained my BSc from the Dalhousie University in Canada and my MPhil from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. I have gained valuable experience working with phytoplankton, zooplankton, and fish during my previous studies. My PhD focuses on finding a marriage between molecular approaches and statistical modeling to advance ecological theory and contribute to conservation efforts.

Scholar Profile

Chan Tsz Ying Elaine 

MPhil Candidate

Being born and raised in Hong Kong, I am always fascinated by the great biodiversity, particularly insects. I obtained my BSc in Biological Sciences at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Currently, I am pursuing an MPhil degree also at HKU. My research focuses on the assessment of the largest freshwater insect family (Diptera: Chironomidae) and their link with stream conservation in Hong Kong. To assess the Chironomidae biodiversity, I will combine traditional trapping methods and novel eDNA-based sampling methods. With the utilization of eDNA, we can understand the diversity and change in distribution (spatially and temporally) efficiently, helping us to overcome the challenges of studying Chironomidae. In my free time, I like cooking, hiking and reading. Besides scientific research, I am also keen on teaching and public outreach. Contact "" for more information.

Yan Kwan Wong

Research Assistant

Yan previously obtained her Bachelor degree in Biology from Chinese University of Hong Kong. She now plays an integral role in several projects in the lab, including tick and freshwater macroinvertebrate biodiveristy assessments.   

Leung Ka Thomas Tung 

Research Assistant

Thomas has an extensive background in Hong Kong fisheries and is assisting across multiple projects involving field sampling, morphological identification and DNA barcoding and database generation

Si Vivy Zhewei

Research Assistant

Previously FYP student working on eDNA accumulation and degradation dynamics. Vivy is a recent graduate of HKU and manages the eDNA lab while also co-coordinating a research project on eDNA dynamics stemming and expanding from her FYP efforts.

Cheuk Hin Ryan Cheng 

Student Research Assistant

I am currently a year 1 student studying in ecology and biology field. Influenced by my father, I was obsessed with different animals and landscape around Hong Kong. By discovering wetlands, woodlands, rocky shores and freshwater environments, I have built my interest in ecology since I was a kid. During secondary education, I have learnt different photography techniques to utilise my interest in biology. 

I am interested in observing different biodiversity by field work, and hence acknowledge different ecology questions by experiments in lab. My current work is to collect, sort and identifying the largest freshwater insect family, Chironomidae, in different freshwater habitats in Hong Kong. In my free time, I love taking photos, hiking, taking care of different animals and cooking.

Lab Alumni

Ka Lam Karen Yeung

Research Assistant

I graduated from HKU studying ecology and had developed a keen interest in genetics during my undergraduate years. I am interested in using the molecular approach to answer ecological questions, and hence I hope to explore it’s use in understanding evolutionary processes and biodiversity conservation. My current work is to assess the application of eDNA for Hong Kong marine and fresh water conservation and environmental monitoring.

I’m fond of literature, history, nature, and all related topics. So when I’m not working, you would find me watching and reading about movies and anime, and traveling.