Dr. Apple Chui

Research Assistant Professor

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 research assistant professor in CUHK since 2021. 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. In 2019, Apple was selected as a Pew Marine Fellow, one of the eight awardees per year from around the world. More scholarships and conference presentation awards she has received including the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowships in 2013 and 2014, the best oral presentation in the 4th Cross Strait Workshop on Coral Reef Biology and Marine Protected Area in 2011, the best student presentation award (first prize) at the 3rd Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium in 2014, the Professor John Gray Memorial Award for the Best Student Oral Presentation in the 8th International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology in 2016, and the best poster award in the Croucher Advanced Study Institute: Impacts of Eutrophication, Pollution and Harmful Benthic Microalgae Blooms on Coastal Coral Reef Ecosystems in 2017.

As a teacher, 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. Her learner-centered teaching approach has earned her the University Education Award 2020, the finalist of the UGC Teaching Award 2020 (Early Career Faculty Members), 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.

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 has been selected as one of the 101 Outstanding People in Asia’s Dive Industry: Scientists by Underwater360 Magazine and is a recipient of the GGEF Women Eco Game Changer Awards - Eco star of China in 2019. 

Research interests:
1. Reproductive and larval ecology of corals
2. Coral recruitment dynamics
3. Reef restoration using sexually reared corals


Google scholar citations:

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Iris Lai

Research Assistant

Hello everyone! I’m Iris. I was an Environmental Science student from the CUHK and currently the research assistant of Dr. Apple Chui. As a nature lover, I hope to seek out ways to conserve the wildlife. Although coral restoration is sometimes a tough job, seeing the corals growing better and healthier pays off! My wishes for the future are 1. richer biodiversity in HK waters; and 2. higher awareness for environmental conservation in the general public! Are you ready to make my wishes come true? Let’s explore the mesmerizing underwater together!


Christy Kong


Hi guys! I am Christy. I am a year 4 Environmental Science student from the CUHK, apart from this, I am also an FYP student of Dr. Apple Chui. Ever since I was small, the more I observed nature, the more attracted I was to the nature by its beauty and harmony in maintaining a delicate balance. The ocean is not only my playground, it is also a spiritual sanctuary where I feel the calmest. Coral restoration is a challenging but exciting and meaningful work to me. The bustling coral communities are precious marine treasures of Hong Kong. I wish everyone would discover some meaningful values of the ocean to them like I do!

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Elvis Wong


I am Elvis, a year 4 Biology student from the CUHK who is also an FYP student under Dr. Chui.  As a member of the Coral Academy, not only I want to revive the marine environment by coral restoration, I also wish that I can influence others to protect and value our beautiful ocean in Hong Kong.  For me, our sea and coral communities are always full of surprises, every time I go underwater and visit the outplanted corals, it’s like digging treasures, I can always find different kind of creatures and encounters.  If you are also interested, don’t hesitate to take your first step to get to know more about the ocean, you may find yourself addicted to it as much as I do!

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Daniel Mak

Research Assistant

Daniel Mak is a marine toxicologist, policy advocate, and ocean enthusiast. He acquired his M.Phil degrees in Environmental Science programs from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and currently work in AFCD as a fishery management officer. His research focuses on three main perspectives: i) What are the spatial and temporal patterns of microplastics in the aquatic environment?; ii )How microplastics interact with marine organisms (eg., coral, fish, and oyster)?; iii) Can policy instruments (eg., Microbead Ban, Single used plastic Ban) to be used as a mandatory system to change public ’norm’ in plastic consumption?

To be a sincere marine toxicologist, Daniel has actively involved in research and education programs. He has published several international peer-review journals about microplastic pollution in Hong Kong, the identification of microplastic pollution sources, and the toxicity effects of microplastics on marine organisms. Besides, He has been invited to present his research results about microplastic and marine debris problems through different public broadcasting, comprising RTHK (Hong Kong Collection) and WWF.

To be an inspiring policy advocate, he has started to communicate with different stakeholders in the participation of the plastic waste reduction program to allow the public to have a good recycling habitat.

As the old saying goes, ’policy marker didn’t know science, scientists didn’t understand policy.’ His wish is to become a ”bridging” person among policy and science, further enhancing and protecting Hong Kong biodiversity through effective implementation of environmental legislation.