News & Events
St. John’s Island National Marine Lab Launches Anew
24 May 2020


SCELSE A/Prof Janelle Thompson having an animated chat with ASE Asst Prof Adriana
Lopes Dos Santos (left), Mr Kikuzawa Yuichi Preslie from Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI),
and Dr Savita Sharma from Science Centre Singapore (Photos: SCELSE)


The news has been out for a while but after nearly a year of renovation and building works, St. John’s Island National Marine Laboratory (SJINML) had a soft launch of its new research facilities at the end of 2019.

Coinciding with its third anniversary celebration, the soft launch also included the SJINML Annual Stakeholders Meeting where new programmes and a few ongoing research projects were shared with guests and visitors, including Guest of Honour and CE of National Research Foundation, Professor Low Teck Seng.




SJINML facility director Dr Serena Teo leading the stakeholders,

including NRF CE Prof Low Teck Seng on a tour of the newly revamped facilities



SCELSE research fellows Dr Cheng Dan and Dr Mats Leifels
happy to take in a day of sun, sea and research outside of the labs.



The additional research capacities include a new confocal microscopy facility, microbial ecology labs, a Biosafety Level 1 and Level 2 aquaria as well as new plankton and water quality analytical instruments.


Visitor at the Controlled Environment Aquarium



Prof. Staffan Kjelleberg and Mr Richard Lim, Chairman of SJINML Governing Board,
checking out the new confocal microscope at SJINML


Visitors from SCELSE on this very special day included centre director Prof Staffan Kjelleberg, A/Prof Janelle Thompson, research fellows Dr Cheng Dan and Dr Mats Leifels, and PhD student Woo Yissue. SCELSE researchers at SJINML such as Dr Maria Yung, Dr Lindsey Deignan, Dr Chan Siew Herng, Dr Stephen Summers and research associate Elton Lim had the opportunity to present their research to visitors from industry, research and other agencies.




SCELSE’s Dr Chan Siew Herng presenting his flumes project to Prof. Low Teck Seng.

His project looks at the fate and transport of model microoganisms related to aquaculture in marine biofilms.




Claps abound for the presentation of research projects at St John’s, including that on geology
of Lazarus Island, floral surveys and other ongoing studies of the Southern Islands


“The whole development of SJINML has been very thorough and it has proven to be a real success story. What we have here today is no less than a world-class marine research station,” Prof Staffan Kjelleberg says, citing the new biosafety aquaria that will allow for more marine science experiments on infectious systems and resilience. 

“This is a very important step forward, given the increasing impact of climate change on our world and our marine ecosystem. Increasingly, more countries such as Australia and others in Southeast Asia are talking to Singapore to engage in marine science projects. To have this national infrastructure facility attached to a funded national science programme is extraordinary and important, and we want to be closely aligned with this development,” Prof Kjelleberg sums up.

For more updates, follow St John’s Island National Marine Laboratory on Facebook @ stjohnsislandmarinelab!