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Research Themes

Marine Biofilms & Microbiomes

As an island nation surrounded by the sea, marine science is very important to Singapore’s environmental, industrial and economic health. SCELSE integrates marine research across microbiology, ecology/ecological theory, chemistry, genomics and engineering, with inter-institutional collaboration for the nationwide programme. Research projects capitalise on Singapore’s unique urban setting and tropical marine diversity and harness the capacity available at the St John’s Island Marine Laboratory, a national infrastructure facility.

Research projects

SCELSE’s marine research focuses on ecosystem-wide effects and microbial processes. Holobiont systems (a host organism and its associated microorganisms) are studied to assign roles in imparting ecosystem resilience and microbially-mediated responses to climate change.

Marine microbiomes and biofilms are investigated for their effects on a range of marine ecosystem processes, from benthic community formation, biodegradation, and blue carbon, to corrosion of submerged structures.

Topics include:

  • Engineering coastal seawalls to enhance biodiversity
  • Adaptation and resilience of coral reefs in Singapore
  • Plastic debris: Biofilm- and microbiome-based solutions
  • Microbially-influenced corrosion in the deep ocean
  • Algal-bacterial interactions
  • Seagrass microbiomes and conservation

Experimental marine biodiversity enhancement tiles attached to an existing seawall in Singapore.