April 22, 2021, by Susan Lim

Earth Day spotlight: Chen Hui Ling

Chen Hui Ling,  a second year PhD student from the School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, was featured by the British High Commission in Malaysia on Women’s Day (8 March) for her research on microplastics in Malaysian rivers.

As an environmentalist and an ardent advocate of the 3Rs (Reduce, Re-use, Recycle), Hui Ling intends to bring about more awareness, primarily among the general public, of the harmful effects of microplastics on the environment and how environmental issues like these are often neglected. Microplastics are small fragments of plastic which are present in nature and come from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing and industrial processes.

Her research is focused on the effects microplastics have in freshwater ecosystems specifically in Malaysia. She also aims to investigate the sources of microplastics. She hopes that her research also helps shape policies in Malaysia to minimise the impact of plastic on the environment.

Hui Ling says she is grateful to have chosen UNM to pursue her research as it has given her several opportunities to give webinars and talks to the general public about her work. In addition, she is also grateful to her supervisors and colleagues who have guided her and supported her in her research endeavours.

For aspiring researchers, Hui Ling has the following advice:

“Doing research is not easy, but if you have a passion for it, then go for it. It is a good experience. Most importantly, know your goals, keep them in mind and always remind yourself why you chose to do what you’re doing.”

Earth Day is an annual event held on 22 April to show support for environmental protection. The theme of Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth” and aims to raise awareness on the impending disasters of climate change and destruction of the environment and the methods we can take to prevent this.

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