Professor Apple Chui
Research Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Apple Chui (aka "coral mum") is a PEW marine fellow, National Geographic Explorer, and a recipient of the GGEF Women Eco Game Changer Awards - Eco Star of China 2019. She obtained her M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Science and Biology programs from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). She has been with the School of Life Sciences at CUHK as a lecturer for 5 years before becoming a research assistant professor in 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 we enhance coral population resilience and restore degraded coral habitats at ecologically meaningful scales? As a teacher, it is Apple’s passion for coral and conservation research that arouses students’ interest and curiosity, so that her students not only learn intellectually but, connect emotionally and take responsibility to conserve nature. Her learner-centred teaching approach has earned her the University Education Award 2020, Faculty Exemplary Teaching Award 2018, 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 public outreach and education activities on marine and coral conservation in Hong Kong. She has been invited to speak in over 100 public seminars on marine and coral conservation for various local organizations, including schools, government sectors, science museum, and NGOs. In 2019, Apple officially founded the now well-established education outreach programme “Coral Academy” in Hong Kong (www.coralacademy.hk) that aims to raise public and students' awareness and inspire action in coral conservation. Through her extensive education and outreach engagements over the past 4 years, her team has reached at least 30 local secondary schools and over 20,000 students and teachers.