Randolph QUEK

PhD Candidate
Department of Biological Sciences
Jan 2017 – present

Email: randolphquek63(AT)gmail.com; randolphquek(AT)u.nus.edu

Research Interests

Coral phylogeny, phylogenomics


I have always been interested in animals and ecology as a whole, since I was young. I was particularly interested in marine biology, and used to have a book about marine animals. When I first entered NUS, I was still pretty open to options, but I knew I wanted to do marine biology sometime in the future. I first ended up working on plants when I was an undergraduate student (forest ecology and autecology of Caryota mitis). On graduation, I worked on environmental water microbiology and plant-microbe interactions as a research assistant in order to broaden my perspective and learn more about environmental biology in general. Now, I am back to my childhood passion in marine biology.

Current Project(s)

Phylogeny of corals in Singapore
Phylogenetics is an important field as it provides invaluable insight into the evolution of traits and genes in extant organisms today. The traits that an organism has is shaped by the environment in which it lives in. In Singapore, our coastal waters are subjected to constant environmental stress such as high levels of sedimentation and therefore poor light penetration into the water column. This in turn affects the growth and sustainability of our reefs in Singapore. Curiously, we still have a thriving reef and it is likely due to certain traits the species found in Singapore possess. By looking at phylogeny, we can understand how do the coral species in Singapore adapt to the stresses they face, and how they are related to each other in an evolutionary manner.

Academic and Employment History

Bachelor of Science (2nd Class Honours) in Life Sciences (Biology), National University of Singapore: 2011 – 2015
Research Assistant, National University of Singapore, Metabolites Biology Lab (MBL): 2015 – 2016