Chee Su Yin


Senior Lecturer

B.Sc. (Aquatic Resource Science & Management), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

M.Sc. (Molecular Biology), Universiti Sains Malaysia

Ph.D. (Mangrove Ecology), Universiti Sains Malaysia

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Coastal Conservation

Research Profile

My research interests are in Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and Integrated Green-grey Infrastructure (IGGI) for the marine environment. My work includes transdisciplinary domains of ecology, engineering, arts, IoT, and social sciences, to find balance between development and conservation. Currently, my team and I are focused on developing novel ecological engineering techniques for habitat enhancement and conservation of biodiversity in the marine built environment. We are also looking for opportunities to collaborate and carry out Nature-based Solutions efforts in Malaysia. Besides that, we also carry out studies on marine debris accumulation in mangroves and how pollution affects the ecosystem's functions and services.


Current Research

  1. Developing eco-friendly building material with reduce carbon footprint for application in integrated greening-of-grey infrastructure (IGGI).
  2. Nature-based solutions (NbS) for marine and coastal environments.
  3. Marine debris accumulation in mangroves and effects on ecosystems functions and services.


Selected Publications

Journal Publications 

  • Chee S.Y., et al. (2021). Enhancing Uptake of Nature-Based Solutions for Informing Coastal Sustainable Development Policy and Planning: A Malaysia Case Study. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 625.
  • Chee S.Y., et al. (2021). Habitat complexity affects the structure but not the diversity of sessile communities on tropical coastal infrastructure. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 1-48.
  • Stiepani, J., Gillis, L. G., Chee, S. Y., Pfeiffer, M., & Nordhaus, I. (2021). Impacts of urbanization on mangrove forests and brachyuran crabs in Penang, Malaysia. Regional Environmental Change, 21(3), 1-13.
  • Strain, E.M., Steinberg, P.D., Vozzo, M., Johnston, E.L., Abbiati, M., Aguilera, M.A., Airoldi, L., Aguirre, J.D., Ashton, G., Bernardi, M. and Brooks, P., Chee, S.Y. 2021. A global analysis of complexity–biodiversity relationships on marine artificial structures. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 30(1), pp.140-153.
  • Chee, S.Y., Wee, J.L.S., Wong, C., Yee, J.C., Yusup, Y. and Mujahid, A. (2020). Drill-Cored Artificial Rock Pools Can Promote Biodiversity and Enhance Community Structure on Coastal Rock Revetments at Reclaimed Coastlines of Penang, Malaysia. Tropical Conservation Science, 13, p.1940082920951912.
  • Chee, S.Y., Yee, J.C., Carey, D., Yusup, Y. and Gallagher, J.B. (2020). Anthropogenic marine debris and its dynamics across peri-urban and urban mangroves on Penang Island, Malaysia. Journal of Sustainability Science and Management, 15(6): 36-60.
  • Firth, L.B., Airoldi, L., Bulleri, F., Challinor, S., Chee, S.Y., Evans, A.J., Hanley, M.E., Knights, A.M., O'Shaughnessy, K., Thompson, R.C. and Hawkins, S.J. (2020). Greening of grey infrastructure should not be used as a Trojan horse to facilitate coastal development. Journal of Applied Ecology.
  • Yusup, Y., Ramli, N.K., Kayode, J.S., Chee, S.Y., Hisham, S., Mohamad Isa, H. and Ahmad, M.I., 2020. Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Electricity Production Due to Lockdown. Sustainability, 12(22), p.9397.
  • Strain, E.M.A., Alexander, K.A., Kienker, S., Morris, R., Jarvis, R., Coleman, R., Bollard, B., Firth, L.B., Knights, A.M., Grabowski, J.H. and Airoldi, L., Chee, S.Y., (2019). Urban blue: A global analysis of the factors shaping people's perceptions of the marine environment and ecological engineering in harbours. Science of The Total Environment, 658, pp.1293-1305.2019.
  • Chee S.Y., Abdul G.O., Sim Y.K., Amni N.M.A. and Firth, L.B. (2017) Land reclamation and artificial islands: walking the tightrope between development and conservation. Global Ecology and Conservation, 12, pp.80-95
  • Bishop M.J., Mayer-Pinto M., Airoldi L., Firth L.B., Morris R.L., Loke L.H.L., Hawkins S.J., Naylor L.A., Coleman R.A., Chee S.Y. and Dafforn K.A. (2017). Effects of ocean sprawl on ecological connectivity: Impacts and solutions. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 492, 7-30.
  • Chee S.Y. & Sim Y.K. (2016) Effects of land reclamation on species diversity, evenness and richness of macroinvertebrates along the coasts of Penang. Tropical Life Sciences Research, 27(supp1): 39–44.
  • Chee S.Y. & Siti Azizah M.N. (2014). DNA barcoding reveals neritid diversity (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in Malaysian waters. MtDNA. DOI: 0.3109/19401736.2014.987237
  • Fukumori H., Chee S.Y. & Kano Y. (2013). Drilling predation on neritid egg capsules by the muricid snail Reisha clavigera. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 79(2): 139-146.
  • Chee S.Y., Siti Azizah M.N. & Devakie M.N. (2008). Phylogenetic study and barcoding of the blood cockle, Tegillarca granosa, found in the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia based on the COI gene. Journal of Genetics and Molecular Research, 10(2): 1237-1244.
  • Chee S.Y., Siti Azizah M.N. & Devakie M.N. (2008). Utilization of molecular markers for the conservation of blood cockles, Anadara granosa. Journal of Genetics and Molecular Research, 10(2):1245-1261.


  • Firth, L.B. and Chee, S.Y. (2017) Eco-engineering of artificial coastal structures to enhance biodiversity: An illustrated guide. Penerbit USM (Universiti Sains Malaysia). ISBN: 978-967-394-298-5

Magazine Articles

Mass Media


  • Chee S.Y. 2021. Nature-based solutions in marine and coastal environments of Malaysia: Past efforts, lessons learned, and way forward. International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) 2021 The future is now: Sustaining biodiversity for today and tomorrow,13-17/12/2021, Online.
  • Chee, S.Y. 2021. Greening the Grey: Designing Space for Nature on Artificial Shorelines in Penang. 18-22/8/2021, 57th IFLA World Congress & World Landscape Architecture Summit, Online.
  • Chee, S.Y., Yee, J.C., Cheah, C.B. 2020. Promoting biodiversity in the marine built environment through Malaysia’s first Integrated Green Grey Infrastructure (IGGI). 23-24/11/2020, Tropical Ocean and Marine Sciences International Symposium (TOMSY) 2020, Online.
  • Yee, J.C., Cheah, C.B., Chee, S.Y. 2020. New Eco-Friendly Artificial Substrata Recruit Years-Old Sessile Marine Assemblages in 12 Months. 23-24/11/2020, Tropical Ocean and Marine Sciences International Symposium (TOMSY) 2020, Online.
  • Chee, S.Y., Yee, J.C., Evans, A.J., Morris, R.L., Strain, E.M.A, Coleman, R., Cheah, C.B. and Firth, L.B. Greening of grey: Creating space for nature on artificial coastlines in Penang. Rufford Small Grants Conference 2020. 10 - 13 February 2020. School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.
  • Evans, A.J. Louise B. Firth, Stephen J. Hawkins, Chee, S.Y., Loh, J.R., Ironside, J.E., Hall, A.E., Thompson, R.C., Herbert, R.J.H., & Moore, P.J. From ocean sprawl to blue-green infrastructure - how much evidence is enough? 06/01/2019 - 11/01/2019, 12th International Temperate Reefs Symposium, The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong
  • Strain, E.M.A., Alexander, K., Kienker, S., Morris, R., Jarvis, R.M., Coleman, R., Bollardreen, B., Firth; L.B., Knights, A.M., Grabowski, J. H., Airoldi, L., Chan, B.K.K., Chee, S. Y., Cheng, Y., Coutinho, R., de Menezes, R.G., Ding, M., Dong, Y., Fraser, C.M.L., Fernandez Valdor, P., Mancuso, F.P., Messano, L.V.R., Naval-Xavier, L.P.O., Scyphers, S., Steinberg, P., Swearer, S., Yee, J.C., and Bishop, M.J. The efficacy of eco-engineered interventions for enhancing the native biodiversity of seawalls in harbours across the globe. 03/09/2018 - 06/09/2018, ECSA 57: Changing estuaries, coasts and shelf systems - Diverse threats and opportunities, Pan Pacific Perth, Perth, WA, Australia
  • Yee, J.C., Firth, L.B., Cheah, C.B., Tan, A.S.H. and Chee, S.Y. It is in the details: Simple structural complexity modification could restore ecological function on seawall. 11/12/2018 - 12/12/2018, 11 IMT-GT UNINET Conference 2018: Bioscience for a Sustainable Future, Hotel Jen, Georgetown, Penang
  • Loh, J.R., Firth, L.B., Evans, A.J. and Chee, S.Y. Effects of eco-engineering drill-cored rock pools on rock revetment biodiversity on Penang Island. 24/06/2018 - 29/06/2018, 5th International Marine Conservation Congress, Kuching, Sarawak
  • Yee, J.C., Strain, E., Firth, L.B. and Chee S.Y. World Harbour Project (Penang): Does structural complexity hold the key to enhancing biodiversity on artificial structures? 24/06/2018 - 29/06/2018,5th International Marine Conservation Congress, Kuching, Sarawak
  • Mat Adam, A.N. and Chee, S.Y. Architectural complexity of natural vs. artificial shorelines along Penang Island, Malaysia,17/04/2017 - 20/04/2017,10th WESTPAC International Scientific Conference, Qingdao, China
  • Firth, L.B., Browne, K., Chee, S.Y., Evans, A.J., Moore, P., Nash, R., Thompson, R.C., and Hawkins, S.J., Artificial coastal defences: enhancing biodiversity using sensitive design. 12/04/2017 - 16/04/2017, Benthic Ecology Meeting, Myrtle Beach, USA
  • Firth, L.B. Abdul Ghapar, O., Sim, Y.K., Amni Nabilah M. A., and Chee, S.Y. The changing faces of Penang Island, Malaysia: past paradigms as a guide to sustainable coastal development in the future, 16/05/2017 - 18/05/2017, Oceans Past, Sesimbra, Portugal
  • Yee, J.C., Strain, E.M.A., Firth, L.B. and Chee S.Y. Yard in the marinas - the initiation of WHP in Penang. 02/07/2017 - 06/07/2017, AMSA 2017 Conference "Connections through shallow seas", Darwin, Australia
  • Firth, L.B. and Chee, S.Y. Artificial coastal defences: enhancing biodiversity using sensitive design. 29/08/2016 - 01/09/2016, EcoSummit 2016Ecological Sustainability: Engineering Change, Le Corum, Montpellier, France
  • Evans, A.J., Firth, L.B., Chee, S.Y. and Moore, P. Building-in beneficial features: ecological engineering for artificial marine structures. 11/12/2016 - 14/12/2016, British Ecological Society Symposium, Liverpool
  • Chee, S.Y. and Firth, L.B. Coastal habitat mapping with comparisons of community structures between natural and artificial coasts in Penang Island, Malaysia. 30/08/2015 - 04/09/2015, Aquatic Biodiversity and Ecosystems: Evolution, interactions and global change, University of Liverpool
  • Chee, S.Y., Yee, J.C., Evans, A.J., Morris, R.L., Strain, E.M.A, Coleman, R., Cheah, C.B. and Firth, L.B. Greening of grey: Creating space for nature on artificial coastlines in Penang. 10-13/02/2020, Rufford Small Grants Conference 2020, School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.

Policy Brief

  • Chee, S.Y., Firth, L.B., McQuatters-Gollop, A., Then, A.H-Y. (2021) Policy Brief - Implementing Nature-based Solutions for enhancing coastal resilience in Malaysia. DOI:
  • Chee, S.Y., Firth, L.B., McQuatters-Gollop, A., Then, A.H-Y. (2021) Integrated Greening of Grey Infrastructure (IGGI) to enhance biodiversity on engineered shorelines in Malaysia. DOI:
  • Nordhaus, I., de Zoysa, R. S., Gillis, L.G., Chee, S.Y., Chong, L., Firth, L.B., Han, A., Sim, Y.K., Stiepani, J., Sturgeon, A., Suppiah, R., Foong, S.Y. The future of mangroves in Penang: Bridging science, policy and perspectives. 2019. DOI: 10.21244/zmt.2019.001


Patent filed

Cheah, C.B., Chee, S.Y., Mahyuddin, R. and Tan, L.E. A Composition for Use in an Aquatic Environment. Product. Filed and pending.



  • Gold Medal: Eco-crete, Malaysia Technology Expo 2020
  • "Haller Pro Inventio Foundation Poland” (Special Award): Eco-crete, Malaysia Technology Expo 2020
  • Anugerah Sanggar Sanjung 2019 (ASS 2019) - Penerbitan Jurnal
  • Joint NAM S&T Centre - ZMT Bremen Fellowship in Tropical Coastal Marine Ecology and Biogeochemistry, 2015


Invitational Talks / Panellist

  • Panellist, Transdisciplinary Trends in Playful Learning. 4th Annual Gamification Seminar 2021, 13 December 2021. Online.
  • Invited Speaker, Marine and Ecological Engineering. Malaysian Green Building Council Northern Chapter, 25 September 2021. Online.
  • Invited Speaker, Nature-based Solutions and Climate resilient coastlines. Swinburne University of Technology, 22 September 2021. Online.
  • Invited Speaker, In the face of climate change: Nature-based solutions for the marine environment, society, and sustainability. ZICO Law, Earth Day 2021. Online.
  • Invited Speaker, Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation. Forum for Climate Change Adaptation (FCCA), 8 March 2021, Online: Zoom, Singapore.
  • Invited Speaker, Biodiversity and sustainable development in the Anthropocene. 2020 Youth Industry E-bootcamp, 3-11 June 2020. Online.
  • Invited Speaker, Eco-engineering: Design with Nature. Landscape Architecture International Dialogue 2019: Landscape Architecture/Green Infrastructure, 22 - 23 October 2019. GMBB, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Professional Membership

  • Review Editor, Frontiers in Marine Science - Marine Conservation and Sustainability
  • Life member, Malaysian Scientific Association
  • Affiliate Member, Young Scientist Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia
  • Northern node, Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences (Life Member)
  • Member, Water Watch Penang