Professor LEE Shing Yip Joe


(Office): Rm 102A, Simon F.S. Li Marine Science Laboratory
(Lab): Rm 102, Simon F.S. Li Marine Science Laboratory

        People JSYL 


(Office): (852) 3943 3268
(Lab): (852) 3943 3212


(852) 2603 5391

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Curriculum Vitae >> Download (PDF) 


1982           BSc (Hons), The University of Hong Kong
1985 MPhil, The University of Hong Kong
1988 PhD, The University of Hong Kong
1991 CBiol
2004 CEnv
2009 FRSB


  • 2017 to 2022: Professor and Director, Simon F S Li Marine Science Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Director, Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, CUHK
  • 1997-2017: Griffith University, Australia (Lecturer – Professor)
  • 1989-1997: The University of Hong Kong (Lecturer – Associate Professor)

Research Interests

  • Ecology and biogeochemistry of estuarine wetlands such as mangroves and saltmarshes
  • Application of stable isotopes in marine environmental research
  • Marine ecosystem dynamics, rehabilitation and restoration 


Publication record: Total of 216 full-length refereed publications: 16 edited books, 11 book chapters, 3 special issues of journals, 167 refereed journal papers, 19 refereed proceedings papers. Career h-index = 54, >11,400 cites (Google Scholars). Since 2015: 1 edited book, 8 book chapters, 2 edited special issues of journal, 61 journal papers (total=72)

Five most representative publications since 2015 (*corresponding author):

  1. Cannicci S., Lee S.Y.*, Bravo H., Cantera Kintz J.R., Dahdouh-Guebas F., Fratini S., Fusi M., Jimenez P.J., Nordhaus I., Porri F., Diele K. 2021. Extremely low functional redundancy in global mangrove invertebrate fauna. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (accepted 5/21).

  2. Waltham NJ, Elliott M, Lee SY, Lovelock C, Duarte CM, Buelow C, Simenstad C, Nagelkerken I, Claassens L, Wen CCK, Barletta M, Connolly RM, Gillies C, Mitsch WJ, Ogburn MB, Purandare J, Possingham H, Sheaves M. 2020. UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 – what chance for success in restoring coastal ecosystems? Frontiers in Marine Science 7:71 (35 cites, an ISI “Highly-cited paper”)

  3. Ouyang X, Lee SY*. 2020. Improved estimates of global carbon stock and carbon pool in tidal wetlands. Nature Communications 11: 317. (29 cites)

  4. Lee, SY*, Hamilton S, Barbier EB, Primavera JH, Lewis III RR. 2019. Better restoration policies are needed to conserve mangrove ecosystems. Nature Ecology and Evolution 3:870-872 (69 cites)

  5. Serrano O, Lovelock C, Atwood T, Macreadie P, Canto R, Phinn S, Arias-Ortiz A, Bai L, Baldock J, Bedulli C, Carnell P, Connolly R, Donaldson P, Esteban A, Lewis CE, Eyre B, Hayes M, Horwitz P, Hutley L, Kavazos C, Kelleway J, Kendrick G, Kilminster K, Lafratta A, Lee SY (25 of 45 authors), Lavery P, Maher D, Marba N, Masque P, Mateo M, Mount R, Ralph P, Roelfsema C, Rozaimi M, Ruhon R, Salinas C, Samper-Villarreal J, Sanderman J, Sanders C, Santos I, Sharples C, Steven A, Cannard T, Trevathan-Tackett S, Duarte C. 2019 Australian vegetated coastal ecosystems as global hotspots for climate change mitigation. Nature Communications 10: 4313 (46 cites)

Five most representative publications before 2015:

  1. Kamal S, Lee SY*, Warnken J. 2014. Investigating three-dimensional meso-scale habitat complexity and its ecological implications using low-cost RGB-D sensor technology. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5:845-853. (‘editor’s pick’; finalist for the Robert May prize in Ecology) (23 cites)

  2. Lee SY*, Primavera JH, Dahdouh-Geubas F, McKee K, Bosire JO, Cannicci S, Diele K, Koedam N, Marchand C, Mendelssohn I, Mukherjee N, Record S. 2014. Ecological role and services of tropical mangrove ecosystems: a reassessment. Global Ecology and Biogeography 23:726-743. (439 cites; a “highly-cited paper”, ISI Web of Science)

  3. Ouyang X, Lee SY. 2014. Updated estimates of carbon accumulation rates in coastal marsh sediments. Biogeosciences 11: 5057-5071. (161 cites)

  4. Bouillon S, Connolly RM, Lee SY. 2008. Carbon exchange and cycling in mangrove ecosystems: recent insights from stable isotope studies. Journal of Sea Research 59: 44- 58 (380 cites)

  5. Bouillon S, Borges AV, Diele K, Dittmar T, Duke NC, Kristensen E, Lee SY, Marchand C, Middelburg JJ, Rivera-Monroy VH, Smith III TJ, and Twilley RR. 2008. Mangrove production and carbon sinks: a revision of global budget estimates. 2008. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 22, GB2013. (851 cites)

Research Grants

(2014 - ):

  • Securing mangrove ecosystem services from restored mangroves – lessons from the managed Matang forests, Malaysia. IRU-MRUN Collaborative Grant
  • The seasonal dynamics of persistent organic pollutants in coastal Antarctic waters from a coupled, vertically resolved fugacity food web model. Australia Antarctic Science Program
  • Marine and Coastal Carbon Biogeochemistry Cluster. CSIRO Cluster Collaboration Fund Cluster. 


  • Visiting Professor, Area of Excellence in Marine Science, University of Malaysia Terengganu
  • Sir Kirby Laing Visiting Fellow, Bangor University, UK
  • Visiting Scientist, University of Georgia Marine Institute, Sapelo Island, USA (3 occasions)
  • USA Information Agency International Visitorship – Wetlands in the USA
  • Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • John Swire Scholarship in Wetland Ecology

Professional Activities

  • Founding Co-chair (2013-6), Chair (2017-date) IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group
  • Keynote/plenary/invited lectures at international conferences since 2014: 10 keynotes, 2 plenaries, 13 invited lectures (all fully funded by organiser)
  • Grant reviewer: Australian Research Council; NOAA, and National Geographic Society (USA); BBSRC and NERC (UK); WOTRO and KNAW (The Netherlands); Flanders (Belgium); ECF and RGC (Hong Kong); French National Research Agency; NSFC (China); National Research Foundation (South Africa); Qatar Foundation (Qatar)
  • External PhD examiner: Theses from Hong Kong*, Australia*, India, Tanzania, New Caledonia*, Singapore*, Germany, South Africa, Malaysia* (* >1 occasions)
  • Supervision of MPhil/PhD research students (total = 43; 40 completed, 3 on-going)