Message from the Dean

We are excited to share with you the inaugural issue of our newsletter, .  Our objective is to report news flash on what is happening in the Faculty, provide a platform to forge research collaboration, share inspiring stories on teaching and supervisory innovations, and highlight our students' activities.  Members of the Faculty would certainly benefit from this coverage as this newsletter gets circulated nationally and internationally.  This is our continuous effort to put our Faculty in the spotlight and improve our research and educational network.  For further details on our Faculty and the facilities that we have, please visit our website at  We look forward to hearing from all of you.  So let's


Future Conservationist Award


Ms. Ravinder Kaur and her supervisor, Associate Professor Dr. Rosli Ramli

 (Photo credit Sanjitpaal Singh/


The UK-based Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) is a partnership that brings together three renowned international conservation organizations: Birdlife International, Fauna & Flora International, and Wildlife Conservation Society. For 30 years, the CLP has been instrumental in providing project funding and training to early-career conservation professionals from developing countries who are tackling conservation challenges. This year, our PhD student, Ms. Ravinder Kaur and her team are winners of the Future Conservationist Award for the project entitled The Conservation of Borneon Hornbills in Malaysia.

Her story was recently featured in the STAR newspaper on 28th June, 2017.  Interestingly, Ms. Kaur's husband, Sanjitpaal Singh, is a professional and award-winning wildlife photographer.  Together, they explore the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah, a regenerating forest where the population of the critically endangered Helmeted Hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil) and near-threatened Rhinoceros Hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros) are declining.  Being secondary hole-nesters, hornbills do not create tree cavities.  Hence, their population is limited by the availability of suitable tree cavities, food plants and roosting sites.  Due to their heavy casques, the Helmeted hornbills require protruding cavities as their perch.  They are also hunted for their "red ivory" in neighboring countries.


The loss of suitable natural cavities is a direct threat to the long-term survival of the hornbills.  Hence, the purpose of this project is to provide breeding opportunities for the hornbills.  Nest cavities will be located using plots (systematic sampling) and subsequently evaluated and restored accordingly (e.g soil added to raise a sunken cavity floor).  In addition, artificial nest boxes will be tested, developed and installed to provide more breeding opportunities for the hornbills.


Ms. Kaur's supervisor is Associate Professor Dr. Rosli Ramli.  We hope their noble effort to conserve the hornbills would be successful.  Congratulations on the award!


 Rhinoceros hornbill

(Photo credit Sanjitpaal Singh/


Helmeted hornbill

(Photo credit Sanjitpaal Singh/

Contact Information:

Associate Professor Dr. Rosli Ramli (

Ms. Ravinder Kaur (


Honored as Established Scientist by the Royal Society

Two academicians from the Faculty of Science were honored as Established Scientist by the Royal Society during the Commonwealth Science Conference 2017 which was held from 13th - 16th June, 2017 in Singapore.  The two academicians are Professor Dr. Ramesh T Subramaniam from the Department of Physics, and Associate Professor Dr. Subha Bhassu from the Institute of Biological Sciences.  The Commonwealth Science Conference 2017 was co-organized by the Royal Society and the National Research Foundation Singapore.  The conference was supported by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. 


Professor Dr. Ramesh T Subramaniam (left) and Associate Professor Dr. Subha Bhassu

The objectives of the 2017 conference are to celebrate excellence in Science throughout the Commonwealth, provide opportunities for cooperation between researchers in different Commonwealth countries, inspire young scientists, students and pupils, build understanding about policy issues of common interest, and encourage scientific capacity building in Commonwealth countries.


Congratulations to the Faculty of Science!


Contact Information:

Professor Dr. Ramesh T. Subramaniam (

Associate Professor Dr. Subha Bhassu (


Biotechnologist Award

Our expert in bioprocess engineering and downstream processing, Professor Dr. Ling Tau Chuan from the Institute of Biological Sciences, has recently been announced as one of the two winners of the Young Asian Biotechnologist Prize 2017.  This prestigious award is granted by the Society for Biotechnology Japan (SBJ), to honor outstanding accomplishments in the field of biotechnology by young scientists in Asia other than Japan.  During the award ceremony, Professor Ling would deliver the Young Asian Biotechnologist Prize Lecture based on his winning research entitled Recovery of Biotechnological Products Using Aqueous Two-Phase Systems.

Professor Dr. Ling Tau Chuan

The aqueous two-phase and other bioseparation techniques have been shown to have extended applications, for instance, in the recovery of enzymes and small molecules from a wide range of bioresources like microbial samples, plants, and other matrices. This research which extends from downstream to upstream processing would be a catalyst for an integrated production and the processing of bioproducts, hence, beneficial to the community.


We asked Professor Ling what this award meant to him, and what's next:

"The award represents a recognition of my research work in the field of bioseparation for the past 15 years and it will be a motivation for me to continue to excel in both research and teaching at the university.  I sincerely thank the SBJ for the tremendous honour, University of Malaya for all the supports given in terms of  infrastructure and research grants, and my research team and collaborators for their dedication.  Currently, I am actively working towards the commercialization of my research outputs with the hope that these research outcomes and products will be transformed into economic benefits for the people." 


The award ceremony will be held during the 69th SBJ annual Meeting, at Waseda University, Tokyo in September 2017. 


Congratulations, Professor Ling!


Contact Information:

Professor Ling Tau Chuan (


ISPAC 2017


Professor Dr. Zanariah Abdullah (seated far right)

The International Symposium on Pure & Applied Chemistry (ISPAC) 2017 was held from 8th - 10th June in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The theme of ISPAC 2017 was Chemistry for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development. The symposium was jointly organized by the Chemical Society of Vietnam (CSV), Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM), University of Malaya, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Pahang, together with Asia Chem Corporation (ACC) and the Foundation for Interaction between Science and Technology (FIST) Japan. Professor Dr. Zanariah Abdullah, the Dean of Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, was in the organizing committee. She attended the Symposium, representing University of Malaya.


The Debating Biologists

Recently, The University of Malaya (UM) debaters won the 2017 Australasian University Debating Championship (Australs ESL) which was held at the University of Queensland, Australia, from 1st - 9th July, 2017.  We are especially proud that the head coach for the debating team is our very own Associate Professor Dr. Chandran Somasundram from the Institute of Biological Sciences.  We approached Dr. Somasundrum to share with us more on his involvement in debate: 


"I have been involved in debating since my first year as an undergraduate in 1990 and I have not stopped since.  I debated for UM from 1992-2000 and have been coaching UM debating team since 1995.  Since then, I have debated, adjudicated and observed at 18 Asian (All Asians and UADC), 11 Australasian, 6 Asian BP, and 9 World universities debating championships.  At my peak, I was the third best debater in Asia in 1998 and I also won the Asian Masters Debating Title in 2002.


Associate Professor Dr. Chandran Somasundram


I have successfully coached UM in many national and international titles.  We won the prestigious Royal National Championship in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2017.  We were the top ranking team in Asia in 2007 and won the Australs ESL title in 2007, 2015, 2016 and 2017.  We were also runner-up at Worlds ESL in 2017.  I have coached, trained and conducted workshops in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong.  I am currently the Coordinator and Coach of the University of Malaya Debating Team, Executive Advisor for Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking and a member of the National Debate Expert Panel with the Ministry of Education, Malaysia.  I am fortunate to have my colleague and my former debater, Dr. Zuliana Razali, also from the Institute of Biological Sciences, to assist me in carrying out this difficult job."


The UM debating team's next mission will be the United Asian Debating Championship which will be held in Cambodia at the end of July.  We wish Dr. Somasundram and his team all the best!!!


Associate Professor Dr. Chandran Somasundram (left), Dr. Zuliana Razali (right), and the 2016 Australs ESL winning team with our Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs & Alumni), Professor Datuk Dr. Rohana Yusof.


Contact Information:

Associate Professor Dr. Chandran Somasundram (

Dr. Zuliana Razali (


CSR:  Tabung #Dari Hati Warga Fakulti Sains

During the month of Ramadhan, the Faculty of Science launched Tabung #Dari Hati Warga Fakulti Sains (Donation Box #From the Heart of Faculty of Science)), a donation box to raise funds for the less fortunate in the Faculty of Science, single mothers, orphans, and those in need.  All Departments at the Faculty contributed to make this project successful. 
The project was launched in conjunction with Eid Al-Fitr so that the contributions can help reduce the financial burden of the recipients.  Eid Al-Fitr is a happy occasion for all Muslims, hence, the Faculty of Science were moved to share this happiness with its members, their families, and the community.


Donation given to the family of our late staff, Harman Mansar


Donation given to the mother of our late staff, Mohamad Firdaus Mohamed Ismail


Donation given to the widow of our late staff, Rozaimi Mohamed


Donation given to our staff,

Siti Rohaizah Ghazali


Donation given to our student, Fathinah


The team from the Faculty of Science distributed food at  

the Kasih Harmoni Orphanage in Paya Jaras


To with the Faculty of Science, please contact us at:


Research Management Unit

Faculty of Science

University of Malaya

50603 Kuala Lumpur





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