Yi Mei Tan
In her previous life, Yi Mei was an environmental consultant in her native country, Singapore. These days, she walks (but mostly crawls) through mud with the aim of developing the tools and knowledge required for successful restoration of the intertidal seagrass, Zostera muelleri, in Westernport Bay. Seagrass restoration is a relatively new field of study, and while various methods have been successful on different species found in different habitat types globally, these successes may not necessarily transfer to all species and environments. Thus, Yi Mei now goes about collecting seagrass material, including adult fragments and reproductive shoots, and replanting them at different sites using a number of methods. She also collects environmental data, such as eDNA and microbiome samples, in order to characterise her restoration sites, and to investigate if there are any changes with the introduction of (slightly) foreign plants. Yi Mei, along with fellow students Oliver Dalby and Jack Dewhurst, runs social media accounts for the project to share the group’s research and activities with the community (Facebook and Twitter). They’ve named the project Zosteration, a portmanteau of Zostera and restoration. Yi Mei’s lifelong dream is to swim with orcas but not be eaten by them.