Photo credit: LAW INGG THONG


Law Ingg Thong, 24, is an undergraduate doing a degree in zoology at the University of Reading. He is also one of the co-founders of the Herpetological Society of Singapore (HSS), a non-profit organisation (NGO) dedicated to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians in Singapore. Today he shares more with us about what he does!

Tell us more about what you do!

HSS is an organisation primarily interested in the education and outreach of the public on matters concerning reptiles and amphibians. These are animals that are often demonised in both mainstream and social media, and HSS aims to help mitigate how members of the public view and treat these misunderstood animals.

There are many avenues of our outreach, such as the yearly Festival of Biodiversity (FoB) and Pesta Ubin, both events that celebrate the biodiversity of Singapore. We also organise free monthly guided walks for the public!

What inspired you to start this?

I have always loved nature since I was a child, having had parents who regularly brought me to nature parks and nature reserves around Singapore. It is a truly wondrous feeling to step into the forest not knowing what to expect or encounter!

I got interested in reptiles and amphibians due to a chance encounter with an Equatorial Spitting Cobra (Naja sumatrana) at my uncle’s estate in Malaysia. What motivates me to continue down this road is how much there is still for me to learn about these animals and the fields of conservation and ecology.

Have you faced any challenges so far? And how did you overcome them?

Due to the pandemic, I had to do my university studies completely online. This posed a few unique challenges, especially for a course traditionally taught in person due to the practical and field components. I had to find other ways to gain these skills, such as volunteering in the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum and working on projects with the National Parks Board.

If you could share one piece of advice with your fellow youth, what would it be?

Collaboration with peers and like-minded individuals is the key to career longevity in this field.

What are your hopes or plans for the future? What do you want to see or perhaps do?

I hope to work in the field of conservation, ecology or taxonomy after finishing my degree. Working on improving my photography on the side is also something I would very much like to do.

This article was published on Mar 7, 2022

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