Mengli Chen (陈梦立)

Tropical Marine Science Institute, National University of Singapore 



PhD in Earth Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (2010-2016)

BA in Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (2006-2010)

Visiting student in Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2010-2015)

Research Interest

Paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental reconstruction

Trace metal and their isotopes in natural environments

Stable isotope geochemistry

Organics and trace elements inclusion in coral skeleton

Professional Experience

Post-doctorial Research Fellow in Earth Observatory of Singapore (Advisor: Assoc. Prof. Nathalie F. Goodkin, Feb 2016-present)

Research Associate in Singapore-MIT Alliance on Research and Technology (Advisor: Prof. Edward A. Boyle, Aug 2015-Jan2016)

Intern in LIEN Institute of the Environment, (Advisor: Assoc. Prof. Li Bing, Jan 2009-Jun 2009)

Funded Proposals


01/04/2023-30/06/2025.Sustainable Maritime Environment & Energy.
Project: Mitigation technology and environmental impact from ammonia bunkeringrelease. Role: Co-I

01/04/2023-30/09/2024 Intra-CREATE Seed Collaboration Grant 9. Bioaccumulation, trophic transfer, and source tracing of harmful pollutants in the coastal food web. Role: Collaborator.

31/07/2023-31/07/2024 Imperial - Nanyang Technological University Collaboration Fund. Identification of lead (Pb) in Singapore’s air. Role: Collaborator.


31/03/2021-30/09/2022. Intra-CREATE Seed Collaboration Grant 7. National Research Foundation.
Project: Detection of HEavy Metals from seabed reflux in coastal FIsh farm produce using portable Nanosensor technology (HEMFIN) . Role: Lead PI.

01/01/2020-31/12/2022. Singapore Ministry of Education Tier 1 Research Grant
Project: Leaking Pollutants: Investigating how the Johor River sediment affectsSingapore’s coastal water quality. Role: Collaborator.

01/04/2016-31/03/2019.Singapore Ministry of Education Tier 1 Research Grant
Project: Anthropogenic Lead in the Atmosphere – Isotopes for SourceApportionment.  Role: Collaborator. 

Peer-reviewed Publications

Chen,M.*, Martin, P., Ren, H., Zhang, R., Samanta, D., Chen,Y.C., Hughen, K.A., Phan, K.H,. Vo, S.T., Goodkin, N.F.. (2023). Enhancedmonsoon‐driven upwelling in Southeast Asia during the Little Ice Age.Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology. Apr:e2022PA004546.

Qian,N.*, Boyle, E. A., Zhou, L., Tanzil, J., Chen, Q., Zhang, S., & Chen,M.* (2023). Spatial‐Temporal Variability and Sources of Lead (Pb) in theIndian Ocean and Asian Marginal Seas. Journal of Geophysical Research:Oceans, 128(2).

Chen,M., Boyle, E.A., Jiang, S., Liu, Q., Zhang, J., Wang, X.,Zhou, K.*, (2023). Dissolved lead (Pb) concentrations and Pb isotope ratiosalong the East China Sea and Kuroshio transect‐evidence for isopycnal transportand particle exchange. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 128(2).

Chen,M.*,  Carrasco,G., Zhao, N.*, Wang, X., Lee, J.N., Tanzil, J.T.I., Annammala, K.V.,Poh, S.C., Lauro, F.M., Zieger, A.D., Duangnamon, D., Boyle, E.A., (2023).Boundary exchange completes the marine Pb cycle jigsaw. Proceedings of theNational Academy of Sciences 120, no. 6

Wang,T., Zhu. L., McWilliams, J.C., Galgani, L., Amin, R.M., Nakajima, R., Jiang,W., Chen, M., Zhao, S.*, (2023). Accumulation, Transformation andTransport of Microplastics in Estuarine Fronts. Nature Reviews Earth andEnvironment.

Chen,M.*, Chia H., K.,Martin P., Lee, J. N., Bettens, R., Tanzil, J.T.I., (2022) A half-centuryrecord of coral skeletal P/Ca reveals late 20th century nutrient pollution inPort Dickson, Malaysia. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Martin,P*, Moynihan M.A., Chen S., Woo O.Y., Zhou Y., Nichols R.S., Chang K., Tan S.Y.A., Chen Y. H., Ren H., Chen, M. (2022) Monsoon-driven biogeochemical dynamics inan equatorial shelf sea: time-series observations in the Singapore Strait.  Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, v270,107855. 

Chen,M.*, Carrasco, G.,Park, E., Morgan, K., Tay, H. X. S., Tanzil, J.T.I., Ooi, S.K., Zhou., K.,Boyle., E.A., (2022). Monsoonal variations of lead (Pb) in coastal watersaround Singapore. Marine Pollution Bulletin, v179, 113654.

Chen,M.*, Martin P.,Goodkin, N., F., Tanzil, J.T.I., Murty, S., Wiguna, A., (2019). Phosphorus incoral: an assessment of inorganic/organic variability and proxy calibrationfrom Singapore and Bali. Geochemica Cosmochimica Acta, v267, pp13-123.

Tanzil J.,T.,I,* Goodkin N.,F., Sin T.,M., Chen M., Fabbro G.,N, Boyle E.,A., Lee A.,C, Toh K.,B., (2019).  Multi-colony coral skeletal Ba/Ca from Singapore’s turbid urban reefs: relationship with contemporaneous in-situ seawater parameters.  Geochemica Cosmochemica Acta, 250, 191-208. pdf

Carrasco, G., Chen, M.*, Boyle E. A., Tanzil, J., Goodkin, N., F., (2018). An update of Pb isotope inventory in post leaded-petrol Singapore environments. Environmental Pollution. pdf

Chen, M.*, Boyle E. A., Lee, J.M., Nurhati, I. S., Zurbrick, C., Switzer A. D., and Carrasco, G., (2016). Isotope exchange of Pb by riverine input of particulate matters: a preliminary study on the Johor River mouth. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 374(2081). pdf

Chen, M.*, Goodkin, N. F., Switzer A. D., Boyle E. A. and Bolton, A., (2016). Lead in the western South China Sea: evidence of atmospheric deposition and upwelling. Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 4490-4499. pdf

Chen, M.*, Boyle E. A., Switzer A. D., and Gouramanis C. (2016). A sedimentary record of the    anthropogenic lead (Pb), Pb isotopes and other metals from the Singapore region. Environmental Pollution, 213, 446-459. pdf

Chen, M.*, Lee, J. M., Nurhati, I. S., Switzer A. D., and Boyle E. A., (2015). Isotopic record of lead in Singapore Strait during the last 50 years: spatial and temporal variations. Marine Chemistry, 168(0), 49-59. pdf

Fieldwork Experiences

Singapore Straits seawater sampling (2014-present)

Initiated and maintaining the monthly seawater sampling for trace metals and their isotopes in the Singapore Straits.

Johor River mouth cruise (2014)

Organized and participated the sampling cruise to Johor River mouth for trace metal clean seawater sampling.

HOE-PhoR 2013 cruise (2013)

Participated in the international research cruise for trace metal clean seawater sampling.

Singapore sediment coring (2012)

Organized and participated in the sediment coring in MacRitchie and Kranji Reservoir.

Singapore coral coring (2010)

Participated in the coral drilling cruises in the Singapore Straits through SCUBA diving.

Awards and Fellowships

Outstanding speaker, in “Ocean Technology and Earth System Sciences” postdoc forum (2017, Shanghai, China)

Best poster award, in The 3rd International Ocean Sciences Summer School (2015, Guangzhou, China)

Semi-finalist, 2015 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, Singapore (2015, Singapore)

Earth Observatory of Singapore Research Scholarship (2014-2015)

Singapore – MIT Alliance Graduate Fellowship (2010-2014)

Dean’s List, in Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering of NTU (2007-2010)

Send a message

Using Format