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Dr James Kar-Hei Fang
PolyU Scholars Hub

Dr Fang Kar-hei, James

Associate Professor

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Plymouth
  • Master of Philosophy, City University of Hong Kong
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Professional Qualifications

  • Chartered Biologist and Member, UK Royal Society of Biology
  • Director, Hong Kong Marine Ecological Association
  • Member, US Institute of Food Technologists
  • Member, US International Coral Reef Society
  • Member, UK Marine Biological Association
  • Occupational Scientific Diver, Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme
  • Open Water Diver, Professional Association of Diving Instructors, Hong Kong

Research Overview

I am a marine physiologist and toxicologist who cares about ocean health and seafood sustainability. I lead the Marine Ecology and Aquaculture Laboratory (MEAL;, in which research topics include [1] seafood nutrition and contamination, for example, how the physiology and nutritional profiles of seafood species, and their uptake of contaminants, would change under climate change and ocean acidification; [2] a special focus on the monitoring of microplastics, an emerging contaminant in food and the environment, and the impacts of these particles on human health and animal health; [3] marine aquaculture technologies, such as feed formulation for fish and shellfish, and the use of seaweed aquaculture for extra food production and carbon sequestration; and [4] conservation of coral reefs and oyster reefs, which sustain biodiversity and provide important nurseries for seafood species, and ecological restoration of these habitats using 3D printing technology.

Academic and Professional Experience

  • Principal Investigator, State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution, China, a consortium of eight universities led by City University of Hong Kong (2017–Present)
  • Associate Editor, Environmental Geochemistry and Health, Springer (2022–Present)
  • Associate Editor, Regional Studies in Marine Science, Elsevier (2022–Present)
  • Review Editor, Frontiers in Toxicology, Frontiers (2022–Present)
  • Guest Editor, Journal of Visualized Experiments, JoVE (2022–Present)
  • Guest Editor, Journal of Sea Research, Elsevier (2022–Present)
  • Guest Editor, Toxics, MDPI (2021–2022)
  • Guest Associate Editor, Frontiers in Physiology, Frontiers (2019–2021)
  • Peer-Reviewers for 36 international scientific journals
  • Management Committee Member, Fisheries Enhancement Fund, Airport Authority Hong Kong, Government of Hong Kong (2022–Present)
  • Marine Park Committee Member, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Government of Hong Kong (2019–Present)
  • Scientific Committee Member, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong (2019–Present)
  • Faculty of Science Board Member, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2022–Present)
  • Animal Subjects Ethics Sub-Committee Member, Research Committee, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2021–Present)
  • Organising Committee Chairman, East Asia Regional Training Workshop on Monitoring and Assessment of Microplastics in Marine Environments, co-organised by the State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution, China, and Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia, 19 December 2022, virtual
  • Organising Committee Member and Session Chair, The 2nd International Conference on Biodiversity, Ecology and Conservation of Marine Ecosystems, 2–8 January 2022, Hong Kong
  • Session Chair, The State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution Annual and Academic Committee Meetings, 6–7 April 2022, and 29–30 March 2021, Hong Kong
  • Member, Research Institute for Future Food, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2021–Present)
  • Member, Research Institute for Land and Space, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2021–Present)
  • Member, Research Institute for Sustainable Urban Development, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2021–Present)
  • Adjunct Fellow, Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland (2018–2020)
  • Postdoctoral Scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Norway (20132017)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, University of Bergen (20132016)
  • Visiting Scientist, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (2014)

Research Interests

  • Seafood Nutrition and Sustainability
  • Seafood Contamination and Risk Assessments
  • Microplastics and Nanoplastics
  • Coral Reefs and Oyster Reefs
  • Impacts of Ocean Warming and Acidification
  • Marine Ecophysiology and Ecotoxicology
  • Marine Aquaculture Technology
  • 3D Scanning and Printing Technologies for Ecological Applications


  • Graduate Fellowship, International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS, currently International Corel Reef Society; an annual global award in coral reef research, 2010)
  • Research Scholarship and International Research Tuition Award, The University of Queensland (2009)
  • Prize for Outstanding Presentation, The 5th International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology, 3–6 June 2007, Hong Kong
  1. Zhang E, Stocchino A, De Leo A, Fang JKH (2022) Performance assessment of bubbles barriers for microplastic remediation. Science of the Total Environment, 844, 157027
  2. Liang T, Lei ZY, Fuad MTI, Wang Q, Sun SC, Fang JKH, Liu XS (2022) Distribution and potential sources of microplastics in sediments in remote lakes of Tibet, China. Science of the Total Environment 806, 150526
  3. Leung MML, Ho YW, Lee CH, Wang Y, Hu M, Kwok KWH, Chua SL, Fang JKH (2021) Improved Raman spectroscopy-based approach to assess microplastics in seafood. Environmental Pollution 289, 117648
  4. Leung MML, Ho YW, Maboloc EA, Lee CH, Wang Y, Hu M, Cheung SG, Fang JKH (2021) Determination of microplastics in the edible green-lipped mussel Perna viridis using an automated mapping technique of Raman microspectroscopy. Journal of Hazardous Materials 420, 126541
  5. Liu SY, Leung MML, Fang JKH, Chua SL (2021) Engineering a microbial ‘trap and release’ mechanism for microplastics removal. Chemical Engineering Journal 404, 127079
  6. Fang JKH, Rooks CA, Krogness CM, Kutti T, Hoffmann F, Bannister RJ (2018) Impact of particulate sediment, bentonite and barite (oil-drilling waste) on net fluxes of oxygen and nitrogen in Arctic-boreal sponges. Environmental Pollution 238, 948–958
  7. Fang JKH, Schönberg CHL, Mello-Athayde MA, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2014) Effects of ocean warming and acidification on the energy budget of an excavating sponge. Global Change Biology 20, 1043−1054
  8. Fang JKH, Mello-Athayde MA, Schönberg CHL, Kline DI, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2013) Sponge biomass and bioerosion rates increase under ocean warming and acidification. Global Change Biology 19, 3581−3591
  9. Fang JKH, Wu RSS, Zheng GJ, Lam PKS, Shin PKS (2010) Seasonality of bioaccumulation of trace organics and lysosomal integrity in green-lipped mussel Perna viridis. Science of the Total Environment 408, 1458−1465
  10. Fang JKH, Wu RSS, Zheng GJ, Au DWT, Lam PKS, Shin PKS (2009) The use of muscle burden in rabbitfish Siganus oramin for monitoring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong and possible human health risk. Science of the Total Environment 407, 4327−4332
  1. Dellisanti W, Seveso D, Fang JKH (2022) Nutrition of corals and their trophic plasticity under environmental conditions. In: Chimienti G (Ed). Corals – Habitat Formers from the Shallow to the Deep. IntechOpen, London, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.104612
  2. Schönberg CHL, Fang JKH, Carballo JL (2017) Excavating sponges and the future of coral reefs. In: Carballo JL, Bell J (Eds). Climate Change, Ocean Acidification and Sponges. Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg, pp. 179–372
  3. Wu RSS, Chan AKY, Richardson B, Au DWT, Fang JKH, Lam PKS, Giesy J (2008) Measuring and monitoring POPs: a critique. In: Murakami Y, Nakayama K, Kitamura SI, Iwata H, Tanabe S (Eds). Interdisciplinary Studies on Environmental Chemistry: Biological Responses to Chemical Pollutants. TERRAPUB, Tokyo, pp. 1−6

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