Dr. Lim Boo Liat, renowned Malaysian zoologist on today’s Google doodle
Today Google doodle to honor Dr. Lim Boo Liat, the renowned Malaysian zoologist. His pioneering work revealed the biological diversity of Malaysia and made him a strong advocate for the conservation of the country's natural heritage.
He helped start Malaysia's national zoo and wrote more than 300 scientific publications about mammalogy and parasitology. On this day in 2003, Dr. Lim became the first Southeast Asian and fourth Asian to be awarded an Honorary Membership to the American Society of Mammalogists.
Lim Boo Liat was born 21 August 1926 in Klang, Selangor. While attending high school in Klang, Selangor, Dr. Lim Boo Liat frequented the school garden to observe the life of small animals and insects found there.
Lim Boo Liat was only 16 when World War II came to Malaysia and had to pause his studies to support his family. In 1947, after the war, he applied for a temporary Lab Assistant job at the Institute of Medical Research (IMR).
In 1952, Lim Boo Liat was promoted as a permanent Lab Assistant and was involved in several scientific expeditions. Dr. Lim conducted research and attended conferences regarding parasitic effects on wildlife behavior. From 1955 to 1969, he published more than 80 scientific papers on vertebrate animals and was asked to head a newly founded Medical Ecology Division at the IMR.
Seeing his potential and expertise in the field, a few professors from European universities paved the way for him to pursue his Master's Degree, despite his lack of formal education. In fact, Dr. Lim did not even receive his Bachelor's Degree before his sponsorship to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Dr. Lim Boo Liat returned to Malaysia in 1972 and continued running the Medical Ecology Division, this time as a full-fledged zoologist. Dr. Lim received his Ph.D. in Zoology at the Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1977 and was invited to help run the Vector Biology Control Research Unit at the World Health Organization. He was the first person to be awarded a Ph.D. from Universiti Sains Malaysia.
His contributions to the field of zoology and biodiversity have inspired the next generation of scientists from Malaysia. From a temporary lab assistant to an honorary member of the American Society of Mammalogists, Dr. Lim is a shining example of immense expertise. He has a number of species of parasites and animals named after him and is a 2013 recipient of the Merdeka Award.