Google is paying tribute to Malaysian zoologist Dr Lim Boo Liat in a Doodle that can be seen on the search homepage today (June 21).
The late Dr Lim has been described as a leading authority on all things related to Malaysia’s biological diversity. He was credited for helping to establish Zoo Negara in Kuala Lumpur and has written more than 300 scientific publications about mammalogy and parasitology.
Google chose to honour Dr Lim today because it was on this day in 2003 that he became the first South-East Asian and fourth Asian to receive an Honorary Membership to the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM).
Born in 1926, a profile on the Merdeka Award website explained how Dr Lim had to stop schooling at 16 to support his family due to World War II. He had to do some odd jobs including selling vegetables.
Then in 1947, Dr Lim worked his way up from a temporary lab assistant at the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) in KL to becoming a permanent staff member later in 1952. He was involved in a number of scientific expeditions in places like Cambodia and Vietnam, focusing on areas such as the study of parasites and small mammals.
From 1955 to 1969, Dr Lim published more than 80 scientific papers and was then asked to head a newly-founded Medical Ecology Division at IMR.
Dr Lim was also offered a Sino-British Fellowship Trust Award under the British Council where he spent one and a half year studying animal ecology at the British Natural History Museum.
He then received the opportunity to pursue a Master’s Degree in Science at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. In 1972, Lim return to Malaysia and continue to work at IMR as a full-fledged zoologist. He received his PhD in Zoology at Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1977 and was then invited to be a part of the Vector Biology Control Research Unit at the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr Lim was also credited with reviving the Malaysian Nature Society after World War II. In a series of Behind the Doodle videos, it was also revealed that Dr Lim worked closely with FRIM (Forest Research Institute Malaysia) from 1999 to 2004 for research which led to a discovery of a new mountain reed snake species, only found in Genting Highlands, Pahang.
Dr Lim passed away in 2020 at the age of 94.
Google Doodles are changes made to the usual Google logo to celebrate significant holidays or lives of famous artists, pioneers or scientists. In the past, Google Doodle has paid tribute to epidemiologist Dr Wu Lien-teh in 2021 and singer-actress Saloma in 2020.