The Father of Zoology 
Dr Lim Boo Liat iswas a  zoologist and mammalogist who dedicated his life to unearthing and conserving Malaysia's biological diversity. In 1941, as World War II hit Malaya, he was forced to abandon his studies and help support his family. This led him to Carey Island in 1944, where he learned how to identify animals from the Orang Asli. 

Despite lacking a formal education, European university professors would pave the way for Dr Lim to pursue his Master’s Degree, upon seeing his potential and expertise in the fields. Later in life, he helped start Zoo Negara and wrote more than 300 scientific publications about mammalogy and parasitology. Even after retiring, he remained active, assisting research studies for students at local universities and was involved in the conservation of natural history. 

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Unlocking doors through dedication 
Dr Lim’s destiny changed when he applied and was accepted for a temporary post as a Lab Assistant at the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), Kuala Lumpur in 1947. The temporary stint turned into a permanent job when he was promoted in 1952 to the position of permanent Lab Assistant.  

As a permanent staff of the IMR, Dr Lim was involved in scientific expeditions and projects in Borneo, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand under the auspices of the Bishop Museum, University of Hawaii that focused on the study of parasites and small mammals.  

It is during this time that he helped start the National Zoo and played an instrumental role in the revival of the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) in 1948 after its long hiatus during the Second World War. 

Recognised for the interest and dedication to his job, he earned the Sino-British Fellowship Trust Award in 1959, enabling him to further studies at Oxford and Aberdeen University. Armed with a Masters in Science, Dr Lim returned once again to the IMR in 1972 to continue his work, where he was promoted to the position of Zoologist and began running the Medical Ecology division there.  

Trailblazing achievements in zoology 
In 1995, Dr. Lim received the Science and Technology Award from Malaysia Toray Science Foundation for his exceptional work in vertebrate ecology and zoonotic diseases. Meanwhile in 2007, he was honored as a fellow (FASc) by Akademi Sains Malaysia for his significant contributions to scientific research. 

Recognized for his notable service to mammalogy, Dr. Lim earned an Honorary Membership to The American Society of Mammalogists in 2003, becoming the first South-East Asian to receive this prestigious award. 

Dr. Lim, along with Dr. Illar Muul, pioneered the construction of the first Aerial Walkway in 1968 at Bukit Lanjan Forest Reserve, Sungei Buloh, Selangor. This innovative concept, aimed at studying the rainforest canopy and its inhabitants, has since been implemented in national and private parks for tourism, research purposes, both nationally and internationally. 

Dr. Lim is an Honorary Advisor on Zoology for the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) and uses extensive experience to make valuable contributions. Additionally, he remains dedicated to mentoring young scientists from various local and foreign universities and research organisations. 

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Early days in the laboratory at the IMR, 1948 

The information in this award recipient's profile is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time the award was presented. Any subsequent changes, updates, or developments in the individual's life or achievements may not be reflected in this profile. 

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