Prof. Kenneth M. Y. LEUNG

PhD (Glasgow)

Chair Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
Director of State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution (City University of Hong Kong)


Contact Information

Office: YEUNG-B6513
Phone: +852 3442-7198
Fax: +852 3442-0522
Web: Personal website
  Google Scholar Citations
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-2164-4281

Research Interests

  • Environmental toxicology and chemistry
  • Marine pollution
  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Marine ecology and biodiversity conservation
  • Ecological restoration

Professor Kenneth Leung is an alumnus of the City University of Hong Kong. He accomplished his Higher Diploma in Applied Sciences (Environmental Science & Technology) with distinction at the City Polytechnic of Hong Kong in 1992, a BSc degree in Applied Environmental Sciences with first class honours at the University of Portsmouth in 1993, and a MPhil degree in Environmental Science at the City University of Hong Kong in 1996. As a recipient of the Swire’s James Henry Scott PhD Scholarship, he received doctoral training at the University of Glasgow and obtained his PhD in Marine Ecotoxicology in 2000. He was subsequently awarded The Croucher Foundation Fellowship, enabling his postdoctoral study in ecological risk assessment of industrial chemicals at Royal Holloway, University of London (2000-2001).

He firstly joined the University of Hong Kong (HKU) as Research Assistant Professor in January 2002 and was promoted to Assistant Professor, Associate Professor (Tenured) and Professor in 2003, 2009 and 2013, respectively. During his tenure at HKU (January 2002 - July 2020), he also served as a Research Scientist at the Swire Institute of Marine Science, the Warden of Morrison Hall (2011-2017), the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) at Faculty of Science (2014-2016) and Acting/Interim Director of School of Biological Sciences (2018-2019). He is a founding Editor-in-Chief of Regional Studies in Marine Science, and serves on the Editorial Boards of the Canadian Journal of Zoology, Journal of Hazardous Materials Letters, Marine Pollution Bulletin, and Ocean Science Journal. In recognition of his contributions to aquatic ecology and environmental toxicology in Asia-Pacific region, he was awarded the 19th Biwako Prize for Ecology by the Ecological Society of Japan, and conferred as a Fellow of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) in 2017. In 2018, he was selected as one of the top 100 Asian Scientists by Asian Scientist Magazine.

He is currently serving as an expert member in various advisory committees (e.g. Advisory Council on the Environment, Country and Marine Parks Board) for the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Owing to his professional achievements and dedicated community services, he was selected as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons” for Hong Kong by Junior Chamber International in 2010. In 2018, he was appointed as a Justice of the Peace by the HKSAR Government.


Research and Publications

Professor Leung is passionate about finding ways to protect the marine environment and conserve biodiversity. His long-term career goal is to improve environmental quality through science and education. He trained eight MPhil and 18 PhD graduates. His research interests encompass marine pollution, ecotoxicology, environmental risk assessment, environmental quality benchmarks, marine ecology, biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration using eco-engineering. So far, he has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in these areas (for more details, please visit his webpage: Some examples of his recent publications are shown below (*corresponding author):

  • Sham, R.C.T., Ho, K.K.Y., Hui, T.T.Y., Zhou, G.J., Chan, J.K.Y., Leung, K.M.Y.* (2021). Tissue distribution of triphenyltin compounds in marine teleost fishes. Journal of Hazardous Materials 401, 123426.
  • Leung, K.M.Y.*, Yeung, K.W.Y., You, J., Choi, K.H., Zhang, X.W., Smith, R., Zhou, G.J., Yung, M.M.N., Arias-Barreiro, C., An, Y.J., Burket, S.R., Dwyer, R., Goodkin, N., Hii, Y.S., Hoang, T., Humphrey, C., Iwai, C.B., Jeong, S.W., Juhel, G., Karami, A., Kyriazi-Huber, K., Lee, K.C., Lin, B.L., Lu, B., Martin, P., Nillos, M.G., Oginawati, K., Rathnayake, I.V.N., Risjani, Y., Shoeb, M., Tan, C.H., Tsuchiya, M.C., Ankley, G.T., Boxall, A.B.A., Rudd, M.A., Brooks, B.W. (2020). Towards sustainable environmental quality: Priority research questions for Asia. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 39, 1485-1505.
  • Tao, L.S.R., Lau, D.C.P., Perkins, M.J., Hui, T.T.Y., Yau, J.K.C., Mak, Y.K.Y., Lau, E.T.C., Dudgeon, D., Leung, K.M.Y.* (2020). Stable-isotope based trophic metrics reveal early recovery of tropical crustacean assemblages following a trawl ban. Ecological Indicators 117: 106610.
  • Yeung, K.W.Y., Giesy, J.P., Zhou, G.J., Leung, K.M.Y.* (2020). Ecological risk assessment of larvicidal oil on marine ecosystems. Marine Pollution Bulletin 156: 111178.
  • Zhou, G.J., Lin, L., Li, X.Y., Leung, K.M.Y.* (2020). Removal of emerging contaminants during chemically enhanced primary sedimentation of sewage and acidogenic fermentation of sludge. Water Research 175: 115646.
  • Sham, R.C.T., Tao, L.S.R., Mak, Y.K.Y., Yau, J.K.C., Wai, T.C., Ho, K.K.Y., Zhou, G.J., Li, Y.Y., Wang, X.H., Leung, K.M.Y.* (2020). Occurrence and trophic magnification profile of triphenyltin compounds in marine mammals and their corresponding food webs. Environment International 137: 105567.
  • Yeung, K.W.Y., Zhou, G.J., Hilscherova, K., Giesy, J.P., Leung, K.M.Y.* (2020). Current understanding on potential ecological risks of retinoic acids in aquatic environments. Environment International 136: 105464.
  • Zhou, G.J., Lai, R.W.S., Sham, R.C.T., Lam, C.S., Yeung, K.W.Y., Astudillo, J.C., Ho, K.K.Y., Yung, M.M.N., Yau, J.K.C., Leung, K.M.Y.* (2019). Accidental spill of palm stearin poses relatively short-term ecological risks to a tropical coastal marine ecosystem. Environmental Science & Technology 53: 12269-1227.
  • Morris, R.L., Heery, E.C., Loke, L.H.L., Lau, E.T.C., Strain, E.M., Airoldi, L., Alexanders, K.A., Bishop, M.J., Coleman, R.A., Cordell, J.R., Dong, Y.W., Firth, L.B., Hawkins, S.J., Heath, T., Kokora, M., Lee, S.Y., Miller, J.K., Perkol-Finkel, S., Rella, A., Steinberg, P.D., Takeuchi, I., Thompson, R.C., Todd, P., Toft, J.D., Leung, K.M.Y.* (2019). Design options, implementation issues and evaluating success of ecologically-engineered shorelines. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 57: 169-228. 7.
  • Zhou, G.J., Li, X.Y., Leung, K.M.Y.* (2019). Retinoids and oestrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals in saline sewage treatment plants: Removal efficiencies and ecological risks to marine organisms. Environment International 127: 103-113.

Awards and Honours

  • Presidential Citation for Exemplary Service by Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, SETAC World Council (2019).
  • Certificate for Top Downloaded Article in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry [2017-2018] by Wiley (2019).
  • Appointed as a Justice of the Peace by the Hong Kong SAR Government (2018).
  • Selected as One of the Top 100 Asian Scientists by the Asian Scientist Magazine [The Asian Scientist 100 – 2018 Edition] (2018).
  • The SETAC Fellows Award by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2017).
  • The 19th Biwako Prize for Ecology by the Ecological Society of Japan (2017).
  • Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award 2015-2016 by the University of Hong Kong (2016).
  • Certificate for Highly Cited Research in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part C [2013-2016] by Elsevier (2016).
  • Selected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons by Junior Chamber International Hong Kong (2010).
  • Marine Pollution Bulletin Highly Cited Author Award [2005-2009] by Elsevier (2010).