Former environment journalist Audrey Tan returns to The Straits Times

Tan previously spent nearly a decade in the Singapore broadsheet covering issues such as transboundary haze and animal trafficking, before moving to the National University of Singapore to lead science communications.

Audrey Tan CNCS
Audrey Tan, science communication and outreach lead at the National University of Singapore's Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions, hosting the opening of Singapore's country pavilion at the COP28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates in 2023. Image: COP28 Singapore Pavilion.

Former Straits Times environment correspondent Audrey Tan has returned to Singapore’s highest circulating newspaper less than two years after leaving the journalism trade.

Tan departs from the National University of Singapore (NUS), where she led science communication and outreach efforts at two research institutes: the Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions and the Tropical Marine Science Institute.

She will be supervising the environment desk of The Straits Times as an assistant news editor. Tan had briefly taken on the same designation before she left the newspaper in October 2022, though she had been environment correspondent in much of her previous nine years at the publication.

“I miss journalism,” Tan told Eco-Business when asked about her latest move.

“It has been a great 15 or so months with NUS, experimenting with new outreach activities and formats,” she said, pointing to marine wildlife-themed yoga sessions at the Tropical Marine Science Institute last year.

“But I do recognise and miss the unique ability that journalists have in asking tough or probing questions, to get to the crux of some of the key environmental challenges that we are facing today,” Tan added.

Tan had in 2022 told Eco-Business she joined the research institutes at NUS to raise the global profile of Singapore and Southeast Asia’s scientific expertise on nature-based solutions.

At the varsity, Tan hosted panel discussions, organised networking events and penned briefings on sustainability matters. She was also part of the Singapore country pavilion in 2022’s COP27 and last year’s COP28 global climate summits.

In her previous stint at The Straits Times, Tan’s more notable stories included an investigation into the links between Singapore agribusiness companies and forest fires in Indonesia. In 2018, she produced an investigative series on animal trafficking in Southeast Asia. 

Tan was the newspaper’s Journalist of the Year in 2021, and sits on the advisory committee for the Southeast Asia Rainforest Journalism Fund, which is managed by US-based media group Pulitzer Center.

Tan will return to a team of environment journalists that includes climate change editor David Fogarty, correspondent Cheryl Tan and reporter Shabana Begum.

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