Hi! I am David

I am here to beckon you to join me in exploring the magical world of plants.

The Why


For me there is only the travelling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel, looking, looking, breathlessly.

This quote by Don Juan Matus in A Yaqui Way of Knowledge sums up the driving motivation of all my endeavors.

To work with and share of the magic of plants is one path of heart for me.

I lead a double life

By day…

I am an ECOLOGIST in training (the training never ends!), and I work with plants. [See my Research Gate and LinkedIn profiles].

I did my postgraduate research at the University of Tasmania in Australia where I enjoyed the rare privilege to study the ecology of how fire have created the world’s tallests flowering trees.

By night and in every other spare moment…


I pursue and study a wide range of botany related topics ranging from plant photography, nature writing on blogs (TasmanianPlants and FloraFNQ), building my plant Life List and volunteering as a demonstrator on how to use the online Australian Rainforest Key.

In particular, I am very interested in bryophytes and where I can I also contribute to working on the online Key to Tasmanian Plants

But beyond the trappings intellectual pursuits…

Underlying everything I do is an awareness of the mystical side of the botanical world.

I aim to enhance the appreciation of plants with SCIENCE.

I aim to infuse the study of plants with HEART.

I aim to integrate the appreciation and the study with SPIRIT

My quest therefore is communion – the integration of science, passion and spirit.

I believe that the grandest expression of all physical and intellectual endeavors lie in this integration.

Where From and Where Now

I am from Singapore. Born there. Bred there. My cultural roots lie in the rich and post-modern chinese culture that has blossomed on that progressive island.

I am currently a Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil, where I continue my academic research and teach ecology and scientific communication.

But no matter where I am on this lovely earth, my spiritual home remains in the southeast Asian tropics – the abode of the giant dipterocarp tree, the mecca of fig shrines, and the sylvan palaces of the Kings and Queens of fruits. Ceaselessly, the southeast Asian tropics beckons me to return, in person or in spirit.

12 Responses to Me

  1. Sarah says:

    Hey there, I am a fellow Singaporean who happened to chance upon your website while google-searching for lithophytic plants. I concur with you and share exactly the same sentiments on the botanical world. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours!


  2. Liveolakhota says:

    Oh My David! I just returned from Yarrabah, North Queensland! I would have loved to meet you there. I am from New Mexico. I was called to go there to be part of restoring the Planetary and Dreaming communications with All Life.   Your blog makes me want to pour my heart to you….I was asked to do healing Ceremonies with the People as we continue to transform as the One Humanity, inner-and inter-related to All Life. I appreciate the way you marry the heart-mind (science and ceremony) of the Plants, and give them voice. Hena Wakn Pi means: All Life is Sacred, Itlatol: means It’s Voice, It’s Song it’s Wisdom Story…this is the voice and Being of the Dreamseed Traditions I walk with. With Gratitude ~ April Mondragon


    • David says:

      Thanks April,
      I wished I had the opportunity to attend the Yarrabah event. It’s a small world however. I actually know someone (Nila and Jordie) who met you there at Yarrabah. I’d love to stay connected.
      With appreciation,


  3. lekowala says:

    Hi David, this is an excellent blog you have. I am a botanist from Singapore and currently at Gardens by the Bay. Really enjoy reading your blog.


    • David Tng says:

      Hi lekowala,

      Thanks. I’m intending to be back in SG for a visit sometime soon, and Gardens by the Bay is certainly a place on the list that I want to visit.



  4. mike shanahan says:

    Hi David, I just discovered your great blog. I’m glad to know you are a fellow fig fan. You might be interested in my book: Ladders to Heaven: How fig trees shaped our history, fed our imaginations and can enrich our future
    See –


  5. Christine Dalliston says:

    Hello David thank you for your great website. I wrote you a long letter about Gustavia superba and figs just now but the reply didn’t like my email address. so just saying good on you for communicating on science and life esp. botany, figs, north queensland and feelings.


  6. Hi David, I am currently creating a small interpretive exhibit at the Cradle Mt Wilderness Gallery and we are seeking some pics of native plants to this area. I have come across your flickr page and you shots are great particularly some of the images with black backgrounds. Would it be possible to use some of your images with attribution? I may need some higher res pics for the quality printing required?

    Kind regards


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