Pelf was formally introduced to turtles in her undergraduate studies but she has had a strong affinity towards turtles when she was a little girl.
Upon receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology, she landed herself a job as a Research Assistant in a new river terrapin project on campus, where she learned the ropes of turtle research and conservation. One event led to another, and Pelf decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation. Throughout her Master’s research, she raised more than 800 river terrapins, and determined the best feeding practices to raise these river terrapins in captivity. Currently, Pelf is pursuing her Ph.D. in Zoology in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) with a scholarship from CIMB Foundation.
In 2008, Pelf became the first Malaysian to be awarded a 4-month turtle conservation scholarship from the Asian Scholarship Program for in-situ Chelonian Conservation to the United States. Through the scholarship, she had the opportunity to learn about and participate in various turtle research and conservation projects that her hosts were involved in, e.g. at the University of Tennessee of Chattanooga, Behler Chelonian Center in California, and the Wetlands Institute in New Jersey.
In addition to research and conservation, Pelf also conducts various turtle awareness programmes and participates in fund-raising events and exhibitions.
For her work with the turtles, she has been featured in newspapers, magazines and interviewed by radio stations. She has also been invited to give talks about turtles and conservation, and in 2011, she was given the honour to speak at TEDxKL.
Pelf recently co-founded Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCS), a non-profit and non-governmental organization dedicated to turtle conservation in Malaysia, where she continues her passion in turtle research and conservation.