UMS AQUARIUM  |  Seaweed Development Project  |  NAPOLEON Wrasse  |  TBCRI Tropical Biology and Conservation Research Institute  |  UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA SABAH TAWAU CAMPUS  |  University Malaysia Sabah   |

TBCRI  Tropical Biology and Conservation Research Institute



Founded in 1995, the Tropical Biology and Conservation Research Institute is actively involved in research and development activities, and teaching aimed at:

1) Contributing to understanding, rational management and use of plant and animal species, communities and ecosystem.

2) Promoting dissemination of information on environmental management issues and encouraging informed debate on these issues and

3) Meeting the challenges of biodiversity conservation by a holistic approach.


Undergraduate Level

The Institute assists on running several courses for the School of Science and Technology, the School of International Tropical Forestry and the School of Engineering and Information Technology. This Institute is also offering six (6) minor courses related to management and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem to non-science students.


Postgraduate (Master) Level
The Institute offers M.Sc. in Taxonomy and Biodiversity (a coursework programme with partial requirement for a dissertation) and Master programme by thesis in some area listed under research focus.

MSc. In Taxonomy and Biodiversity
In response to overcome the Taxonomic Impediment (Darwin Declaration, 1998) and as an effort towards achieving the aim of the Global Taxonomic Initiative (DIVERSITAS, 1999), in line with the Capacity Building Initiative (COP, 2000), University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and ASEANET (South East Asian Loop of BioNET-INTERNATIONAL) jointly organized a one year Master of Science (Taxonomy and Biodiversity) course. This broad - based-curriculum is meant to be a starting point for students to master in taxonomy of their choice of organism.

Course Structures
The course includes a sequence of taught modules accommodating a wide overview of the theory and practice of modern taxonomy and systematic, with equivalent biodiversity studies and six months research project. All modules include a combination of lectures, practical, seminars, tutorials, computing and library research projects, as appropriate. Candidates are required to complete 36 credit hours of course work. Assessment for the course is based on a combination of coursework, oral presentation, examination, research project and an optional viva voce. The passing mark is 50%, and grade of distinction is given to those gaining 70% or more. Students gaining a pass or distinction will be awarded the degree of Master of Science of the University Malaysia Sabah.

Admission Requirement
Candidates should have a Bachelor's degree with Honors in biological or environmental disciplines. Exceptionally, candidates with other qualifications equivalent to a Bachelor's degree and relevant work experience or background will be considered. Candidates whose first language is not English must normally have taken an English language test and achieved an acceptable grade or score before admission can be confirmed. Other evidence of oral and written competence in the English language will, exceptionally, be considered. Self-funding or fully sponsored candidates will be given priority.

Biosystematics and Biodiversity
Ecological Processes
Bioprospecting and Natural Products Chemistry
Nature Tourism

The Institute prides itself in attaining a leading position in biodiversity conservation. Realizing that Malaysia has ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity, we are seeking to fulfill our obligations to inventories and monitor the biodiversity. This is an enormous task, given that Malaysia is one of 12 mega diverse nations in the world. The expanding collection of flora and fauna, traditional knowledge, live specimens of endangered and rare species of organisms in our reference collection facility called BORNEENSIS is design to be one of the major biodiversity reference collections in Borneo and beyond.

The Institute is following a holistic approach towards the biodiversity issue by gathering data and generating information that boost efforts to not only understanding but conserve and use the biological diversity on sustainable basis. We are data-basing on the computer to enable on-line retrieval of biodiversity data for organisms of the region. The programme WORLD MAP we are developing will enable analysis of data to facilitate prioritization of protected areas.

The Institute undertake scientific expedition deeper into the rainforest and the people around it. Areas that have been explored are Maliau Basin, Danum Valley, Tabin, Imbak Valley, Mt. Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Binsulok, Klias and Mt. Trus Madi. The Institute also links conservation with nature tourism industry in this part of Borneo.

Sustainable Rainforest Industry
Recognizing that biodiversity of the rainforest is the richest and best source of therapeutics, attention is given on the understanding of importance of biodiversity (flora and fauna) for its application in healthcare. Bio-prospecting for biological compounds of medical and nutritional values is being pursue by converging a number of disciplines such as taxonomy, ethno-biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry and involve procedures such as searching, collecting, taxonomic identification, preparation of extracts, chromatographic analysis, pharmaceutical screening, bio-assaying, etc.

Currently we are implementing projects on :

1) Documentation of knowledge (ethno-botany, ethno zoology, ethno-pharmacology).

2) Mapping of rainforest resources.

3) DNA fingerprinting of selected resources.

4) Isolation and characterization of useful secondary metabolites from rainforest resources.

5) Modification and synthesis of chemicals of economic importance.

As biodiversity is a global issue, the Institute has established linkages with institutions from several parts of the world. These include the United Kingdom (the Royal Society, Natural History Museum. Imperial College and Queen Mary College of the University of London, University of Leeds, Durham, York and Wales in Cardiff), Denmark (University of Aarhus and Copenhagen), Netherlands (University of Leiden), Germany (University of Wurzburg and Frankfurt), Japan (Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA); Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo; Nagao Natural Environment Foundation (NEF); Universities of Kyusu, Kobe, Kagoshima, Hokkaido, Kyoto and the Kyoto and Himeji Institutes of Technology), Australia (Southern Cross University), Singapore (Zoological Raffles Collection, National University of Singapore), Indonesia (Bogor Zoological Collection), Brunei (University of Brunei Darulsalam), Vietnam (Biology and Ecology Research Institute) and Thailand (Kasetsart University). Cooperation are in the form of academic linkages such as taxonomic support, collaborative research, postgraduate supervision, technical and information exchange, staff exchange programmes and joint publication.

Many research projects of the Institute received international funding from organizations such as DANCED (Denmark), Darwin Initiative (UK), GTZ (German), JICA (Japan), SOS-Rhino (USA), WWF (Malaysia), Kosinar (Japanese wood processing industry based in Sabah) and ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (the Philippines).



Tropical Biology and Conservation Research
University Malaysia Sabah
Locked Bag 2073. 88999 Kota Kinabalu

Tel : (+)6088 - 320 104
Fax : (+) 6088 - 320 291
E-mail : /

Public Universities of Malaysian Government  November 18, 2013 02:04:40 PM

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