‘eighty years of promoting biodiversity conservation through taxonomic research, scientific training and international networks’

Harrison Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Research

Dr Paul Bates, Director of the Institute (left), with colleagues from the Prince of Songkla University, Thailand.

It is with great sadness that we record the death of our wonderful patron, Chairman of Trustees and friend, Dr David Harrison. To learn more about his life, please see his obituary and read some of the many tributes that have poured in from all over the world.

Project partner Aung Myo Chit leads the in-country team in our new Darwin Initiative project (2014-2017) in Myanmar.

Dr Pipat Soisook, our previous PhD Darwin student, recently described a new genus and species, the Thongaree's disc-nosed bat (Eudiscoderma thongareeae), from Thailand. Institute staff, working with colleagues worldwide have now helped name nineteen new species of Recent mammal and a number of new fossil taxa.

We congratulate all our previous Darwin MSc students: four (Ms Pimsai Uraiporn (above), Christopher Imakando, Ngagyel Tenzin, and Daosavanh Sanaxmay) have now completed their research on rodents and one, Tshering Nidup, on amphibians. r

Dr Pipat Soisook and Dr Bounsavanh Douangboubpha have now completed their PhD research on bats, Ith Saveng is soon to follow. Ms Ariya Dejtaradol is also currently completing her PhD on birds. All are writing up a series of papers for international journals.


Latest news

In April, 2014, the Harrison Institute and its Myanmar colleagues were awarded a grant for a new Darwin Initiative project (2014-2017): Enhancing rural livelihoods and biodiversity conservation through responsible tourism, Myanmar.

We have completed our previous Darwin project (2010-2013) Enhancing taxonomic capacity to underpin tropical biodiversity conservation (SE Asia). Outputs included 4 PhD and 5 MSc students and 56 papers, published or in prep.

The Institute is conducting a CEPF project Developing policies for sustainable tourism in the upper Ayeyarwady River Corridor, Myanmar (2014-15).

In November, 2015, the Institute, together with the University of Mandalay was awarded a grant by the Rufford Foundation for a collaborative project entitled 'Promoting biodiversity conservation as part of Green Growth 2050 destination planning for Bagan, Myanmar'.

We are pleased to announce that the Afro-Asian Taxonomic Network has nearly 200 members from 51 countries.

Details of the 2nd International Ornithological Congress of Southeast Asia (20-23 July, 2015) are now circulated; click here for a book of abstracts for the 1st Congress.

In support of the recently published Myanmar Tourism Master Plan and the Community Involvement in Tourism in Myanmar, Paul discussed aspects of responsible tourism with a range of stakeholders, including the government, conservation NGOs, tourism industry, and universities.


The Annual Reports of the Harrison Institute for the years 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 , and 2013-2014 are available. These outline our continuing training and taxonomic research projects.

We congratulate our former Darwin student, Tshering Nidup on the ongoing success of his amphibian project in Bhutan. This conservation and training programme is sponsored by the Rufford Foundation.

We congratulate all involved with the launch of Bat Conservation Africa. We are proud to be associated with this new network and assist with the transfer of copies of the Mammals of Africa to 38 academic institutions throughout the continent.


We congratulate our colleague Dr Sansareeya Wangkulangkul on her the successful completion of her Rufford grant for amphibian work in Thailand and the project's first publication.

Welcome to the Harrison Institute

The Harrison Institute was founded in 1930 as a zoological museum, specialising in mammals and birds.

Today it is a UK registered charity (No. 268830), CITES listed (GB010), and its staff actively facilitate and promote biodiversity conservation through:

  • Conducting collaborative biodiversity research, with colleagues in the UK, Africa and Asia

  • Capacity building in institutions and organisations based in the biodiversity rich Old World tropics

  • Developing networks between scientists, conservationists and civil society

  • Promoting poverty alleviation that links rural development to biodiversity conservation.

The Institute is based at Bowerwood House in south-east England.

Website last updated on 2 April, 2015