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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) and CITES listed (GB010).  


The Harrison Institute seeks to enable and empower the next generation of young biodiversity scientists and conservationists.


It has three principal objectives:

  1. Building research capacity through training, co-supervising, mentoring, and supporting students and early career biodiversity scientists in the UK/Europe, Asia, and Africa

  2. Conducting collaborative, collections-based research to discover and describe tropical biodiversity, especially mammals and birds, including species new to science

  3. Developing education programmes and conservation initiatives to inspire community involvement in environmental protection.


The Harrison Institute has a history of research and capacity building in Asia, Arabia, and Africa and more recently, through the projects of our honorary research fellows, in Melanesia.

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The Institute actively collaborates with universities, museums and NGOs on biodiversity programmes in the Old World tropics. Its UK staff promote, facilitate and participate in these programmes. In addition, it has in-country, local staff in the Old World tropics who work on a range of projects, which are supported by external grants. It also promotes the research and conservation programmes of its honorary research fellows.


The Institute is supervised by a Board of Trustees drawn from a wide range of backgrounds.



The Harrison Institute has helped raise over $2.3 million from external funding sources for international biodiversity research and conservation projects. This is in addition to the substantial financial contribution it has made from its own charitable trust fund for the past 50 years.


Institute staff have led, or significantly contributed to, projects supported by: Anglo-Omani Society; CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund); Darwin Initiative (UK Government); EU Erasmus+ programme; GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility); National Geographic (USA); National Science Foundation (USA); Rufford Foundation (UK); and the Waterloo Foundation (UK).

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The Harrison Institute staff and its student have received many awards, including:


for contributions to Research and Higher Education

  • 2018 - An award from IUCN to Dr Paul Bates in recognition of his contribution to the study of Arabian mammals.

  • 2012 - Honorary Doctorate awarded to Dr Paul Bates by the Prince of Songkla University Thailand for academic excellence, contribution and dedication to the advancement of higher education in Southeast Asia.

for Community-based Conservation projects

  • 2020 - Travel Massive international 'Social Entrepreneurship Competition' - Awarded 3rd place to Beatrix Lanzinger and her Myanmar team for the Institute's ecotourism project 'Destination Ayeyarwady' 

  • 2019 - Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Community-based Tourism Award to Beatrix Lanzinger and her Myanmar team for the Institute's ecotourism project 'Destination Ayeyarwady' 

  • 2017 - MRTA (Myanmar Responsible Tourism Award) to Beatrix Lanzinger and her Myanmar team for best 'Community Involvement in Tourism' for the Institute's ecotourism project 'Destination Ayeyarwady'.

for the Institute's former Postgraduate Students

  • 2019 - Thai MSc student, Ms Awatsaya Pimsai awarded 'Outstanding Staff member of Prince of Songkla University and Outstanding staff member for the Faculty of Science'   

  • 2018 - Vietnamese MSc student, Dr Vu Dinh Thong, awarded the international Spallanzani Award for distinguished bat research

  • 2017 - Zambian MSc student, Mr Christopher Imakando, awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to study for his PhD at Greenwich University, UK

  • 2016 - Thai PhD and MSc student, Dr Pipat Soisook, awarded the international Spallanzani Award for distinguished bat research.

for young Honorary Research Fellows of the Institute 

  • 2021 - Dr Iroro Tanshi from Nigeria, one of six winners of the international Whitley Awards for conservation 

  • 2020 - Dr Iroro Tanshi from Nigeria, one of three winners of the international FFN (Future for Nature) conservation awards. 

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