‘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.

The Institute's current Darwin Initiative project is proving most successful. For example, the new destinations for nature tourists, which are linked to dolphin conservation, are widely reported and popular with tour companies, including Tour Mandalay.

We congratulate Dr Pipat Soisook on his 2016 Spallanzani award from the North American Society of Bat Research. Pipat is one of 4 PhD students and 5 MSc students from Southeast Asia who were trained as part of two joint Harrison Institute/Prince of Songkla University (PSU) Darwin Initiative projects. He is based at the Natural History Museum, PSU, Thailand

Institute staff, working with colleagues worldwide, have now helped name nineteen new species of Recent mammal and a number of new fossil taxa. The living mammals are primarily bats and gerbilline rodents from the Old World tropics and subtropics but also include a giant flying squirrel from the forests of Lao PDR.

The Harrison Institute continues with its outreach work throughout the tropics. This includes, for example, working in collaboration with Bat Conservation Africa to distribute over 40 copies of the six volume Mammals of Africa throughout subsaharan Africa, Madagascar, Morocco and Algeria. Financial support was received from the Rufford Foundation.

We all still miss our wonderful former patron, Chairman of Trustees and friend, Dr David Harrison who died on 18 March, 2015. To learn more about his life, please see his obituary.

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.

Harrison Institute, Bowerwood House, 15 St Botoloph's Road,
Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 3AQ, United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1732 742446; Email: hzm@btinternet.com

Projects and other news

We are currently in the final year of our most recent Darwin Initiative project (2014-2017); it has been very demanding but also very productive: 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.

For details of our recent CEPF project, including reports, see Developing policies for sustainable tourism in the upper Ayeyarwady River Corridor, Myanmar (2014-15).

In November, 2015, the Institute, completed its latest project funded by the Rufford Foundation. Please see our report on the project 'Promoting biodiversity conservation as part of Green Growth 2050 destination planning for Bagan, Myanmar'. We thank Rufford for their support.

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

The programme of the recent, very successful international bat conference, 17th IBRC (July/Aug, 2016) Durban, South Africa) is available here.

The Annual Reports of the Harrison Institute for the years 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 are available. These outline our continuing training and taxonomic research projects.

To catch up on the many activities of the Harrison Institute, both here in the UK and internationally, we recommend that you review recent reports on our Facebook page. These are regularly updated.

We congratulate all involved with the launch of Bat Conservation Africa. We are proud to be associated with this new network and have assisted in two of its major projects. We look forward to further close cooperation over the coming years.

..Website last updated on 14 October, 2016