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

Harrison Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Research

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Training students from Yangon University, Myanmar.

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The PhD studies of Nikky Thomas and Yasantha Mapatuna of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka were both co-supervised by staff of the Harrison Institute.


Training and academic supervision


Three recent projects funded by the Darwin Initiative involved the training of 10 MSc and 14 PhD students in aspects of bat taxonomy and ecology.  The projects were:
  • Enhancing taxonomic capacity to underpin tropical biodiversity conservation (SE Asia) [more information]

  • Taxonomic initiative for Southeast Asian bat studies (Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam) [more information]

  • Biodiversity assessment of limestone karst dependent bats in Myanmar (Burma) [more information]


All current projects include aspects of training [more information]


In-house training

Three members of staff, current and past, have been awarded higher degrees while working and researching at the Harrison Institute.  These include:

  • Dr Paul Bates, Director of the Institute, awarded his PhD by Royal Holloway College, London University in 1987 for his study of Systematics and Zoogeography of Tatera (Rodentia: Gerbillinae) of north-east Africa and Asia

  • Malcolm Pearch, researcher and administrator of the Institute, awarded his MPhil by the University of Aberdeen in 2009 for his study of Small Mammal Biodiversity in Nepal

  • Dr Nikky Thomas, a researcher and PhD supervisor at the Institute, was awarded her PhD by the University of Aberdeen for her study entitled A systematic review of selected Afro-Asiatic Rhinolophidae (Mammalia: Chiroptera); an evaluation of taxonomic methodologies.