Rimba is driven by a dynamic Core Team that includes two co-founders and several lead and co-researchers conducting projects involving conservation issues in Malaysia. 

Rimba’s family also includes Research Staff (people who work as part or full-time researchers under a particular project), Field Assistants (indigenous people who execute the project activities on the ground) and ‘Friends of Rimba’, who are researchers, projects or organisations we have worked with in the past, on different aspects of the same research or same study site. Although we no longer work together on specific projects in Rimba, we continue to support or receive support from these friends.

Core Team

Gopalasamy Reuben Clements

Reuben is the co-founder of Rimba and the lead researcher of Project Harimau Selamanya and The Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project. He is now a Post-doctoral Research Associate with James Cook University and an Associate Professor with Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a MSc in Biology, and completed his PhD in Conservation Science at James Cook University. He is also affiliated with several other academic institutions.  You can contact him at: reuben AT rimbaresearch DOT org

Sheema Abdul Aziz


Sheema is the co-founder of Rimba and lead researcher of Project Pteropus. She has a BA in Archaeology from the University of York, an MSc in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent, and a PhD from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. She is also a member of the SEABCRU Flying Fox Team. Sheema has worked under several conservation organisations, but most extensively under WWF-Malaysia to help improve conservation and protected area management in Belum-Temengor, Perak. More details of her expertise and research interests can be found here. You can contact her at: sheema AT rimbaresearch DOT org

Liew Thor-Seng

Liew is the lead researcher of ‘Project Limestone’ and was the lead researcher of the completed project ‘A Lifedesk for Malaysian terrestrial molluscs‘. Liew graduated with a MSc from the Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). He has just completed his PhD with Leiden University on molecular phylogenetics and morphospace evolution on landsnails in Malaysia. He is now a senior lecturer at the same institute in UMS. Liew expertly uses molecular techniques to answer biological and ecological questions involving both animal and plant groups and is experienced with the use of GIS and statistical techniques as well.  You can contact him at: liewthorseng AT gmail DOT com

Lahiru Wijedasa

Lahiru new
Lahiru is a co-researcher in ‘Project Limestone’. He is currently pursing his PhD at the in the National University of Singapore. He did his undergraduate degree at the National University of Singapore, carrying out a project on conservation of peat swamp forests in Sundaland. He completed a Master’s degree in plant taxonomy at the University of Edinburgh and Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh. He has worked for a number of years managing ex-situ conservation plant material at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. While there he helped develop the 5Ha Healing Garden and also ran the Tree Gang for a number of years. He works on a multi-pronged approach to conservation of peat swamp forests and limestone karsts using remote sensing, plant taxonomy, entomology and above ground biomass estimation. You can find out more details about his work here and you contact him at: lahirux AT gmail DOT com

Research Staff

Lam Wai Yee


Wai Yee is the Technical Advisor to the Harimau Selamanya project. She is currently working part-time for this project, while pursuing her MSc degree in Conservation Science in Universiti Malaysia Terengganu under a scholarship from Panthera. Wai Yee is especially interested in investigating the behavioural aspects of the ‘landscape of fear’ and its implications for wildlife conservation. She has a BA in Psychology from UCSI University, Malaysia. A Malaysian who grew up in Bandung, Indonesia, she’s had plenty of diverse work experience, flying around as airlines staff, volunteering in Cambodia with children from poverty-stricken communities, and carrying out intensive camera-trapping as a researcher under the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). She’s also quite partial to felids! Wai Yee can be contacted at e AT rimbaresearch DOT org

Sri Rao Venkateswara


Sri Rao is the Manager of the Harimau Selamanya project. Sri completed his BSc in Biomedical Science at Management & Science University, Malaysia. He subsequently obtained his MSc in Endangered Species Recovery and Conservation from Nottingham Trent University, UK. Sri aspires to pursue his PhD and run initiatives that focus on empowering and building capacity of local communities to manage their surrounding natural environment to enhance human-nature connections. He seeks novel scientific approaches and education as mechanisms to achieve this. You can contact him at: sri AT rimbaresearch DOT org

Foon Junn Kitt (Kelvin)


Junn Kitt (Kelvin) is a Data Analyst in the Harimau Selamanya project. Prior to joining Rimba, he completed his BSc in Marine Science at the University of Western Australia, studying the ecology of tropical terrestrial molluscs. Junn Kitt spent most of his holidays exploring the rainforests, rivers and coasts of his homeland, Malaysia. He has a deep interest in the conservation of tropical biota, especially molluscs. He is currently working with Rimba to gain experience in conservation work in Malaysia. He aims to pursue his MSc in molecular phylogenetics of molluscs and work on the diverse malacofauna of Southeast Asia in the longer term. You can contact him at: jk AT rimbaresearch DOT org

Akmal Arif Mohd Razali


Akmal is a Forest Patroller for Project Harimau Selamanya. He graduated from Universiti Sains Malaysia with a BSc in Biology (Zoology) prior to joining Rimba. Driven by his love for cats, Akmal started with Rimba when he first volunteered to help with data cataloging and fieldwork for Project Harimau Selamanya. Now Akmal is helping out with patrolling and surveillance as full-time staff of the project. He is looking forward to possibly doing his Master’s degree on big cats, especially clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa), in the future.  Feel free to contact him at: akmalarifazali93 AT gmail DOT com for any inquiry.


‘Friends of Rimba’

David Bickford


David is an evolutionary ecologist and conservation scientist currently studying the effects of climate change on amphibian distribution and elevation on Mt. Kinabalu.  He has worked on frogs on Gunung Kinabalu, and Challenges in regulating transboundary haze and many other projects in S.E. Asia.  His specialties include reptiles and amphibians, but he also helps train regional conservation scientists to communicate their science more effectively to diverse but targeted audiences and stakeholders. He also works with the IUCN’s Climate Change Specialist Group. David received his PhD from the University of Miami on frogs in Papua New Guinea. Details of David’s research can be found on his Google Scholar and Research Gate pages. You can contact him at: rokrokbickford AT gmail DOT com

Mahfuzatul Izyan


Zatul (middle, in blue) is a Co-Researcher in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor project. She first got involved in Rimba when she volunteered to conduct questionnaire surveys for Project Pteropus. Prior to joining, Zatul completed her BSc in Conservation Biology at Universiti Malaysia Sabah. She is now pursuing her MSc in Conservation Biology under Reuben’s supervision at the Kenyir Research Institute, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. Zatul is focusing on trying to improve the efficiency of underpass use by large mammals in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor. Over the last three years in Sabah, Zatul had fallen in love with the beauty of nature after camping overnight in the jungles.  She even left her job as nutritionist in Penang for a chance to be closer to nature. She has a keen interest in quantifying relationships in nature using statistics. As conservation is always left behind in Malaysia in the pursuit of economic growth, Zatul wants to one day model financial costs of losing ecosystem services as a result of forest loss in Malaysia. Zatul wants to participate in conservation efforts as long as possible in Rimba, possibly focusing on the social aspects of conservation in the future. You can contact her at: zatulmahfuz AT gmail DOT com

Teoh Shu Woan

Shu Woan

Shu Woan is a part-time Research Assistant with Project Harimau Selamanya and Project Pteropus. Prior to joining, Shu Woan completed her BSc in Biology at Universiti Putra Malaysia and studied Irrawaddy dolphins for her MSC at Universiti Malaysia Sabah. During her Msc, Shu Woan had the opportunity to visit indigenous communities. This gave her an insight to the practices of local communities that were akin to conservation. Shu Woan switched from marine to terrestrial research after her MSc. Collaring Sunda clouded leopards was one of her highlights then. Ultimately, Shu Woan would like to learn how to balance research with on-the-ground conservation efforts, as well as how to evaluate conservation efforts.

Laurie Hedges

“Rimba has been such an experience of the frontline of conservation, and the team has been literally overflowing with knowledge and energy. I’ve felt immensely privileged to be able to live and work in such a beautiful place”

Laurie was the former Head of Monitoring and was a consultant with the Harimau Selamanya project. He still helps out with making videos for Rimba’s projects. Laurie started out with Rimba on a 6-month volunteering stint in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project, making the long journey all the way from Oxford, UK. However, he ended up staying longer than he planned, and worked on his very own project: ‘Conservation Status of Big Cats in a Threatened Wildlife Corridor in Malaysia’ – affectionately known as ‘Project Black Cloud’ for short. This work was carried out for his master’s degree at Nottingham University Malaysia Campus (supervised by Ahimsa and Reuben), and was a continuation of Reuben’s work in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor. He has a bachelors degree in Zoology from Cardiff University and is also hooked on surfing, capoeira and photography. You can view a selection of his work at or contact him at laurie UNDERSCORE hedges AT gmail DOT com.

Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz

Ahimsa is the lead researcher of ‘Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants‘ or MEME. He is also a co-supervisor for Sheema’s PhD, and supports Project Pteropus with camera traps. Ahimsa received his PhD from the University of Tokyo and is currently an Assistant Professor with the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus in the School of Geography. He is primarily interested in the ecology and conservation of large herbivores such as elephants and their interactions with plants (e.g. food habits, seed dispersal). More details of Ahimsa’s research expertise can be found here. You can contact him at: ahimsa AT camposarceiz DOT com

Giam Xingli

Giam was the lead researcher of ‘Ecology and conservation of blackwater fishes under land-use change‘. He still provides statistical advice to Rimba’s researchers. Giam graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Master’s degree in Biology and completed his PhD under Princeton University.  His research focused on quantifying the impact of land-use change on freshwater fish communities in peat swamp forests such as those in Sarawak. He has also developed spatially-explicit models of peatland deforestation in collaboration with Center for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing (CRISP) at the National University of Singapore. He is now a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Olden Research Group at the University of Washington, Seattle. at More details of his work can be found here. You can contact him at: giamxingli AT gmail DOT com


Azhar or ‘Dahar’ used to work with the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project. He comes from the same village as Acik in Semelor, Temengor, Perak. Azhar belongs to the indigenous Temiar tribe who are well-known for their creative craftwork. Although just 22 years of age, he is an expert navigator in the jungle and has a keen eye for wildlife tracks and hunting signs. His duties included leading habitat use surveys, where he recorded animal signs with a GPS and found suitable areas to deploy camera-traps. Azhar previously worked as a whitewater rafting instructor at Kuala Kubu Baru in Selangor.


Param used to work with WWF-Malaysia, the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project and Project Black Cloud, and is now with MEME. He is native to the land of Malaysia and hails from the village of Semelor, Temengor, Perak. His duties included looking out for animal signs, spotting fruit trees, and leading habitat use surveys, where he records animal signs with a GPS and finds suitable areas to deploy camera-traps. He now serves as a designated driver for MEME. He is the quietest of the group, but probably the best at spotting animal signs.


Puyee used to work with WWF-Malaysia, the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project, Project Black Cloud, and MEME. He is native to the land of Malaysia and hails from the village of Semelor, Temengor, Perak. His duties included looking out for animal signs and spotting fruit trees. He had the most infectious laughter of the lot and there was never a dull moment in the field house with him around.


Acik worked with the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project. He is native to the land of Malaysia and hails from the village of Semelor, Temengor, Perak. His duties included leading habitat use surveys, where he recorded animal signs with a GPS and found suitable areas to deploy camera-traps. Acik was the best driver of the group and spoke the most English.


Lan used to work with WWF-Malaysia and the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project. He is native to the land of Malaysia and hails from the village of Raba, Temengor, Perak. His duties includes looking out for animal signs and spotting fruit trees. He was our best cook (formerly a chef’s apprentice) and the most skillful footballer on the pitch.


Uda used to work with WWF-Malaysia and the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project. He is native to the land of Malaysia and hails from the village of Semelor, Temengor, Perak. His duties included looking out for animal signs and spotting fruit trees. He was our best ‘trailbazer’, as he bashed through the forest with incredible ease.

Paul Henry

Paul Henry used to work as a research assistant with the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project (Nov 2010-June 2011). He graduated from University Tunku Abdul Rahman with a Bachelor Degree in Biomedical Sciences. He also spent his first two semesters studying Marine Biology at University Malaysia Terengganu. He has a strong interest in nature photography and wildlife conservation, especially on sea turtles and tigers. Paul has gained valuable experience by volunteering in numerous community and wildlife conservation projects in Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia. His passion was rewarded by the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers, which awarded him the Volunteer of the Year for 2008. During his time in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project, he developed research experience on wildlife monitoring techniques. Since then he has attended training courses in India, Malaysia and China to equip himself with more skills and knowledge to become a better biologist.  We wish him all the best! You can contact Paul to find out about his experience with Rimba at: paulhenry AT myrimba DOT org

William Yap

As a research assistant, William Yap was in charge of GIS and remote sensing in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project (Nov 2010-Dec 2011). He holds a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Management from Monash University. During his time in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project, he developed research experience on wildlife monitoring techniques, GIS and remote sensing. After leaving Rimba, William joined WWF-Malaysia, where he is now their GIS officer for Peninsular Malaysia. We wish him all the best! You can contact William about his experience with Rimba at: wlyap AT wwf DOT org DOT my

10 thoughts on “Researchers

  1. Pingback: What will it take to save the Sumatran Rhino : Borneo Rhino Alliance

  2. Hi… Was shown this site by MNS Selangor.
    I am very impressed with the work all of you have done.

  3. Keep up the good work ! Soon we will have a Biodiversity and Natural Heritage Centre at Kenyir where we can all sit and have long discourses about our work whilst watching beautiful animal videos god willing.

  4. Pingback: Roads to ruin: The most environmentally destructive highways in Southeast Asia |

  5. Read your articles published in peer reviewed journals. So impress!!!!

  6. Pingback: Sticky camera trick allows scientists to identify Malaysia’s black leopards by their hidden spots | the hound

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