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Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) was established on November 24th, 1994. ITBC was founded in 1996. With the coordinating assistance of the Institute, local and international scientists can better explore the diverse terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems of the tropics, especially in Sabah.

The pioneer of the Tropical Biology and Conservation Unit, which precedes ITBC is Prof. Datin Dr. Maryati Mohamed who was responsible to build and establish a fully competent Unit (now the Institute). Prof. Datin Dr. Maryati Mohamed, who is an insect taxonomist by training, initiated the BORNEENSIS Reference Collection Centre which houses probably one of the best collections in Malaysia.

Prof. Datin Dr. Maryati Mohamed was succeeded by Assoc. Prof Dr. Abdul Hamid Ahmad, a zoologist by training. He was actively involved in the content development and enhancement of academic and support staff. He was a very dynamic individual and championed the conservation of the Sumatran Rhino via his involvements in the Borneo Rhino Alliance Program (BORA). His term as the director was from 2008 to 2013.


IBTP strives to be a well-known research and reference centre in the field  of tropical biology and conservation in Malaysia and South East Asia Region.


IBTP strives to achieve research excellence and gain world recognition through network linkages in conserving the world biodiversity.


  1. To be a research and reference centre in the field of tropical biology and conservation;
  2. To be a reference point for local biodiversity; to aid in management and environmental impact assessments;
  3. To carry out studies on tropical rainforests and freshwater ecosystems, as well and conservation of these habitats and their inhabitants;
  4. To provide well-trained and skilled manpower in the fields of tropical biology and conservation through long and short-term research / training programmes and postgraduate supervision;
  5. To disseminate biodiversity knowledge by organizing conferences and workshops.