How to help


Rimba is a non-profit research group registered in Malaysia (002085549-T). As such, we require funds to carry out long-term scientific research in remote locations.

If you wish to financially support Rimba’s projects, please contact us: reuben AT rimbaresearch DOT org


Rimba would not be anywhere without fantastic volunteers. Because of the nature of our work, we are ideally looking for people who can commit for at least several months at a stretch. Our work also tends to require either specialised technical skills or physically intensive fieldwork (or both). However, depending on our activities it may be occasionally possible to fit in one-off or shorter term volunteers, or perhaps work you could do from your desktop at home. So we assess volunteer applications on a case-by-case basis, based on current needs, situation, and the information you provide us about yourself. Rimba’s scientists can also provide reference letters or letters of recommendation (upon request) for successful volunteer stints.

If you want to volunteer with any of Rimba’s projects, please email the following information to the respective members (or to our general email address above, if you don’t have a specific preference):

1) Rimba project(s) you would like to contribute to

2) Background of yourself and interests

3) Skill sets that would come in useful

4) Amount of time you can spare, including your available dates

5) Short CV 

Please note that for information or requests regarding MEME, you should contact Ahimsa directly. 

A few points to consider before you write to us: We don’t provide industrial/practical training or ‘work experience’ training for students seeking internships or general student projects to meet degree requirements. Rimba’s projects are carried out to meet specific conservation needs, and we take on people who can help us meet those needs. When you help out with our work, you’re being given a rare and unique opportunity to contribute directly to conservation science, through experiences which we hope will be mutually beneficial. You’ll gain skills and experience that are relevant to tropical biodiversity conservation. But we do not provide specific training opportunities or research projects that can be tailored to specific needs. Also, we’re not a profit-making venture, and our funds are limited. While we’re often able to pay for the services of qualified research assistants, we can’t guarantee that we’ll always be able to cover all costs for ad hoc volunteers. This largely depends on the amount of funding available to a project at a specific point in time.

Below are some passionate volunteers who have helped out, or are helping out with Rimba’s projects. A big THANK YOU goes out to them! You can email them to find how they benefited (or not)! from being attached to Rimba!


Yek Sze Huei


Sze Huei (Zoe), originally from Malaysia, is an Evolutionary Biologist and postdoctoral researcher from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Her interests are in a broader sense on understanding evolutionary ecology and behavioural interactions between organisms. She was involved in Rimba when she was briefly back in Malaysia visiting family in 2015. Due to her research experience in molecular biology, she assisted Sheema for 2 months with Project Pteropus, isolating plant DNA from flying fox faeces. She is currently based in Switzerland working on sexual polymorphisms in Alps ants, Formica selysi. You can check out her research interests and profile here.

Mahfuzatul Izyan (Zatul)

Project Pteropus wouldn't have been possible without help from amazing volunteers, friends and family :-)

Zatul (far right) has a BSc in Conservation Biology from Universiti Malaysia Sabah.  She first got involved in Rimba when she answered a volunteer call to conduct questionnaire surveys for Project Pteropus on Pulau Tioman. 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 a nutritionist in Penang for a chance to be closer to nature.

Zatul is now pursuing her MSc in Conservation Biology under Reuben’s supervision at the Kenyir Research Institute, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. She also now works for Rimba as a Co-Researcher continuing the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project, focusing on trying to improve the efficiency of underpass use by large mammals in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor. You can contact her at: zatulmahfuz AT gmail DOT com

Esteban Brenes-Mora


Esteban is a Biology graduate student from Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR). His interests are related to mammal ecology, conservation and statistical modeling. He is really passionate about tapirs and is currently carrying out his Masters project on tapir population ecology in the highlands of Costa Rica, as an EDGE fellow.

He first visited Rimba in 2012 after a summer course he took at the National University of Singapore (NUS). In 2014 he came back to Malaysia and has been helping in the ‘Harimau Selamanya’ project searching for tiger signs and identifying suitable places for camera traps in Taman Negara National Park. Esteban has also been part of Project Pteropus in Tioman, conducting botanical surveys and collecting bat faecal samples from the field. He is currently generating some Bayesian R codes to analyse occupancy and habitat use of mammals for the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor Project. He can be reached at ebrenes18 AT gmail DOT com

Laurie Hedges

“Rimba has been such an experience of the frontline of conservation and the team have been literally overflowing with knowledge and energy. I’ve felt immensely privileged to be able to live and work in such a beautiful place”
“Rimba has been such an experience of the frontline of conservation and the team have 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 first joined Rimba to conduct research on the effectiveness of using scent-baited hair traps as a way to monitor large carnivores in a rainforest environment. Six months later he was still here…and took charge of his very own master’s project under Rimba! Afterwards he went on to become a full-time research staff of the Harimau Selamanya project, before leaving to do his own thing while still remaining attached to the project on a consultant basis. Laurie graduated with a bachelors degree in Zoology from Cardiff University and spent a year running a research monitoring program on cetaceans in Mauritius. He has since focused on the conservation of carnivores and hopes to make a difference in this field. As well as being passionate about biodiversity and conservation, Laurie is also hooked on surfing, capoeira and photography. You can view a selection of his work at

Jocelyne Sze

“I’m glad I came to volunteer with Rimba, the exposure to real world conservation issues was an eye-opener, with the dawning realisation of the immensity of the problems we now face. Knowing the problems as they are doesn’t get me down though; in fact it makes me more determined to do something about it. After all, Hope is all we live for.”

Jocelyne is a young Singaporean who chose to take a gap year before taking up a place to read Natural Sciences (Biological) in Peterhouse, University of Cambridge. She has been enthusiastic about Nature since her first research studies project in Secondary School introduced her to marine habitats, and her enthusiasm has only grown since then. She loves outdoor activities and has a strong interest in biodiversity conservation, education and environmental issues in general. She wants to make a positive difference and leave the world a better place while not becoming jaded and cynical in the process. You can read about her thoughts at, and she also blogged about her experiences with Rimba here.

Meryl Theng

“In the short span of 2 weeks, I’ve been into the Belum State Park to interact with Orang Asli, witnessed an elephant translocation, participated in deploying camera traps under viaducts in Gerik and Kenyir, and learnt a great deal from the experienced and intelligent people in the Rimba team who were always more than happy to entertain my queries!” – Meryl stands against the beautiful backdrop at a study site under a viaduct.

Meryl is a Life Science (Environmental Biology) graduate from the National University of Singapore (NUS). After spending two undergraduate years conducting research in otter ecology in Singapore and learning about conservation issues in Singapore, she felt the need to experience research and conservation outside the small city-state first-hand.  Seeking this exposure, she volunteered at Rimba after learning about it through her instructors from NUS. Through Rimba, she learned invaluable lessons by witnessing the various problems that plague wildlife conservation in Malaysia – from human-elephant conflict to indiscriminate logging to the politics of Orang Asli rights. Meryl hopes to gain experience working in the region and ultimately further her studies in mammal research in Asia. You can contact Meryl here: uberhyped AT gmail DOT com

Anders Kromann-Clausen

“This being my first project that included data collection it was a great experience working with the MEME and Rimba teams. They showed great passion for their work, and made me keen to continue working with conservation.”

Anders is an undergraduate student at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. This study is part of his undergraduate project that he is doing under Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz and is a continuation of the work done by Wiwit Sastramidjaja on the megaherbivore plant species dependence on megafauna for their seed dispersal. The study was carried out in the forest of Terengganu where camera traps were set up using mango and durian as bait. The aim of the study was to determine what animal species could work as dispersers for the two fruit species used. Prior to the study several animals was observed feeding on the fruit, but this study was able to record elephants consuming mangoes. After finishing this study Anders will continue with his education at the University of Copenhagen with a masters degree focusing on ecology and evolution.

Wiwit Sastramidjaja 

“The people at Rimba showed me how fundamental research can be naturally intertwined with wildlife protection’!” – Wiwit seen here deploying a camera during the frugivory experiments

Wiwit is a master’s student Ecology and Evolution (majoring in Tropical Ecology) at the University of Amsterdam. After graduating she hopes to continue with field research and conservation work in Southeast Asia. She worked as an intern under Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, investigating the seed fate of megaherbivore fruits at the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor. This involved setting up video camera traps baited with large fruits, partcularly mangoes and durian. Her videos have captured the Malayan porcupine (Hysterix brachyura), Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa) feeding on the fruits.  The Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) have been caught on video, but they have yet to be recorded having fruits for dessert. She will be pursuing her PhD studies in Kalimantan and we wish her the best of luck. You can contact Wiwit here: wiwitjuwita AT yahoo DOT com

Chan Xiu Li

“Helping out with Rimba has provided me with an insight into the life of a researcher and has better prepared me to answer nature’s calls.” – Xiu Li seen here on the porch of the Rimba research station in Kenyir

Xiu Li (the only girl in the picture) hails from the island-next-door (Singapore), and decided to help Rimba out while doing her undergraduate studies.  The  constraint of land has yet to dampen her enthusiasm about wildlife and conservation; with predominantly unnatural surroundings, she takes pride and derives joy from listening to birds and wallowing in mudflats. She has been guiding at Chek Jawa Wetlands voluntarily for two years and has occasionally helped out with wildlife surveys on Pulau Ubin. She is interested in research and planning, and has helped out with a research project on sea stars. Indeed, she is now working with ACRES – the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society in Singapore. You can contact Xiu Li at: chanxiuli AT hotmail DOT sg

Caroline Lee

“Given the opportunity to get insight on how the OA feels about development of roads truly is great experience! Thank you for the opening door to work with these group of people!” – Caroline seen here interviewing Orang Aslis in Perak to better understand their attitudes towards roads

Caroline graduated with a Bachelor degree in Zoology from the National University of Malaysia. She recently completed her Masters degree in Conservation Biology at the same university. Her research involved roost selection and roosting ecology of Miniopterus sp. in the Gunung Senyum limestone complex, Pahang. Carol helped out Reuben’s project by conducting interviews with indigenous people living near the Gerik-Jeli highway in Perak in order to get an idea of their attitudes towards roads. You can contact Carol at: wjlee87 AT yahoo DOT com

Stephanie Santigo

“It was amazing to be able to sit and chat with the locals who have so much knowledge and stories to tell. It was indeed a privilege!” – Steph seen here interviewing Orang Asli in Perak on their attitudes towards roads

Stephanie graduated  from the National University of Malaysia with a degree in Biology (majored in Zoology). She recently completed her Masters degree at the same university doing Conservation Biology. Her research topic involved roosting selection and roosting ecology of Hipposideros cervinus and Hipposideros bicolor in Gua Penderas, Kuala Krau. Stephanie also helped out in the same project mentioned above. Stephanie currently works at APE Malaysia. You can contact her at: stephanie_santigo AT hotmail DOT com



4 thoughts on “How to help

  1. Pingback: Tales from Rimba 4: Who’s there? | Nature rambles.

  2. Pingback: Tales from Rimba I: because we NEED a jungle out there. | Nature rambles.

  3. good job my freinds,wat else can i said ur in touch with mother nature the great of great in the world.I would like to join ur team but my qualification stop me from joining ur team maybe future will decide my dream.thank you and keep it up.

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