Kenyir Research Institute led by Professor Emeritus Dr. Faizah Binti Mohd Sharoum has established a Centre for Kenyir Ecosystems Research whose role is to conduct research on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Conducted research encompasses the diversity of species, genetics, ecosystems, bio-cultural interactions and the interelations between the four components in the vicinity of Lake Kenyir to the coast. The ecosystems of Kenyir provide ecosystem services that benefit humans and all living organisms. These vital ecosystem services including food security, medicine and environmental conditioning (water and air quality improvement), determine our bio-cultural values. Biodiversity also represents natural capital that contributes to local economies and is inter-dependent on ecosystem services for human well-being. Therefore, an appreciation of the biodiversity around us is crucial.
The Aquatic Program headed by Dr. Samuel Walton focusses on the population dynamics of fish; fish ecology and larval development; mapping fish habitat use and distribution using biotelemetry, endangered and invasive species and limnology. Other projects include investigations into biofloc effects, bio-accumulation, bio-magnification of heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic in microbial plankton) in invertebrates and vertebrates; floating wetlands for fisheries protection and bio-ecological restoration. Dr. Walton is currently updating the checklist of fish species found in Lake Kenyir and streams flowing into the lake.
The Terrestrial Program, operated by Associate Professor Dr. Reuben Clements with Professor Dato’ Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Abdullah, will focus on the population dynamics of terrestrial biodiversity (mammals, birds, herpetofauna, invertebrates, etc.) and habitat protection; biology and dynamics of the forest canopy; corridor protection for the establishment Malaysia’s first wildlife corridor in the central forest spine; improvement of knowledge on biogeography, ecology, systematics, taxonomy and phylogenetics of selected plants and animals; and the establishment of a pangolin sanctuary.
All terrestrial and aquatic research provides many opportunities for students from the University Malaysia Terengganu with a good BSc degree to generate new knowledge at the PhD and MSc degrees as well as post-doctoral levels.
Starting from 1 December 2016, Center for Kenyir Ecosystems Research has changed to Division of Lake, Wetland and Island Ecosytem led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jamilah binti Mohd. Salim @ Halim (IPK Deputy Director). Dr. Jarina binti Mohd Jani was appointed as Program Chair of Environment Research.
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