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The Royal Society of Biology Council has approved the formation of a new regional branch in Southeast Asia.

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This branch represents the following countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It will aim to connect activities promoting the biosciences across the entire region. 

Following an open call for interested members in the Southeast Asia region, the new chair was inundated with offers from university academics, school teachers, people working in biotechnology industries, conservation workers and researchers.

Dr Alexander Waller CBiol FRSB, chair of the Southeast Asia branch, commented: “Through Zoom meetings, we have formed an initial committee and are planning a programme of online events for 2023. To whet your appetite, there will be talks on: the gibbons of Thailand; the parasitic plant family rafflesiaceae that includes Rafflesia arnoldii, which has the largest flowers of all plants; and the habitat and camera trap surveys of the main tiger prey in some protected regions.”

Dr Mark Downs CBiol CSci FRSB, chief executive of RSB, welcomed the launch of the branch, saying: “It’s very exciting to see this branch come to fruition. We hope this will help kick-start greater collaboration across the Southeast Asian life sciences community, where we can promote all disciplines of biology.

“Our aspiration is that this will form an inclusive body for the entire region and represent the interests of the local biologists from many fields to help them showcase their research, especially with such unique Southeast Asian fauna and flora. We also hope it will enable the members of the branch to better utilise the infrastructure and resources of RSB.”

The committee is currently made up of:

  • Chair: Dr Alexander Waller CBiol FRSB
  • Treasurer: Professor Jomel Vasquez CBiol MRSB
  • Secretary: Dr Andrew Lucy CBiol FRSB
  • Social media coordinator: Dr Adhityo Wicaksono MRSB
  • Event organiser: Dr Marisa Khoo MRSB

The new branch is encouraging expressions of interest for committee membership, project and meeting hosting or organisation. Contact the committee at