Vincen Khoo

Ecologist | Exploration Consultant | Enhancer of Conservo-Socio Entreprises | Community-Centred Conservationist

KHOO Min Sheng @ Vincen 邱明生 @ 邱明琛

I was born and bred in Johor Bahru, the capital of Johor state, and the 3rd largest city in Malaysia. Now I am based mostly in North West Borneo, the most bio-diverse region, of the 3rd largest island in the world.

I consider myself a jack-of-all-trades with ecosystems in tropical Asia, well-acquainted with most wildlife of the Sundaland (especially with trees of the Riau Pocket), and marine life of Indo-Pacific region.

Ecologist & Community-Centred Conservationist
Always nice to start an expedition in North Borneo with a cup of hand-brew with my favorite backdrop of Kinabalu in the morning. Photo: Huang J.N.
Experiences, from reefs to ridges

I have extensive field experience from work in South East Asia (especially in Singapore and North West Borneo), and explorations / expeditions around tropical Asia with fellow naturalists and scientists.

While studying biology at the National University Singapore, I have been actively volunteering with Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR, now Lee Kong Chien Natural History Musuem) and International Coastal Cleanup Singapore. My passion for researching and sharing about Nature continued after graduation with citizen’s groups like the Blue Water Volunteers and the Hantu Bloggers.

My journey and interest with tropical trees were initiated by my first research jobs with Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS, now Smithsonian’s Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO)) – Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum Asia Program (at National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological University and at Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre – Universiti Brunei Darussalam).

My foundation in tropical biology was solidified by the CTFS’s International Field Biology Course in Sri Lanka, and further strengthened by the opportunity to teach and organize the Harvard Summer School‘s Biodiversity of Borneo Field Courses in 2007 and 2008.

The last few years of my academic career saw me coordinating various research projects for researchers and students from Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, etc. and participated in various international symposiums and conferences (especially those with the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation).

Exploring ecosystems, from bottom of the ocean to top of the mountains.
Ecologist as Community-Centred Conservationist

During the attempt to set up a social travel platform for nature adventure, I have learnt that local communities or citizens are indispensable in nature conservation. Currently I am working with a handful of indigenous communities to enhance their businesses of ecologically-sustainable nature-based programs, like eco-tourism. We hope that through these programs, their livelihood can benefit from the conservation of their native ecosystems.

I welcome you to join my regular surveys to programs I am mentoring at Maragang (Mesilau), Maranggoi (Pinolobu), Podos, Penawan Waterfalls EcoPark (Penawan), and Belanum (Bakun-Balui). These initiatives are seeded by crowd-fund raised on Actyvate of MaGIC, and hopefully supported in the future by collaboration with like-minded organizations like ECOMY. I also hope that we can have your support.

Leading film production to document and promote nature program conducted by my friend Lerry Dominic @ Gumbayong, a nature guide from Kg. Kiau, Kinabalu.
Eco-education to enhance Nature programs

I am also applying my knowledge and skills in eco-education of public and corporate alike. The emphasis is on citizen science so that knowledge about Nature and data for conservation can be gathered more efficiently. By helping to enhance nature-based programs with real science, we can help more people to better understand Nature accurately and develop a deeper connection and love for Mother Nature.

explore discover
Discovering a Nepenthes lowii, while appreciating the wonder of evolution at Mount Murut: mutualism in the shape of toilet bowl (life is indeed full of s***).
Professional services

Other than developing and enhancing nature-based programs (for communities or for corporations / enterprises), I am also available for work related to consultation on biodiversity / ecological survey (inc. aerial mapping), environment / conservation education, and planning / execution of expedition / exploration (mostly through 112Xplorer).

Ecologist & Community-Centred Conservationist
Ecologist as community-centred conservationist: using UAS or drone to map out the habitat is one of the first steps in conservation, or resource management, but to operate flight in a relentless swarm of stingless bees (or sweat bees), was truly a rainforest experience.

Ultimately, by creating this portal I hope to connect with, and create synergistic partnerships between explorers, naturalists, nature educators, scientists, conservationists, environmental NGOs, and social enterprises. Simply write in to discuss how might we collaborate.

(All photos by Khoo M.S. unless otherwise stated)