The Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research (RMBR) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) houses Singapore’s national and reference collection of preserved zoological specimens as well as the University’s herbarium. The specimens are used for comparative research on the flora and fauna of Singapore and the Southeast Asian region. They are the preserved physical records of the region’s biodiversity.
Our Museum is named after the founder of modern Singapore, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Although an amateur naturalist, Raffles was one of the pioneers who applied Western science to the discovery, naming and documenting of the biodiversity in Southeast Asia.
Mission and Goals
RMBR strives to be the focal point for biodiversity research in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Our goals are to:
- Document and study the biodiversity in Singapore and Southeast Asia
- Facilitate biodiversity research and collaboration with regional and international researchers
- Educate the public on natural history, conservation and environmental issues
The RMBR’s collection of preserved specimens consists of the Zoological Reference Collection (ZRC) and the Herbarium (SINU).
The ZRC has one of the largest collections of Southeast Asian animals in the region. It currently holds about 500,000 specimens.
The Zoological Reference Collection
SINU is a teaching collection and depository of plant specimens by students and staff members. It has more than 30,000 specimens.
RMBR researchers carry out surveys, expeditions and collaborative research on biodiversity and conservation in the Indo-Pacific region. We work with more than 170 scientists from research institutes in over 30 countries. Over 600 papers were published based on the Museum’s collection in the past decade. Our short-term visiting fellowship programme allows specialists to spend two to six weeks working with researchers at the Museum and the Department of Biological Sciences, NUS, on Southeast Asian biodiversity.
- Exploration and discovery of Southeast Asian biodiversity
- Taxonomy and systematics of Southeast Asian flora and fauna
- Ecological, biogeographical and evoluntionary studies of Southeast Asian biodiversity
- Biodiversity as environmental markers for environmental impact assessments and environmental monitoring
Education and Public Outreach
We offer educational services in biodiversity-based programmes such as guided gallery tours, workshops and field excursions. We also publish guide books, guide sheets and reference material on Singapore’s biodiversity. To this effect, RMBR works with many government and private organisations, and companies to promote the natural history of Singapore. For more information, please visit our website: http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg.
RMBR publishes the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology (RBZ), an international, peer-reviewed journal that is in the Science Citation Index. Two regular issues are published annually with occasional supplements. The Museum also publishes the online journal Nature in Singapore (NIS), the online book series Raffles Museum Books (RMB) and the Raffles Museum Catalogues (RMC).
Our public gallery offers our visitors a glimpse into the Museum’s biodiversity collection. Permanent, temporary and thematic displays in the gallery include: Biodiversity of Singapore, Southeast Asian Ecosystems; Things People Eat; and the Raffles Connection, amongst others.
For more information about RMBR, please click HERE.