Course structure

The course is uniquely tailored to the expertise of our international and local teachers. The first two weeks are spent in the field learning about conservation and ecological issues relevant to the site. Participants then work in pairs or small groups to design, implement, analyse and report on a short field research project, supported by a series of lectures, interactive workshops and supervision tutorials.

About the site

The site is a protected Forest Reserve on the Segama River in Southeast Sabah. It lies within the Yayasan Sabah Forestry Concession  covering c.10,000 sq km. The nearest major town is the coastal town of Lahad Datu, approximately two hours drive (81 km) away.

Dipterocarp trees dominate the forest around the field centre, which supports an amazing diversity of understory plants and climbers.  Some of Borneo’s iconic mammal species live in the forest, such as the Bornean pygmy elephant, clouded leopard, Bornean gibbon and orang-utan.  There are 120 mammals, 40 species of fish, over 300 species of birds, and interesting reptiles and amphibians including Wallace’s flying frog.  While less well known, the invertebrate fauna is particularly rich.   

The field station

The Danum Valley field station has a long history of research, and is host to many training courses each year.  You will sleep in dormitory accommodation and eat in a communal dining room providing plentiful local food. We also use a lecture room and a large laboratory for project work.  The forest gets wet and muddy – the TBA will provide leech socks!


The climate at Danum is equatorial  – it is very humid with a mean annual temperature of 26.8ºC. Minimum temperatures rarely fall below 19ºC.  Come prepared to get hot and wet.