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  • The CTFS Asia Program offers courses and fellowship opportunities to ensure that all of the plots in the network contribute as much data as possible.

  • CTFS oganizes thematic meetings and workshops for leaders in the fields of global carbon cycling, climate change and soil ecology to develop powerful research protocols for the network.

Field Courses

The CTFS-AA International Field Biology Course is an annual, graduate- level field course in tropical forest biology run by the Center for Tropical Forest Science – Arnold Arboretum Asia Program in collaboration with institutional partners in South and Southeast Asia.

In 2007 the course was held at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden (XTBG), Yunnan, China. In 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 the courses were held at Pasoh Forest Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia; Lambir Hills National Park, Sarawak; Khao Chong Wildlife Extension and Conservation Center, Thailand; and Sinharaja World Heritage Site, Sri Lanka respectively.

In 2008, the course was held at Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. There will be no course in 2009 and 2010.


International Field Biology Course, summer 2008

The Center for Tropical Forest Science – Arnold Arboretum (CTFS-AA) Asia Program (CTFS-AA) will run its eight International Field Biology Course in July-August 2008 (Jul 13 – Aug 23; 6 weeks) at Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. Pasoh forest has been a site of long-term ecological study through the activities of the Forest Research Institute Malaysia and has the longest established CTFS plot in Asia (since 1986), with over 800 species. Pasoh is a fine example of an aseasonal lowland dipterocarp forest, the most widespread lowland forest type in equatorial SE Asia. In addition to studies in Pasoh, the course will visit the Matang Mangrove forest, reputed to be one of the best managed mangrove forests in the world, and the Temengor forest reserve to observe hill dipterocarp forest. In Temengor participants will also observe a large-scale experiment studying the conservation of biodiversity in a logging concession.
The field course is aimed at graduate entry-level students and will provide a broad-based introduction to the ecology of tropical forests in SE Asia. It will include a strong practical element and students will learn to develop research ideas through independent projects. The early part of the course focuses on teaching practical skills in the study of different taxa, and in addition provides an introduction to developing hypotheses, sampling design, and statistics. The latter part of the course focuses on the ecology of the forest through a series of resource staff led practicals. The final week is given over to independent research projects developed by the students. In addition, participants have the opportunity to experience different ecosystems and forest related industries, and explore conservation issues through course excursions. At the end of the 6 week course participants will analyse and present their results in both oral and written reports.

The course is taught by local and international researchers who are experts in their respective fields. Prospective students are advised to look at the proceedings of courses in previous years, which can be downloaded from the CTFS-AA website, to gain an understanding of the course content.

Applicants should be graduate entry-level students (Master's course or 1st year Doctorate candidates) in tropical biology / ecology, who are either from SE Asia or will base their research in the region. Students will be selected to provide a broad international representation and preference will be given to those conducting research at CTFS-AA sites. The course is fully funded by the CTFS-AA program. Some students may be asked to contribute to their international travel.


Proceedings of  previous CTFS-AA Field Biology Courses:


Symposium Proceedings 2004: Forests in Flux: Findings from the Forest Dynamics Plot Network. August16-17, 2004. Taiwan Forest Research Institute. Taipei, Taiwan

Symposium Proceedings 2005: Forest Dynamics around the Globe. June 4-5, 2005, Panama City, Republic of Panama.


CTFS organized a special five-year series of analytical workshops aimed at bringing together field biologists and analysts interested in using CTFS plot data to better understand the maintenance of tree diversity in tropical forests. The workshops revisited and built on previous skills and analyses. Workshops lasted one month and were supported by the National Science Foundation.

  • 2001 Bangalore, India.
  • 2002 Gamboa, Panama.
  • 2003 Harvard Forest, USA.
  • 2004 Fushan, Taiwan.
  • 2005 Panama City, Panama.