Professor Reuben Clements
Co-founder, Nature-based Solutions Malaysia
Dr Gopalasamy Reuben Clement's goal as a conservation scientist is to deliver tangible conservation outcomes to save threatened species and forests, particularly in Malaysia. He has close to 18 years of conservation research experience in dipterocarp, limestone karst and peat swamp forests within Southeast Asia. His current conservation work includes improving the protection of tigers and other threatened large mammals, mainly through the reduction of poaching and the creation of protected areas that are financed sustainably. To date, his team has assisted the Malaysian government in the arrest of 36 poachers and the creation of a 30,000-hectare state park. As an academic, he has published more than 100 articles, the majority of which are in international peer-reviewed journals such as Nature. He has a proven track record of securing research grants and awards from scientific organizations, government agencies, universities, corporations, and private donors. He has reviewed over 70 manuscripts for different international and local scientific journals, and reviewed assessments for the IUCN Red List of threatened species and UNESCO World Heritage status. Apart from serving as advisor to the British Asia Trust and Climate Governance Malaysia, he is also an editorial board member in the Royal Society Journal, Biology Letters and served as a grant reviewer for National Geographic. Over the years, he has shared his research findings in oral and plenary presentations at major annual international conferences, such as the annual meetings of the Society for Conservation Biology and the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. His research findings have also been featured in local and international media outlets, including the BBC, the New York Times, Mongabay, National Geographic, Nature and CNN. During his tenure as a Professor and Associate Dean in academia, he taught courses to undergraduate and postgraduate students on biostatistics, conservation, wildlife management, research methodology and sustainable forestry. He graduated 4 MSc and 1 PhD students from Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Latin America. One of his biggest life achievements so far is co-founding a non-profit research group known as Rimba, which worked to save threatened species and forest ecosystems in Malaysia over a 10-year period. Having conducted applied research to inform governments and the private sector to reduce threats to biodiversity, Rimba has helped incubate the creation of four new organisations to carry on our original mission: Nature-based Solutions, Justice for Wildlife Malaysia, Takop and Panthera Malaysia. Over the next few years, he wants to empower students, NGOs, government officers, the private sector and local communities to help improve the protection of ecosystems and threatened species in Malaysia and beyond. In Reuben's words "... because we NEED a jungle out there!"