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Research & Field Studies in Bali

What makes Bali an interesting destination for research and field studies in Tropical Biology and Marine Science?

Indonesia, the largest archipelagic Nation in the world, is one of the countries with the highest level of biodiversity worldwide.  Located in the global epicenter of marine life, the “Coral Triangle”, where 76% of all known coral species can be found as well as almost 3,000 species of fishes.

Indonesia has the largest coral reef area in Southeast Asia, with an extent likely total about 51,000 km² and 600 different coral species. With 23% of global mangroves in 3.2 million hectares, 30,000 km² of seagrass beds and the biggest diversity of reef fishes worldwide.

Its privileged geographical position with more than 17,000 islands between the Indian and the Pacific Oceans, its tropical climate and the fact that the country is surrounded by around 80,000 km of coastline, lead to outstanding and unique tropical marine ecosystems.

Bali is surrounded by a wide range of marine life as well as numerous mangrove forests. This concentration of species richness in and around Bali does not only attract visitors but is also cause for concern.  Sensitive regions like this are especially threatened by a variety of external influences, despite they are immensely important for the entire fish stock.

Marine scientists are particularly concerned about threads caused by humans such as the destruction of coastal areas, over-fishing, general pollution (plastic in the oceans) or the influence of global warming. Therefore it is especially important to promote marine science in this area to protect and remain the marine ecosystems and to ensure a sustainable use of marine resources.

Indonesia’s and Bali’s biodiversity doesn’t limit to marine life. It also exists a high diversity of plants which can only compete with the diversity of Amazonia. 40% of the plants growing in Indonesia can be found nowhere else on earth.

All this, makes Bali a great destination to not only gain theoretical knowledge about tropical organisms but the see them, feel them and examine them with your own eyes and hands.

Our research topics

The Tropical Biology and Marine Conservation Study Program aims to facilitate a general understanding and creates awareness of the threats the ecosystems in Southeast Asia and especially around Bali are facing. Each of the courses contain a research project/field trip to get a wide-ranging insight in the latest biology/marine research topics in Bali.

The topics you will conduct research and field trip throughout the semester may include, but are not limited to the following topics:

Research Sites in Bali

The research sites are located all across Bali, since for every research topic another region is especially well-suited. Among others the researches will mainly take place in:

  • East Bali (Karangasem, Amed): East Bali is a region characterized by lush green forests, black sand beaches and a breathtaking underwater world with coral reefs, various fish and other astonishing marine life. Bali’s highest mountain Mount Agung looms large over the whole east Bali area as is always worth a visit.
  • North Bali (Singaraja): The North Bali area is located far from the hectic South Bali. Therefore a more traditional, relaxed and laid-back life takes place in this region. The North Bali district is quite small compared to other regions in Bali and mainly consists of the Buleleng district. The largest city in this area is Singaraja.
  • Central Bali (Bedugul, Lake Batur):Central Bali is the biggest and most mountainous area in Bali and marks the heart of Bali. The most famous city in this area is Ubud, which is also known as the cultural center of Bali. In this area are also located the only freshwater lakes in Bali.
  • South Bali (Kedonganan, Nusa Dua, Pandawa): South Bali is by far the most popular region in Bali. The tourist centers of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak are located right next to Bali’s only airport. South of the airport, in the Bukit area, it is a little less hectic than in the greater Kuta area. Jimbaran, Nusa Dua and Pandawa are all regions that are located in the Bukit area. This areas are just on the rise and experience a fast growing development into tourist attractions.