Researcher and Student Projects

The NHRCP has a proud tradition of contributing to the global scientific community by means of collecting data and carrying out experiments. With over a decade of experience and data, we have developed into a widely recognised institution contributing to many different areas of marine biology and conservation, ranging from assessing coral predation to describing new species to science. Having had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with well-established institutions such as the Naturalis institute in the Netherlands, James-Cook University in Australia and the Natural Museum of Paris (MNHN) in France among many others, the team has shared and learned much from the expertise of many. We are also regular collaborators with multiple Thai universities including Prince of Songkla University at Hat Yai and Chulalongkorn and Mahidol universities in Bangkok.
Our program has always adhered closely to scientifically supported principals and techniques, which have played a role in everything from developing techniques to mitigating threats to our reefs (a list of our publications and student reports can be found below). We have long worked alongside the community and are strong advocates of citizen science approaches, which have been truly effective on an island like Koh Tao. The NHRCP team is committed to pursuing and supporting science by conducting our own research and facilitating the research and education of students, both locally and globally.

What’s On Offer?

Our program offers a limited number of positions a year to host scientists and scientifically minded individuals to dive deep into world of data and species. Prospective academics are welcome to either pick from a long list of ongoing areas of investigation by the NHRCP, or submit a new project proposal or proposal for work as part of an ongoing project at another institution.
  • Current areas of research:
  • • In-situ monitoring of Coral Health and Disease
  • • Effectiveness of Artificial Reef structures for conservation
  • • Giant Clam Population Dynamics and Restocking
  • • Diversity and Ecology of Muck Habitats
  • • Sea Turtle Identification and Rearing
  • • Shark Population Monitoring and Whaleshark ID
  • • Nudibranch and Sea Slug Diversity and Ecology
  • • Mineral Accretion Devices and their Influence on the Reef
  • • Coral Predator Populations
  • …and many more. Contact us for a full list of ongoing projects.
Though these topics are largely linked to biological and ecological areas of study, we are open to and indeed encourage projects on oceanography, chemistry, engineering and the social sciences. Researchers are also welcome to attend any of the relevant lectures given by the team pertaining to the area of research, and will have full access to our in-house library of guides and texts. Most importantly, researchers will also have access to a number of tools that may be useful and indeed even required for many projects.
  • These may include:

  • • Waterproof writing slates and measuring tapes
  • • A microscope with LCD screen
  • • A dissection scope
  • • A set of aquarium tanks of varying sizes, with pumps for ex-situ work
  • • 1m x 1m x 1m outdoor concrete tanks with direct access to sea water and filtration (Subject to Availability)
  • • Multiple water quality testing tools such as aquarium grade chemical tests for nutrient parameters, salinity and temperature

  • • A Garmin etrex 10 GPS receiver for mapping
  • • 53µm mesh Plankton net
  • Once again, for a current list of resources available for use, please contact us directly.

Formats and Costs

Researchers may apply to join the program under one of three formats:
  • 1) Independent Academics
Researchers with a fixed project in mind and are able to go about work with minimal added personnel (fieldwork can be supplemented with an intern or staff member for certain projects).
  • Will have access to:
  • • Scopes and all ex-situ analysis equipment available
  • • 1 Dive with boat fees and SCUBA gear covered
  • (More than 1 dive per day can be organized under special considerations)
  • • Access to library of texts and research materials
  • Cost per day: 800/THB
  • 2) NHRCP Researchers
Students and Researchers with thesis or projects in mind that would require further field and analytical assistance, or those without fixed projects and would like to take part in projects linked to ongoing areas of research.
  • Will have access to:
  • • Field support for data collection and analysis including assistance and supervision by team members
  • • 1 Dive with boat fees and SCUBA gear covered
  • • Access to complete set of field and lab equipment
  • • Extensive datasets on a wide array of biotic and abiotic factors, many going back several years.
  • • Access to library of texts and research materials
  • • Access to extensive library of relevant scientific literature on wide range of topics
  • • Other media such as photographs and videos
  • Cost per day: 1000/THB
  • 3) Snorkeling and Non-diving Research
Students and Researchers with thesis or projects in mind that do not require SCUBA, where data can be collected with minimal added field equipment. This includes both, independent researchers from other institutions, or those wanting to work alongside ongoing projects that do not require diving.
  • Will have access to:
  • • Boat access to a number of locations around the island
  • • Access to a number of field-based equipment (ranging from slates to raft-mounted GPS units).
  • • Scopes and all ex-situ analysis equipment available
  • • Access to library of texts and research materials
  • Cost per day: 200/THB
Snorkelers are required to organize their own snorkeling gear, however if needed, gear is available to be rented at 150THB per day.
Please note! – The dive destination per day is determined by the work that needs to be carried out by the team and daily weather conditions, and therefore specific study sites, though taken into account, are subject to availability and may not always be possible. All researchers must also be willing to share the final output from their work, for use by other academics, and potentially be hosted on the website with permission. This includes copies of published outputs and theses from respective universities. Any data collected that is not towards a publication or thesis must be written up in the form of a short report of findings. Additionally, we would ask students and researchers to be willing to give a short presentation of their findings at the program at the conclusion of the data collection.


  • Researchers requiring SCUBA diving will need to be qualified to Advanced Open Water level or equivalent. For those that do not have this qualification, training can be conducted for standard course fees at the diveschool. Additionally we ask that any individuals partaking in data collection using SCUBA be equipped with a Safety Marker Buoy (SMB), a Dive Computer and an underwater Compass.  These safety precautions are compulsory and such items may be bought at numerous shops on the island and at the program if not already owned.

  • Researchers working towards specific projects with external institutions or outside of those currently being carried out by the program are responsible to source their own research and/or sampling permits. Additionally, extra equipment such as additional probes, survey equipment or chemicals are to be sourced independently by these researchers. For additional information or specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
  • Loss or permanent damage to any NHRCP equipment used in field or lab conditions will be incurred by respective researcher(s).

Accepting donation of equipment and materials!

We run many of our facilities and projects due entirely to donations from visitors and academics. These are not limited to just financial aid (which is always welcome) but also in the form of equipment and tools such as testing kits, tubes etc. A surplus of any such equipment will gladly be received by the program if available upon conclusion! We do not receive any governmental or corporate funding and much of these utilities are thanks in no small part to voluntary input.
  • Phone

    New Heaven Dive School office 9am-7pm: +66 (0) 77 457 045

  • Email

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Address
    48 Moo 3 Chalok Baan Kao
    Koh Tao, Surat Thani
    84360, Thailand
Copyright 2016
New Heaven Reef Conservation Program