Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Benjamin Ong

Department / group: School of Geography & Sustainable Development
Personal URL: N/A
Google Scholar URL: N/A

Research interests:

I consider myself an interdisciplinary action researcher, where my research, advocacy and creative activities occur at the intersection of education, ecology, and community engagement. They revolve around understanding and elucidating the relationship between people and nature in cities, seeking and sharing alternative narratives, activating local resource networks.

I’m interested in themes like knowledge production and learning, ecocriticism, human-nature mythologies, urban aesthetics, urban nature and environmental conservation, decolonisation, artscience and design, and the intersection of nature and culture.

Career history:

Career history:

1. Head of Exploration, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia, Oct 2019 – Jul 2022

2. Co-founder and Operations Director, Urban Biodiversity Initiative (Ubi), Nov 2018 – Sep 2019

3. Research Assistant, Rimba Ilmu Botanic Garden, Universiti Malaya,
Apr 2014 – Mar 2016; Sep 2017 – Aug 2018 (took a break for Masters studies)

4. Homeschool Teacher, Power English Centre, Dec 2010 – Mar 2014

Academic history:

1. MSc Sustainable Development, University of St Andrews, 2016 – 2017
James Martin Prize for best MSc dissertation in Sustainable Development)

2. BSc (Hons.) Ecology and Biodiversity, Universiti Malaya, 2007 – 2010
(Distinction, Royal Education Award for top overall undergraduate)

Active research projects:

My PhD project:
(Extra)ordinary natures: exploring urban human-nature relationships through decolonial, place-based, transformative learning

Recent publications:

Ong, B. and Ong, G.X., 2021. Let nature do her thing: Reimagining ecosystem restoration in cities. New York: United Nations Development Programme.

Ong, B., Goh, T.G., Tan, K.R., Nasaruddin, A. and Mohamad, Z.F., 2019. Citizen science prospects and pitfalls: A developing world reflection. Roots: Botanic Gardens Conservation International Education Review, 16(2) , pp.11-14.

Ong, B., 2019. The Rimba Project: Translational research through student volunteer engagement. Roots: Botanic Gardens Conservation International Education Review, 16(1) , pp.15-18.

Ong, B.J.M., Marican, N.F., Sugumaran, M. and Ting, V.C.C., 2018. The Rimba Project: Putting urban biodiversity conservation on the map. In: Sumiani Yusoff, ed. 2018. University of Malaya Living Labs: Transforming research into action (vol. 2). Kuala Lumpur: Sustainability Science Research Cluster. pp.21-34. (ISBN 978-967-488-004-0)

Ong, B. and Adikan, F.R.M., 2018. Challenging land use paradigms in a university context. In: David Tan, ed. 2018. SCHEMA case studies. Kuala Lumpur: United Nations University International Institute of Global Health. pp.17-20.

Sugumaran, M., Tan, D. and Ong, B., 2018. Holding onto a mission for conservation and education. In: David Tan, ed. 2018. SCHEMA case studies. Kuala Lumpur: United Nations University International Institute of Global Health. pp.13-16.

Mohamad, Z.F., Nasaruddin, A., Abd Kadir, S.N., Musa, M.N., Ong, B. and Sakai, N., 2015. Community-based shared values as a Heart-ware driver for integrated watershed management: Japan-Malaysia policy learning perspective. Journal of Hydrology, 530, pp.317-327.

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