The South China Sea Repository and Reference Centre (RRC) functions as a ‘marine natural history museum’ in INOS. Established in 2004, RRC is focused on the collection of marine diversity found in Malaysian waters (South China Sea and Strait of Malacca). The RRC vision is to be the principal repository and reference centre for marine collection in Malaysia for research and education.
The main functions of RRC are:
- To manage and ensure proper care of the marine specimens based on four basic stages: preservation, stabilisation, storage and maintenance
- To record the specimens in the collection database using a cataloguing system for inventory purpose
- To prepare the collection for the research, reference, exhibition and educational purpose
- To establish networking and linkages with other museums and educational institutions.
To date, more than 30,000 marine specimens are deposited at RRC. Moreover, 52 specimens from the total specimens are unique (type). Specimens are divided into four categories including biology, geology, palaeontology and genomic. All specimens are kept in either wet, dry or genomic collection rooms. All curatorial system at RRC follows the standard from the National Park Service, USA.
Most of the specimens deposited at RRC are coming from research done by UMT researchers. Nonetheless, more specimens, especially type are deposited by non-UMT researchers from local and foreign institutions. At the same time, RRC is recognised by the Malaysian Government as the main repository centre for marine specimens. Internationally, RRC is certified by the Australian Government for biological specimen exchange/loan centre with Australian institutions. RRC also the main contributor for MyBIS (Malaysian Biodiversity Information System) and also the Malaysian node for OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System).
At the moment, RRC is running by four core members with occasional research assistants and volunteers. In addition, three academics from faculties are appointed as associate members to further assist the development and functions of RRC.
Core (Operation) Team Members:
Dr Izwandy Idris (Head)
Azwarina Azmi Mohd Ramasamy – Senior Curator
Nor Amalina Razikin – Curator
Nor Atikah Abd Manaf – Assistant Science Officer
Dr Seah Ying Giat (Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science)
Dr Melissa Beata Martin (Faculty of Science and Marine Environment)
Dr Mohd Hafiz Bokhanuddin (Faculty of Science and Marine Environment)