A 40-Year Journey in Malaysian Flora Research 

Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Abdul Latiff Mohamad is a pioneer in the research of plant taxonomy and conservation biology. His almost 40 years of research on Malaysian flora have led to greater understanding of taxonomy as a field which is essential for the rich biodiversity of the country and environmental conservation. 

A firm believer in sustainable development for a balanced quality of life, Professor Latiff is resolute that he will continue nurturing the next generation of researchers in the field of taxonomic and botanical research. His efforts have led to the transfer of botanical knowledge to more than 35 students who are now teachers and lecturers, research officers and other science professionals in the country. 

From student, to teacher 
While receiving his studies at University of Malaya (UM) where he obtained his Bachelor of Science, Professor Latiff began to take an interest in plant taxonomy upon being inspired and encouraged by his lecturer and mentor, the late Dr BC Stone. 

After receiving his Masters of Science in Pure and Applied Plant Taxonomy and, subsequently, his PhD in Plants Systematics from the University of Reading, England, Professor Latiff returned to Malaysia in 1978, assuming the role of lecturer at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The university promoted him to Associate Professor in 1983 and to the position of full Professor in 1991 and was tasked to head the newly established Department of Botany.  

Recognised for his administrative potential, Professor Latiff held leadership positions, including Deputy Dean and later Dean at the Faculty of Life Sciences, transitioning to the Faculty of Science and Technology in 1999, and ultimately serving as the Director of the Institute for Environment and Development until retirement. 

Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Abdul Latiff Mohamad

Championing environmental research and conservation 
Professor Latiff has led more than 30 scientific expeditions in various states throughout Malaysia. As a champion of environmental conservation, Professor Latiff says, “It is difficult to put a value on the importance of conservation.”  

Apart from being a Trustee and the Chairman of the WWF Malaysia Board and member of the Malaysian Delegation to UNESCO World Heritage Site Conference, Professor Latiff has advised various parks in the country such as the Perlis State Park, Gunung Stong State Park in Kelantan, Royal Belum State Park in Perak, and Sabah Foundation. 

Leaving a distinguished legacy in plant taxonomy 
Throughout his 40 years in research, he has named one new genus of plant, 18 plant species new to science, and added numerous new records to the Flora of Malaysia. His efforts have led to greater understanding of taxonomy as a field which is essential for the rich biodiversity of the country. 

In recognition for his efforts, Professor Latiff received the Malaysian-Toray Award for Science and Technology, Tokoh Alam Award from the Faculty of Environmental Studies at UPM, Citra Award from UKM, and the Langkawi Award in 2004. 

The information in this award recipient's profile is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time the award was presented. Any subsequent changes, updates, or developments in the individual's life or achievements may not be reflected in this profile. 

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience and for analytical purposes. By continuing to browse, you are deemed to accept our use of cookies. Learn more about disabling cookies and our Privacy Statement here.