Dr Faizah Metali


Senior Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science


Faizah Metali is a Senior Assistant Professor in Faculty of Science (FOS), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). She joined UBD in 2003 after working as an Education Officer for a year. She obtained her PhD from University of Aberdeen in 2011. Her PhD thesis investigated the phylogenetic and ecological determinants affecting and controlling variation in foliar elemental concentrations, particularly Al concentrations, among and within tropical trees. Her current projects are under the scope of plant and soil sciences, plant physiology, plant propagation and conservation. She holds several UBD and external research grants. In terms of her teaching responsibility, she offers modules related to biodiversity and, plant and soil sciences to both Unibridge and undergraduate students.


1. BSc Education (Universiti Brunei Darussalam): 2002
2. MSc in Plant Conservation (Seed Banking) with Distinction (University of Sussex): 2004
3. PhD in Plant and Soil Sciences (University of Aberdeen): 2011


Plant physiology, Soil science, Plant & soil nutrients, Plant propagation and conservation.
She is currently involved in the following research projects:
1. Soil and plant nutrients, including Al accumulation in plants and soils, plant and soil mineral nutrients in different tropical forest ecosystems, migration pathways of heavy metals from soils and fertilizers to plants, biochar as a soil amendment and fertilizer, wood vinegar as a plant growth promoter and pesticide, and seaweeds as fertilizers
2. Tropical rainforest biodiversity, conservation and rehabilitation
3. Ecophysiology of tropical plants, invasive plants (eg. Acacia) and parasitic plants (eg. Cassytha)
4. Peat swamp forest ecosystem
5. Microbial induction of Agarwood trees
6. Characterisation and assessment of local rice varieties
7. Plant propagation for ex situ conservation eg Hoya, Dillenia, Agathis, Melastoma, Dipterocarps and rhizomes.


See active research grants below and please contact the PIs for project details

Applications Invited


1. Sullivan MJP et al. 2020. Long-term thermal sensitivity of Earth's tropical forests. Science, 368 (6493): 869-874. http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaw7578
2. Ibrahim MH et al. 2020. Photosynthetic responses of invasive Acacia mangium and co-existing native heath forest species to elevated temperature and CO2 concentrations. Journal of Sustainable Forestry, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/10549811.2020.1792317
3. Kobrlová L et al. 2020. Application of glycerol-preserved nuclei protocol for genome size estimation in the field conditions of a tropical rainforest. Plant Systematics and Evolution, 306(73). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-020-01702-7
4. Zan ND et al. 2020. Occurrence and ecological implication of a tropical anguillid eel, Anguilla marmorata, in Brunei Darussalam, Borneo Island. Zoologia, 37: 1-7. https://doi.org/10.3897/zoologia.37.e39468


1. Faizah M, Kamariah AS, Tennakoon K & Burslem DFRP. 2015. Controls on foliar nutrient and Al concentrations in a tropical tree flora: phylogeny, soil chemistry and interactions among elements. New Phytologist, 205(1): 280-292. doi: 10.1111/nph.12987
2. Faizah M, Kamariah AS & Burslem DFRP. 2012. Evidence of foliar aluminium accumulation in local, regional and global datasets of wild plants. New Phytologist, 193(3): 637-649. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03965.x
3. Dančák M, Hroneš M, Sochor M, Kobrlová L, Hédl R, Hrázský Z, Vildomcová A, Sukri RS & Faizah M. 2013. A new species of Thismia (Thismiaceae) from Brunei Darussalam, Borneo. Phytotaxa, 125(1): 33-39.
4. Qie L, Lewis SL, Sullivan MJP, Lopez-Gonzalez G, Pickavance GC, Sunderland T, Ashton P, Hubau W, Abdullah Lim LS, Abu Salim K, Aiba SI, Banin LF, Berry N, Brearley F, Burslem B, Dančák M, Davies SJ, Fitriadi M, Fredriksson G, Hamer KC, Hedl R, Ideris KH, Kho LK, Kidd P, Kitayama K, Krisnawati H, Lhota S, Malhi Y, Maycock C, Faizah M, Mirmanto E, Nagy L, Nilus R, Ong R, Pendry C, Poulsen AD, Primack RB, Rutishauser E, Samsoedin I, Saparudin MS, Saragih B, Serudin R, Sist P, Slik JWF, Sukri RS, Svátek M, Tan s, Tjoa A, van Nieuwstadt M, Vernimmen RRE, Yassir I & Phillips OL. A long-term carbon sinks in Borneo’s forests, halted by drought and vulnerable to edges. 2018. Nature Communications, 8(1): 1966, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01997-0.
5. Slik JWF et al. 2018. Phylogenetic classification of the world’s tropical forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 115 (8): 1837-1842. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1714977115
6. Sullivan M, Lewis SL, Hubau W, Qie L, Baker TR, Banin LF, Chave J, Sanchez AC, Feldpausch TR, Lopez-Gonzalez G, Arets E, Ashton P, Bastin JF, Berry NJ, Bogaert J, Boot R, Brearley FQ, Brienen R, Burslem DFRP, Chudomelová M, Dančák M, Canniere CD, Hedl R, Lloyd J, Malhi Y, Marimon BS, Marimon Junior BS, Faizah M, Moore S, Nagy L, Vargas PN, Pendry C, Hirma Ramírez-Angulo H, Reitsma J, Rutishauser E, Abu Salim K, Sonké B, Sukri RS, Sunderland T, Svátek M, Umunay PM, Martinez RV, Vernimmen RRE, Torre EV, Vleminckx J, Vos V & Phillips OL. 2018. Field methods for sampling tree height for tropical forest biomass estimation. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9(5):1179-1189.


19. Have external grants from SMART-MIT and KU for 2-3 years
18. Herbal Research Grant, Grant Number: UBD/RSCH/URCMIG/1.0/2019/003, Project Title: Microbial Induction of Agarwood, Role: Investigator with Dr Pooja Shivanand as PI (ongoing)
17. FOS FIC Research Grant, Grant Number: UBD/RSCH/1.11/RG/2018/005 , Project Title: Impact of exotic Acacia on soil properties and nutrient cycling processes in three contrasting forest types in Brunei Darussalam, Role: Co-PI with Dr Rahayu Sukri (ongoing)
16. FOS FIC Research Grant, Grant Number: UBD/RSCH/1.11/RG/2018/006, Project Title: Study on the migration pathways of heavy metals in vegetables via the application of fertilisers, Project Title: , Role: Co-PI with Dr Lim Lee Hoon (ongoing)
15. FOS FIC Research Grant, Grant Number: UBD/RSCH/1.11/RG/2018/001, Project Title: The Establishment of Brunei Heart of Borneo (HoB) 25-ha Permanent Forest Dynamics Plot at Kuala Belalong For Long Term Monitoring of Climate Change Impacts on Forests of Brunei Darussalam, Role: Co-PI with Rosyzie Anna Hj Apong (ongoing).
14. IBER FIC Research Grant, Grant Number: UBD/RSCH/1.4/RG/2018/005, Project Title: Ecophysiology of Hemiparasitic Vine, Cassytha filiformis L. : Host-parasite Interactions, Role: Co-PI with Hjh Roshanizah Hj Rosli (IBER) (Research is ongoing but grant has ended).
13. IBER FIC Research Grant, Grant Number: UBD/RSCH/1.4/RG/2018/003, Project Title: Rehabilitation and Management of Degraded Heath and Peat Swamp Forests in Brunei Darussalam , Role: Co-PI with Dr Rahayu Sukri (Research is ongoing but grant has ended)
12. IBER FIC Research Grant, Grant Number: UBD/RSCH/1.4/RG/2018/004, Project Title: IBER Tropical Forest Dynamics Plot Network , Role: Co-PI with Dr Rahayu Sukri (Research is ongoing but grant has ended)
11. Competitive Research Grant (CRG), Grant Number: UBD/OVACRI/CRGWG(008)/170401, Project Title: Plant conservation in a human-influenced landscape of Brunei Darussalam,
Role: Investigator with Dr Daniele Cicuzza as Principal Investigator (ongoing)
10. Competitive Research Grant (CRG), Grant Number: UBD/OVACRI/CRGWG(010)/170501, Project Title: Studying the microbial diversity in Brunei for applications in bioremediation and biotechnology, Role: Investigator with Dr Pooja Shivanand as Principal Investigator (ongoing)
9. Competitive Research Grant (CRG), Grant Number: UBD/OVACRI/CRGWG(013)/170601), Project Title: The diversity of seaweeds in Brunei Darussalam and the search of useful substances towards commercialization, Role: Investigator with Dr Yasuaki Tanaka as Principal Investigator (ongoing)
8. Competitive Research Grant (CRG), Grant Number: UBD/OVACRI/CRGWG(003)/161101), Project Title: Life history, migration and human risk assessment in commercial fishes in Brunei and its adjacent waters to understand the diversity of habitat use and the sustainable use of fishery resources, Role: Investigator with Prof Takaomi Arai as Principal Investigator (ongoing)
7. BRC, Grant Number: UBD/AVC-RI/1.21.2/BRC, Project Title: A multifaceted investigation of the spread of exotic Acacia species into native habitats within Brunei Darussalam: Understanding the causes of, and management strategies for, these invasive species, Role: Investigator with Dr Rahayu Sukri as Principal Investigator (completed)
6. UBD-CTFS 25-ha Forest Dynamics at the KBFSC, Project Title: Monitoring climate change impacts on Brunei’s unique rain forests, Role: PI (ongoing)
5. URG, Grant Number: UBD/PNC2/2/RG/1(292), Project Title: Controls of foliar nutrient and aluminium concentrations in a tropical tree flora: phylogeny, soil chemistry and interaction among elements, Role: PI (completed)
4. URG, Grant Number: UBD/PNC2/2/RG/1(248), Project Title: A preliminary study of the allelopathic potential of Acacia spp. on the germination and seedling growth of selected native plant species in Brunei Darussalam, Role: PI (completed)
3. URG, Grant Number: UBD/PNC2/2/RG/1(267), Project Title: Influence of Invasion by exotic plants on soil properties across vegetation zones in the Galapagos Islands, Role: PI (completed)
2. International grant, Grant Number: AKECU (ASEAN-KOREA Environmental Cooperation Unit), Project Title: : A preliminary investigation on the use of native tree species to rehabilitate degraded heath (kerangas and kerapah) and peat swamp forests in Brunei Darussalam, Role: Co-PI with Dr Rahayu Sukri (completed)
1. International grant, Grant Number: AKECU (ASEAN-KOREA Environmental Cooperation Unit), Project Title: Assessment of potential native tree and shrub species to rehabilitate degraded heath (Kerangas and Kerapah) forests and Peat Swamp Forests in Brunei Darussalam, Role: Co-PI with Dr Rahayu Sukri (completed)


A member of the Monitoring Committee evaluating progression of R&D projects under Brunei Research Incentive Scheme Grant (“BRISc”) funded by Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB) (Oct 2015-2016)

Industry, Institute, or Organisation Collaboration

1. Collaboration with researchers from various universities and institutions in Malaysia, US, UK, Czech, Australia, China, Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Kenya and Japan.
2. Collaboration with the ASEAN-KOREA Environmental Cooperation Project (AKECOP), Forestry Department, BLNG and Wetland International (WI) for the rehabilitation of heath and peat swamp forests in Brunei Darussalam (2014-ongoing).
3. Collaboration with the Department of Forestry and Biodiversity Research and Innovation Centre, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism on the agarwood project and a number of research projects in different forest types in Brunei (ongoing).


1. Have conducted fieldwork in various forest types in Brunei Darussalam.
2. Have attended research meetings and conducted a research project in the Galapagos Islands (San Cristobal and Isabela Islands), Ecuador.
3. Have participated in a residential course in the Millennium Seed Bank, the Kew Gardens, UK.
4. Have participated in a lab training in plant and soil analysis in Soil and Water Analysis Lab, National Instrumentation Center for Environmental Management (NICEM) at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) in Seoul National University.