Mekongga view
ICBG Indonesia Project

Project Aims

The overall aims are to document and conserve the precious biodiversity of a relatively pristine region in Indonesia, to discover natural product lead compounds that have the potential to be developed into novel therapeutics, and discover improved biofuels technologies. Scientific infrastructure development and training of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduates in the US and Indonesia are also major goals of our project. This project strives to meet the highest ethical standards to ensure the rights of Indonesians to derive benefits from their natural resources.

Successes of our project include:

  • Documentation of the valuable and unique biodiversity in the Mekongga Mountain Range, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia
  • Discovery of new species of insects, nematodes, plants, vertebrates and microbes
  • Discovery of new compounds with therapeutic activity from plants and microbes in the Mekongga area
  • Development of novel biofuels technologies
  • Training of Indonesian and US scientists
  • Growing biological collections at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and University of California Davis
  • Progress towards declaring the Mekongga Mountain Range as a National Park, to preserve this precious biodiversity for those who will come after us


Keith, Philippe, Hadiaty, Renny, Hubert, Nicolas, Busson, Frederic, & Lord, Clara. (2014). Three new species of Lentipes from Indonesia (Gobiidae). Cybium, 38(2), 133-146.

Sitepu, IR, Selby, T, Zhu, S, Lin, T, & Boundy-Mills, K. (2014). Carbon source utilization and inhibitor tolerance of 45 oleaginous yeast species. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology., 41, 1061-1070. doi: 10.1007/s10295-014-1447-y

Sitepu, IR, Jin, M, Fernandez, JE, Sousa, L, Balan, V, & Boundy-Mills, K. (2014). Identification of oleaginous yeast strains able to accumulate high intracellular lipids when cultivated in alkaline pretreated corn stover. Applied microbiology and biotechnology, 98(17), 7645-7657.