Biodiversity Research Institute

Come to Brazil and learn more about biodiversity and the environment!

Iporanga, Brazil, South America
The Biodiversity Research Institute is a nonprofit NGO that develops biodiversity research and environmental education programs for the purpose of ecological conservation.

Volunteering Activities

Agriculture Work
Animal Care
Conservation Work

What We Need

1) Eco Volunteer:

This role contains a range of activities which are conducted in a group. The majority of these tasks are field activities so this is for volunteers who like to be outside and enjoy physical activity. Not all these projects occur at the same time as various projects are seasonal.

Tasks of an eco-volunteer are not limited to the roles below but we have listed the main areas that the eco-volunteer will participate in: tree inventory; gardening/reserve maintenance; mushroom inventory; tadpole research; bird inventory; mammal monitoring using camera traps; fish inventory; literature research; communications support; and arts and crafts projects.

2) Bioluminescent Mushroom Researcher:

IPBio is looking for a long-term volunteer (minimum 3 month stay but preferably 6 months) who would focus on searching for new species of bioluminescent mushrooms; photographing them and finding the conditions that allows us to cultivate them in the lab.

3) Research Assistant:

Volunteers can help our biologists perform research and monitoring of fauna and flora. You will accompany our researchers in their daily activities and get experience of what life is like for a field researcher. The focus of the investigation will be determined by IPBio.

4) Amphibian Researcher:

IPBio conducts research on amphibian ethology, embryology and viruses that affect frogs. Volunteers accompany the development of tadpoles and frogs in captivity. In addition, from November to February, IPBio conducts regular inventories of amphibians using pitfalls that are distributed throughout the reserve, which requires hiking.

5) Bioacoustics Researchers:

IPBio received a grant from Wildlife Acoustics whereby they donated 2 bioacoustics recorders and software to analyze the data. IPBio is attempting to understand peak activity times for different species throughout the 24 hours in a day. This study will be conducted over the years to develop monthly/seasonal peak activity period for species. In addition, IPBio wishes to create a “sound bank” of all the species on the reserve.

6) Photographers/Movie Producers:

The Biodiversity Observatory OBBIO - is a network of video cameras that record the fauna and flora 24 hours a day, generating films and content for use in research and education. Our videos have been used on the Discovery Channel and are regularly published on our YouTube channel. People interested in adding content to the database or can put the content to good use in clips, documentaries or magizine publications are welcome. Anyone with editing or digital ar skills would be of great help also.

7) Website Designer:

IPBio is looking for a web developer to add new content (such as a section with independent pages describing our projects); add new features to our website; improve the aesthetics; and organize the website structure.

8) Animal Release Center Assistant:

On the Betary Reserve the IPBio has partnered with the Celine Animal Release Center who is in the process of developing and constructing their center where they will set free animals that were once victims of the illegal trade of wild animals. At this stage they will need support in the following areas: collecting native fruit seeds; fauna inventory (research on species living in the area); and gardening/landscaping.

9) Fundraising and Communications:

Improving our website; develop our social media; creating videos to recuit volunteers or inform people about our work; attract more volunteers; contacting universities to organize courses or set up agreements to develop our internship program; promote our ebooks on biodiversity and wildlife; develop fundraising plans; and write grants for equipment.

10) Volunteer Coordinator:

IPBio is looking for a Volunteer Coordinator to support in the expansion of our volunteer program that is willing to stay for a minimum period of 1 year on a volunteer visa to support in the management and organization of volunteers daily activities. The coordinator does not need to pay for accommodation costs but are responsible for covering their own living costs.

11) Gardener/Organic Farmer/Trail Maintenance:

Our gardener, Rafael, always needs help maintaining the grounds, trails, animal enclosures, vegetable patch and microclimate greenhouse so if you are interested in getting your hands dirty then we always have a job for you.

12) Artists/Painters/Mural Artist:

IPBio recently constructed a new volunteer house and we wish to give each room a native animal’s name, such as the “Jaguar Room” or the “Hammer Frog Room”. Along with the name which would be drawn on the door, we would like to put a painting of the animal and then inside each room to have a mural on the wall. This would not only make each room more welcoming but would also facilitate the organization of each room. When a new volunteer arrived it would be as easy as saying, “you are in the anteater room!”

13) Insect Reproduction - IPBio currently produces larva, crickets and cockroach for education visits and to feed reptiles and amphibians. IPBio wishes to expand this to study interesting species and expand the possibility for visitors to learn about the incredible world of insects. IPBio has found various species of interesting bioluminescent larva, ants and other insects and we are looking for someone who set up a method on how to reproduce these insects so we can study their habits as well as display them for tourists. IPBio has little experience in this area so we would want someone with past experience in this area who can work independently to get things running. Moreover, as we do not know how much work this will require, the volunteer can also help as an eco-volunteer in their extra time.

14) Aquariumist - IPBio currently has aquariums with various species of fish. We are looking for someone to organize of fish collections by habitats, create education sign posts, reorganize and maintain the aquariums and provide potential research topics that could be executed. This is an independent role where we will rely on the specialty of the volunteer to take the lead. Moreover, as we do not know how much work this will require, the volunteer can also help as an eco-volunteer in their extra time.

When & Who

We are always looking for volunteers to help us develop our projects
Yes, we require a minimum of 2 Weeks
There is a 2 week minimum, however, those applicants who apply for longer period have a much higher chance of being selected.
Individuals, Groups, Retirees

What we Provide

Volunteer House

Volunteer accommodation at the Darwin House has 8 rooms, some individual rooms with desks and some shared rooms. All rooms have air-conditioning and closet space. There is a fully equipped kitchen and living room area as well as 3 bathroom with a hot showers.

Wifi & Satellite
Hot Water
Air Conditioning
First Aid

Our Fees


Volunteers pay in reais a charge of 650 reais a week for accommodation at the reserve (at January 2019 exchange rate this comes to 170 US dollars a week however this does change due to currency fluctuations).

87 Reviews

More Services we Offer

May have additional fees
Social Activities

On the first day you will receive orientation as well as a tour around the reserve to familiarize yourself with the area and the infrastructure such as the greenhouse, aquarium, lab. Weekend activities are not organized or included by IPBio, however, we can help you communicate with a tourism agency to set up weekend tours.

Contact Person

Imran Viroomal
Estrada Iporanga – Apiaí, Km 6, Iporanga -SP - Brasil, Iporanga, Brazil.
93% response rate , 30 hour(s) response time.

Additional Info about Us

5 to 10 people

Pitfalls, a system used for frog collection and identification, only occurs from November to February. However, there are various projects related to frogs around the year so you wont miss out of work with amphibians.

Mushroom searches occur more intensely in hot and humid season from August to April but even in the other months conditions can be right for mushrooms to grow so we also do regularly inventories all year long.

The Biodiversity Research Institute (IPBio) is a place where research meets conservation. IPBio is a nonprofit NGO that develops and supports projects in environmental education and scientific research on biodiversity, ecology as well as on the behavior of species of fauna and flora of Brazilian ecosystems. In addition to the research and education activities, IPBio 's mission is to encourage conservation, management and sustainable use of natural resources; and promote the development of eco-tourism and cultural projects.

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