Redmon O’Hanlon wrote Into the Heart of Borneo1 in 1987 and began his book with the following:

As a former academic and a natural history book reviewer, I was astonished to discover, on being threatened with a two-month exile to the primary jungles of Borneo, just how fast a man can read.

Powerful as your scholarly instincts may be, there is no matching the strength of that irrational desire to find a means of keeping your head upon your shoulders; of retaining your frontal appendage in its accustomed place; of barring 1,700 different species of parasitic worm from your bloodstream and Wagler’s pit viper from just about anywhere; of removing small, black, wild-boar ticks from your crutch with minimum discomfort (you do it with Sellotape); of declining to wear a globulating necklace of leeches all day long; of sidestepping amoebic ad bacillary dysentery, yellow and blackwater and dengue fevers, malaria, cholera, typhoid, rabies, hepatitis, tuberculosis and the crocodile (thumbs in the eyes, if you have time, they say).

Over the course of three field seasons, the coastal deltaic rivers, tidal channels, and swamps of the Mahakam River Delta, Kalimantan, and Rajang River Delta, Sarawak, East Malaysia, were the locations of National Science Foundation funded studies of the organic accumulations and sediment deposits. These campaigns were in collaboration with: TOTAL (currently TOTAL-ENERGIES) and L’Institut français du Pétrole (currently IFP Énergies nouvelles) in 1988; and the Geological Survey Department Malaysia, and the Forest Department Sarawak, Kuching, East Malaysia in 1992 and 1993. Employing sediment-water interface and water-column grab samples, along with a series of vibracores, these were the first and, to date, only few of the published studies designed to investigate the relationship(s) between terrestrial organic matter burial and its sedimentological context in these settings. Explore the waterways and swamp forests of the Pacific tropics in the drop-down menu pages.

1Redmond O’Hanlon, 1987, Into the Heart of Borneo, Knopf Doubleday Publishing, New York, 208 p.