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First UST symposium on Philippine biodiversity held

Faculty members of the Department of Biological Sciences - College of Science and graduate students and alumni of the Graduate School took the center stage as presenters of the first UST Symposium on Philippine Biodiversity. Held on October 15, 2014 at TARC Auditorium with the theme 'The Search for Novel Species', 17 Thomasian biologists shared their research studies on new species and new records of plants, animals, fungi and even microorganisms.

In the first session, 'The Microbial World', three lectures were delivered by biology faculty researchers: 'The Good Virus: A Menace in the Bacterial World' by Asst. Prof. Donna May Papa, M.Sc., 'The PhilFUB Project: Documenting Fungal Diversity in the Philippines' by Prof. Dr. Thomas Edison dela Cruz, 'What is the Status of myxomycete research in the Philippines?' by Ms. Ma. Angelica D. Rea-Maminta, M.Sc., and 'The Amphipod Challenge, Anyone?' by Asst. Prof. Sonia Javier.

The second session focused on flora and fauna. Mr. Jonathan Carlo Briones provided an update on fish parasite researches in the Philippines while Asst. Prof. Rey Donne Papa, Ph.D. introduced the status of freshwater zooplankton researches in the country. Prof. Grecebio Jonathan Alejandro, Ph.D. highlighted his group's contribution to Philippine plant biodiversity while Asst. Prof. Mae Lowe Diesmos underscored her group's contribution to Philippine reptiles and amphibians.

Two sessions were also conducted in the afternoon. Presenters in these sessions were Thomasian graduate students and alumni. In the session, 'Association between Organisms', two alumni of the UST Graduate School shared their research studies. Mr. Anthony Buaya, M.Sc. talked about microfungi and slime molds of Zamboanga Peninsula while Ms. Paola Bianca Buiser, M.Sc. presented her researches on in vitro phage cocktail therapy. Four graduate students also shared their researches during this session. Ms. Shenly Marie Gazo talked about the lichen Ramalina. Mr. Dino Tordesillas drew the audience's attention as he communicated his research on Philippine calonoids while Ms. Jhaydee Ann Pascual shared her researches on water fleas. Mr. Arvin Ramon Santos centered on bacteriophages.

The last session likewise highlighted researches by two alumni and two graduate students. Dr. Paulina Bawingan, a professor of St. Louis University, touched on lichens in the Philippines while another botanist, Dr. Axel Arriola, professor from the University of the East, pointed out new plant species in Family Rubiaceae. The two graduate students, Mr. Russel Evan Venturina and Ms. Propa Joy Santor, elucidated on their researches on new endemic plant species.

The symposium indeed brought to light the enormous contribution of Thomasian biologists in studying the Philippine biodiversity. The one-day event was attended by 79 students, teachers and researchers from 19 different institutions and universities and 251 future Thomasian biologists and microbiologists. / TEDC

Dr. Thomas Edison Dela Cruz biodiversity-slide2 biodiversity-slide3-600px biodiversity-slide4-600px biodiversity-slide5-600px biodiversity-slide7-600px 

 

 

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