Researchers take part in molecular ecology and bioinformatics workshop

By Development Communication Section

The lecturers and participants during the 2nd annual DIPnet Workshop
The lecturers and participants during the 2nd annual DIPnet Workshop

SEAFDEC/AQD Scientist Dr. Maria Rowena Eguia, Researcher Ms. Shelah Mae Buen-Ursua, together with Senior Technical Assistant Ms. Joana Joy Huervana, participated in the 2nd international workshop on the Diversity of the Indo-Pacific Network (DIPnet) held at the Microtel Hotel in Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines last 25 to 29 July 2016.

The workshop was facilitated by DIPnet, a research coordination network funded by the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The meeting aimed to establish a collaborative research network as well as start a database for the advancement of marine biodiversity research in the region.

The event was co-hosted by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute c/o Dr. Rachel Ravago-Gotanco who invited and, through NSF, provided support to two of the AQD participants.

With the theme “Molecular Ecology and Bioinformatics in the Philippines and Southeast Asia,” the workshop included lectures and hands on training on bioinformatic analysis of molecular data and metadata using computer software programs from the Unix command line and scientific computing language R.

Also discussed during the workshop was determining the challenges in biodiversity research in Southeast Asia specifically the Philippines and to develop research proposals to address these challenges and have collaborative projects possibly with support from local and international funding institutions.

The workshop likewise included presentations by some participants on local initiatives that focus on molecular marker technologies as applied in aquaculture and/or aquatic resource management.

Dr. Eguia presented completed and on-going AQD population genetics researches on tilapia, milkfish, mudcrab and abalone while Dr. Ursua talked about her completed genetic assessment work on Philippine seahorses.

The participants of the workshop were from local research institutions, academe and students. The Philippine session is the second in a series of workshops conducted in Southeast Asia with the first session held in Indonesia last year.

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