Silliman U to collab with UP, MSU for 3-year research project

Wild adult individuals of the sea cucumber Stichopus cf. horrens
Wild adult individuals of the sea cucumber Stichopus cf. horrensCONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Dr. Nadia P. Abesamis (left) interviews local fishers regarding the biology of Stichopus cf. horrens in their locality.
Dr. Nadia P. Abesamis (left) interviews local fishers regarding the biology of Stichopus cf. horrens in their locality.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Silliman University (SU), through the SU Biology Department led by faculty member Dr. Nadia Palomar-Abesamis, is set to collaborate with Mindanao State University (MSU) Tawi-Tawi and the University of the Philippines - Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) as its implementing agency, on a three (3)-year project funded by the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).

Commencing in July this year, the project is entitled, “Understanding Stichopus cf. horrens Ecology, Reproductive Biology, and Culture for Sustainable Production.”

It aims to examine aspects of the biology and ecology of the commercially important sea cucumber Stichopus cf. horrens relevant to the improvement of culture technology and production of high-value biomolecules.

Silliman University will specifically investigate the ecology, phylogenetic diversity, and reproductive biology of the species in key sites within Negros. Palomar-Abesamis will be taking the helm for the SU team and expects to work with a research assistant and some SU Biology students during field surveys.

“The project works on a commercially important invertebrate species that can directly improve the culture of the species, its fishery and the coastal communities that rely on it for food and livelihood,” Palomar-Abesamis explained in an email correspondence when asked about the significance of this project.

“Some expected outcomes are scientific publications on the biology, ecology and culture of Stichopus cf. horrens, knowledge products on the species, graduate student development, and training workshops,” she added. 

This collaborative project was approved during the DOST Governing Council meeting in Los Baños, Laguna last December 7, 2023. DOST-PCAARRD is in the process of finalizing the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the collaborating institutions. (PR)

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