Curators, staff and students from the Museum of Natural History recently participated during the "International Symposium on Biodiversity as Economic Resource — Innovative Exploitation for Science and Society" last 18 January 2016.

Director Juan Carlos T. Gonzalez, Curators Dr. Ayolani De Lara, Dr. Alberto T. Barrion, Dr. Aimeee Lynn B. Dupo, Dr. Emmanuel Ryan De Chavez; MNH staff James DV. Alvarez and David Emmanuel M. General; and MNH special problem students Mattheus Imcon V. Abris and Clarizette O. Llegado attended the scientific gathering hosted by Ateneo de Manila University, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and BIOTA AdMU chapter.

Museum Director Juan Carlos T. Gonzalez served as plenary guest speaker for the theme "Integrated Biodiversity Assessment" and presented MNH's expeditions aimed at documenting the comprehensive assemblage of biological resources from caves, mountain peaks and islands. According to Gonzalez, the MNH is ideal model for this comprehensive documentation of tropical biodiversity.

Museum staff and curators were also able to present three poster papers: "Spider Biodiversity in the Philippines: Nature's renewable resource in pest management" by Dr. Dupo and Dr. Barrion; "Aretidris, a new ant genus from the mountains of Luzon" by David General and "Biodiversity Assessment of Cacupangan Cave System, Municipality of Mabini, Pangasinan Province" authored by several MNH curators and staff; and students of BIO 154 (Cave Ecology).

The poster paper of General was adjudged 1st place in a special Best Poster competition while that of Drs. Dupo and Barrion was awarded 3rd place.

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