More than twenty biodiversity researchers from the Philippines attended the UPLB Museum of Natural History’s online “Biodiversity Data Mobilization” workshop last 23-24 March 2023. The participating researchers came from UP Los Baños, UP Diliman, UP Mindanao, Philippine National Museum of Natural History, DOST-funded research programs, and other organizations across the country.
The workshop served as the participants’ introduction to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), an online platform which can be used by researchers and organizations to publish openly and online various biodiversity-associated data papers.
Eight BS Biology students from the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) completed their 150-hour face-to-face internship at the UPLB Museum of Natural History last 17 March 2023.
In a simple gathering held at the OVCRE Annex Building, Kylle Jae Bigsot, Nathalia Eicellrose Bueno, Abigail Castro, Francis Ryan Catarig, Ernest Paul Hernaez, Naomi Kraisantha Mayos, Aira Nadine Pascua, and Jhyason Joeshua Rubio were recognized as “graduates” of the UPLB MNH Internship Program which was held from 20 February 2023 to 17 March 2023
The Philippine Journal of Science recently announced, through its upcoming 152nd volume, the discovery of the 6th species of Helicia in the Philippines.
According to the journal, foresters from the University of the Philippines Los Baños led by Professor Pastor L. Malabrigo, Jr. found the new tree species, now named as Helicia danlagunzadii, thriving within a small population inside the Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MPPL) in Palawan island.
Cristian Lucañas, an insect taxonomist at the UPLB Museum of Natural History, is a young man on a mission. Just below his 30s, he has already described/co-described more than 14 species of cockroaches and other insects.
Last week, as a result of his continuing studies to revise the cockroach genus Periplaneta, he furthered his beloved “notoriety” as being the Philippines’ foremost and youngest expert on cockroaches by erecting two new genera of this group of crawlies.
Held on 17-18 January 2023 at the annex building of UPLB’s Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension, the training-workshop on “Interpretive Writing and Exhibition” was conducted for 20 of the museum’s regular and project staff.
Three resource persons were invited to facilitate the training design: Dr. Ruby Roan Cristobal of Science Communicators Philippines, Inc’, and Jhaydee Ann Pascual and Ma. Yohana Frias of the National Museum of the Philippines.
The museum’s communication staff Julianne Q. Afable recently completed a 5-day media training and capacity-building workshop on science communication and environmental journalism hosted by the UP Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) in collaboration with the Alliance of Young Environmental Journalists (AYEJ) last 12-16 December 2022.
The Philippines will host the 17th International Auchenorrhyncha Congress simultaneous with the 13th International Workshop on Leafhoppers and Plant Hoppers of Economic Importance (2024 IAC PH) on 25-29 March 2024. Since 1973, the IAC has been held triannually as scientific gathering of experts whose biological disciplines focus on auchenorrhynchous insects, namely the cicadas, spittlebugs, leafhoppers, treehoppers, and planthoppers.
Lead by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), the Philippines will host the 17th edition of the IAC. Scientists, researchers, and extension personnel from UPLB’s Institute of Weed Science, Entomology, and Plant Pathology; National Crop Protection Center, and the Museum of Natural History will provide the needed support for the successful conduct of the congress.
Imaging of biological specimens from the field, whether in their natural habitats or in the collections or laboratory rooms, plays a key role in the study of organisms and their conservation.
On 1-2 December 2022, six junior staff of the UPLB Museum of Natural History attended the hands-on training “Introduction to Biological Imaging,” facilitated by Florante A. Cruz, University Extension Specialist II. The event is part of the LAKSAMBUHAY Workshop which held its first session on 28 November 2022.
Museum curators, staff and students joined other wildlife biologists and practitioners working on Philippine biodiversity research and conservation during the 30th Philippine Biodiversity Symposium held at the Father Saturnino Urios University in Butuan City last 6-9 December 2022.
The biodiversity symposium is held annually by the Biodiversity Conservation Society of the Philippines (BCSP), an organization of wildlife researchers, managers, scientists, and conservationists. BCSP aims to advance wildlife research and conservation in the Philippines through promoting collaborative research, providing technical assistance, and training, and increasing public awareness.
To strengthen its efforts in contributing to the body of knowledge, communicating its research findings, and connecting with fellow scientists and the general public, the UPLB Museum of Natural History (UPLB MNH) recently organized a two-day workshop for its staff members who aim to publish their manuscripts in LAKSAMBUHAY, the UPLB Journal of Natural History.
In highlighting the event held from 28 November to 2 December 2022, Dr. Marian P. De Leon, Director of the UPLB MNH, said that the workshop gave importance to scientific publication. “We put premium on disseminating information research findings to fellow scientists and researchers in our field to helping advance knowledge and biodiversity conservation in the long run,” she said.
UPLB entomologists published two species of predatory cunaxid mites new to science last 30 November 2022 in the journal Zootaxa (https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.5214.1.3)
The new species of mites are Dactyloscirus sumatranus Corpuz-Raros and Naredo sp.n. and Dactyloscirus ladangjagung Corpuz-Raros and Lit sp.n.
The discoveries were the outputs of Professor Emeritus Leonila A. Corpuz-Raros, Jeremy C.B. Naredo, Dr. Ireneo L. Lit, Jr., and Dr. Merdelyn T. Caasi-Lit who were involved in a project implemented by the UPLB Museum of Natural History from 2013-2014.
A research team of Japanese scientists and Filipino biologists from the UPLB Museum of Natural History continued its efforts to survey zoonotic diseases from bats, braving the aftermath of Typhoon Paeng (Nalgae) which recently crossed southern Luzon in the Philippines and flooded several areas of Laguna province. From 30 October to 2 November 2022, the research team spent the long weekend in the immediately accessible forest areas of the University of the Philippines Laguna Quezon Land Grant (UPLQLG) in Real, Quezon, collecting fruit and insect-eating bats. The team’s activities slightly endured intermittent hard rains coming from the outer cloud bands of Typhoon Paeng which was exiting the Philippines.
The UPLB Museum of Natural History’s Center for Caves Ecosystems Research (CAVES) Program has gained the approval of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Protected Area Superintendent Office to continue biodiversity surveys inside the Pamitinan Protected Landscape (PPL) in Rodriguez, Rizal. or two years now, members of the CAVES program have conducted faunal, floristic, and terrestrial arthropod diversity assessment of cave and karst areas in the CALABARZON region, as well as high-end studies such as phenomic, genomic, and metagenomic analysis of the microbiome of bat gut and guano from caves in the region.
As one of the world’s mega-biodiverse countries, the Philippines amazingly abounds in flora and fauna most of which are found nowhere else but in forests and aquatic ecosystems within the country’s more than 7,000 islands. Particularly in the Sibuyan Islands of the Romblon Island Group in Central Philippines, an important key biodiversity area known as Mount Guiting-guiting has once again hugged the biodiversity limelight after a group of researchers produced new accounts of the species diversity of amphibians and reptiles of the island.
Orchids are very large and popular species of flowering plants. They showcase a wide spectrum of diversity, coming in so many different colors, shapes, and sizes. Because orchids are traded as cut flowers and potted plants, they have great economic and ornamental value. Their natural and human-determined diversity were put on the spotlight during the online seminar of the UPLB Museum of Natural History last August 2022. The webinar was really fortunate to have Dr. James Keach, Assistant Extension Agent and faculty for Ornamental Crops on the Island of Kaua’i in the University of Hawaii System as guest speaker.
The UPLB Museum of Natural History recently partnered with the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) – Legazpi City, Albay for the latter’s capacity development program seeks to prepare the agency’s constituents and stakeholders in planning for a community herbarium. According to Florante A. Cruz, museum extension specialist and liaison for the partnership, the OCENR requested for the museum’s assistance in early 2022 when LGU representatives brought the idea of having a herbarium or biodiversity museum in the city.
Publisher Elsevier recently announced on 16 October 2022 the release of the new book “Mycology in the Tropics: Updates on Philippine Fungi,” a scientific reference seen to become an important publication on the many facets of the field of mycology in the Philippines. The UPLB Museum of Natural History is indeed proud that, among the editors and authors of book, are three of its curators: Director Marian P. De Leon (editor and author), Dr. Nelson M. Pampolina and Dr. Jennifer M. Niem (authors). The museum’s curators are among the 41 Filipino contributing authors, writing 14 chapters of the new book.