Faculty News

This section highlights participation of individual faculty members to local and international events, activities or programs. For submissions, please click here.

DB faculty members discuss plant diversity, biogeography, climate change in brown bag session

posted Feb 7, 2011, 9:48 PM by Juan Makabayan   [ updated Feb 7, 2011, 9:54 PM ]

Three faculty members presented papers on different topics during a brown bag session organized by the Department of Biology  on February 7, 2011 at the Alumni Conference Room.
The brown bag session is a venue where the faculty members of the Department share their researches or learning from a conference in a relaxed, less formal setting. Students are also invited as it is an opportunity to be updated on the latet research findings which might be helpful in their future courses.

DB Brown Bag Session

Prof. Elena Ragragio spoke on “Plant Community Diversity in Selected Lahar Areas of Bacolor, Pampanga Province” where she shared the findings of her research team.

Prof. Ragragio  investigated the composition of plants in select areas of Bacolor, Pampanga, which was devasted by lahar for almost 20 years. She talked about the succession of plant species in the area, and implications on future return of farming in the area.

Dr. Rosario Rubite discussed “An Endemic Philippine Radiation: Biogeography and Delimitation of Begonia Sect. Diploclinium in the Philippines,” where she discussed the perils of placing high taxonomic importance on single reproductive characters.

She also highlighted the importance of some previously overlooked vegetative characters.

Prof. Anna Theresa Santiago presented “System Change for Climate Change,” wherein she summarized the history of negotiations among nations for addressing the climate crisis and shared her experience as UP Manila representative to the KlimaForum '09, the civil society-counterpart of the Copenhagen Conference of Parties (CoP 15) in December 2009.

She concluded that while climate change seems like a scientific and technical issue, the current stage of the crisis demands political solutions and community disaster preparedness among the vulnerable nations and groups such as the Philippines.

With report from Prof. Sedricke Lapuz, Department of Biology

Parungao, Bio studes shine in microbiology confab

posted May 26, 2010, 7:44 PM by Juan Makabayan   [ updated May 26, 2010, 7:50 PM ]

BS Biology graduates together with their mentor Professor Marilen M. Parungao successfully presented their research work during the 39th Philippine Society for Microbiology Inc. Annual Convention in Naga City, Camarines Sur, held last April 29-30, 2010 and received a number of awards.
In the oral paper competition, Maria Llaine J. Callanta presented their paper “Assessment of Microbial Diversity in Caries-Active Filipinos using PCR-Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis”  while Maria Clarissa Yasmin O. Tio presented their work entitled “Evaluation of the Applicability of a One-Step Multiplex, Real-Time, Taqman® Reverse Transcriptase PCR (QRT-PCR) for the Rapid Detection and Serotyping of the Dengue Virus (Denv-1, 2, 3, 4) in the Philippine Setting” where Miss Tio obtained the best paper award. Miss Tio's co-authors are Paula Victoria Y. Cheng, Marilen M. Parungao and Edelwissa Segubre-Mercado.  Though not lucky in getting the best paper award, Miss Callanta received a thesis grant from the society for their work. Her co-authors are Emmanuel J. Landicho, Candids Patrice Reyes, Marilen M. Parungao and Leslie Michelle M. Dalmacio.

In the poster paper category, three posters where presented where Marella Bugarin won the American Society for Microbiology Best Poster Paper (Food Microbiology Category) in their paper entitled  “Survival of Lactobacillus Plantarum BSs25 on Varying Ratio of Mango-Milk Substrates and Storage Temperature.” her co-authors are Aivoree Ann Sison, Marilou Calapardo, Francisco B. Elegado and Marilen M. Parungao. Like Miss Callanta, poster paper presentor Kristin Zillah Arroyo who worked on chocolates as probiotics, was not lucky to win the best poster award but where also given the thesis grant by the society for their work. Her co-authors are Joyce Garcia, Marilou Calapardo, Francisco B. Elegado and Marilen M. Parungao.

Professor Parungao, a registered microbiologist,  was also conferred the title “Specialist Microbiologist” during the same event.

PSM is a non-stock, non-profit, SEC-registered association of microbiologists who aim to promote scientific knowledge  in microbiology or related fields through workshops, symposia, trainings, reports, and publications.

With contribution by Prof. Marilen Parungao, DB

System change for climate change

posted Jan 26, 2010, 11:24 PM by Juan Makabayan   [ updated Jan 28, 2010, 4:13 PM ]

THE OCCURRENCE of unpredictable extreme weather events and the increase in global average temperatures have made climate change an unequivocal crisis.
Originally posted at http://beta.bworldonline.com/weekender/content.php?id=4977

Although climate change is influenced by natural phenomena such as the periodic variation in the Earth’s orbit around the sun, the changes the world is experiencing today are attributed to man-made global warming.

Industrial activities such as fossil fuel combustion, incineration, metal and cement production, livestock activities and air-conditioning emit gaseous by-products that are carbon-based. These gases form a layer on the Earth’s atmosphere that traps excess solar radiation that should otherwise be reflected back into outer space, thereby heating the planet much like a greenhouse.

At the COP15 held last Dec. 7-18 in Copenhagen, Denmark, civil society asserted its desire for a system change from purely market-oriented methods in solving the climate crisis to a sustainable approach that considers equitable access to safe and renewable forms of energy, environmental care, and human rights.

At this 15th meeting of over 190 UN member states regarding climate change, the prominent issues that are still being discussed involve market-based solutions focusing on carbon trading. Meanwhile, amid warming temperatures and rising sea levels, small Pacific island-nations such as Tuvalu and Kiribati are in danger of being submerged within the next 50 years or so.

ASEAN countries including the Philippines should expect more super typhoons attributable to climate change. In that case, issues such as climate-induced migration, disaster management, spread of infectious diseases and food shortages should be included in UN climate change policies.

Even UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon stated that "We do not have another year to deliberate. Nature does not negotiate with us."

Simultaneous with the COP15 negotiations, a people’s climate summit known as Klimaforum09 also took place in Copenhagen. I was fortunate to have been sent by the University of the Philippines-Manila College of Arts and Sciences to participate in this activity.

Klimaforum09 was organized by Danish NGOs in cooperation with major international NGOs. Through Klimaforum09, groups from all over the world met at the DGI-Byen Center of Copenhagen and engaged in discourse regarding the issues and multi-sectoral impact of climate change. The major output of this summit was a printed declaration aptly titled "System change -- not climate change."

The declaration was a result of almost a year’s worth of discussions among various people’s movements and ordinary concerned citizens that culminated during the first week of Klimaforum09. The declaration calls for the abandonment of fossil fuels, reparation and compensation for climate debt, rejection of purely market-oriented solutions that deepen social conflicts and sovereignty over energy, food and water.

Inasmuch as the accumulation of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions on the Earth’s atmosphere has been identified as the major cause of unpredictable regional temperatures and precipitation patterns, the major driver of climate change is the prevailing system of thought that is economics-based.

The "green market" opportunity posed by the climate crisis will only lead to further irreparable environmental damage. With the disagreements among developed and developing nations regarding emissions reduction and carbon trading, a grassroots approach to mitigating the impact of climate change is the way to go.

But what can we ordinary citizens do at this point? Reducing our electrical consumption by shifting to energy-efficient appliances and limiting our use of private vehicles by using public transportation. Perhaps, system change can start at the individual level, just like what Mohandas Gandhi implied when he said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." -- Anna Theresa Ata-Santiago

Taguibao attends APISA Congress

posted Nov 14, 2009, 7:40 PM by Ricky Bulalakaw   [ updated Jan 26, 2010, 11:27 PM by Juan Makabayan ]

Jalton Taguibao, chair of the Institutional Strategic Planning Committee and faculty of the Department of Social Sciences, recently presented a paper on “Obstructions and Constraints in the Development of the Philippine Renewable Energy Sector” in the 4th Asian Political and International Studies Association (APISA) Congress held last November 12 to 13 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

APISA is Asia's leading academic organization dealing with political and international studies. Modeled on academic institutions in North America and Western Europe, APISA serves as an academic community for scholars working on Asia.

The event had the theme “Asia in the Midst of Crises: Political, Economic, and Social Dimensions.”

He also presented a paper on “Political Obstructions in the Development of the Philippine Renewable Energy Industry” in the UP Manila Conference on Global Climate Change last October 22-23 at the Pearl Garden Hotel, Manila.

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