Officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) and James Cook University (JCU) of Australia, one of the world’s leading research institutions focusing on the tropics, explored prospects for collaboration at a meeting held last May 9, 2017 in the UP Board Room in Diliman, Quezon City.
The JCU panel was composed of Chancellor Bill Tweddell, who served as Australia’s ambassador to the Philippines from 2012 to 2016; Deputy Vice-Chancellor Ian Wronski of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine; Deputy Vice-Chancellor Iain Gordon of the Division of Tropical Environments and Societies; and, Pro Vice Chancellor International Melissa Banks. UP was represented by Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Bautista; Vice President for Public Affairs Jose Dalisay, Jr.; UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan; UP Los Baños Chancellor Fernando Sanchez, Jr.; UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita Padilla; UPLB Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Portia Lapitan; UPLB Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Rex Demafelis; Office of International Linkages (OIL) Deputy Director Aaron Villaraza; Marine Science Institute (MSI) Director Fernando Siringan; MSI Professor Porfirio Aliño; MSI Prof. Antonette Juinio-Meñez; Professor Emeritus and National Scientist Edgardo Gomez; Asst. VP for Academic Affairs (Research) Carla Dimalanta; College of Science Dean Jose Balmaceda; and, Professor Emerita and Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Rhodora Azanza.
Possible research partnerships and joint projects on marine sciences, biodiversity, tropical ecology and environments, global warming, tropical medicine and public health care, and food security were proposed at the meeting.
Based in Townsville, Queensland, and with campuses in Cairns and Singapore, JCU is a regional and global leader in many fields relating to tropical sciences and societies. (Fred Dabu, UP MPRO)