Latvian researchers hold public lecture on Biodiversity and Biochemistry, inks MOU with UM

The University of Mindanao’s initiative at internationalization and partnering with various institutions in the country and abroad came to a momentous event as a team of researchers from Latvia held their first public lecture on biodiversity and biochemistry at the AVR-2 of UM Matina from March 20 -21.

Sharing data on the ecosystem of their country and how conservation efforts can be improved for both countries, the Latvian team is also set to conduct field studies here in the city and in neighboring areas.

They are also set to tour the university’s facilities, beginning with the various top-notch laboratories in the different colleges.

The Latvian team is hosted by UM under the Erasmus Program, which is supported by the European Union and partners with different countries to promote intercultural education, student and faculty exchange, as well as the exchange of material and research.

The Latvian researchers are the following: Dr. Alexander Anishchenko, Dr. Alexey Shavrin, Dr. Jelena Kirilova, Inese Hodanova, Janis Kudinš, Rita Baltere, Liene Leikuma- Rimicane, Aivars Dunskis, Anita Rukmane, Evita Romanovska, Ligita Mezaraupe, Sanita Kecko, Aleksandrs Petjukevics, and Marina Savicka.

Dr. Guillermo P. Torres Jr. with Latvian researchers, headed by Daugavpil University rector Dr. Arvids Barsevskis (right, beside Dr. Torres).

Along with the unique opportunity for UM students and faculty to engage with the Latvian researchers, it is also a historic moment as UM, represented by Dr. Guillermo P. Torres Jr, forged a memorandum of understanding with Daugavpils University in Latvia, represented by its rector, Dr. Arvids Barsevskis.

Daugavpils University is the largest regional public university in Latvia, and according to the MOU, the partnership will allow UM and Daugavpil to share facilities for future research collaborations, share expertise on university management, provide capacity building activities on Biochemical and Coleopteran research, assist UM in establishing a Biodiversity Research Center, and attribute co-authorship on scientific papers resulting from the partnership.

Dr. Torres and Dr. Barsevskis commemorate the MOU signing with a handshake.

The Latvian team arrived last March 19 and will stay until the end of the month.

A team of researchers from UM is also set to travel to Latvia by June, accompanied by Dr. Torres, Dr. Ronnie Amorado; Senior Vice President for Academic Planning and Services, Dr. Ma. Linda Arquiza; Vice President for Research and Publication, and Dr. Reynaldo Castro; Vice President for External Relations and International Affairs.

The UM research teams is composed of Dr. Milton Norman Medina, director for Biodiversity and Environment at the UM Research and Publication Center, and students and faculty of the Biology Department of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Professional Schools; namely Analyn Cabras, Normeliza Morales, Hazel Carreon, Roelle Castillo, Christian Dell Gentallan, Chrestine Torrejos, and Jessa Mae Balbanida.

About the author: Salud Petalcorin