The numerous restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic led to the adoption of alternative ways for many industries and sectors worldwide to survive. The scientific community is not exempted from this. Researchers and scientists worldwide struggled to manage and thrive in this so-called “new normal” set-up to deliver high-impact results and products that could help solve significant modern global problems. To celebrate their feat, selected scientists from Ehime University (EU) and De La Salle University (DLSU) presented their researches in the 2nd international webinar last November 29, 2021, with the theme, “Usable Science Resulting in Impact Series II.” This event was co-presented by the Center for Natural Science and Environmental Research (CENSER) and the Leading Academia in Marine and Environment Pollution Research (LaMer). There were roughly 180 participants from both universities and other Philippine institutions who registered and participated in the event.
The webinar was welcomed and opened by Dr. Divina M. Amalin, Director of the Center for Natural Science and Environmental Research (CENSER-DLSU). This was followed by the virtual signing and launching of the EU-DLSU International Collaborative Research Laboratory, facilitated by Dr. NISHINA Hiroshige, President of Ehime University and Bro. Bernard Oca, FSC, President of De La Salle University.
The keynote speaker for this event was Dr. Raymond R. Tan, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation of DLSU. As a chemical engineer and top climate researcher, his talk focused on engineering models for carbon drawdown concerning enhanced weathering. His presentation drew interest and catalyzed conversations from participants of both universities.
Speakers from both universities joined and shared their expertise on this one-day event, showcasing what both universities can offer in research and development, resulting in impact.
The morning sessionwas started with Dr. Koichi Kamiya (EU) with his presentation on the phylogeographic diversity of the Southeast Asian tropical rainforest trees. This was followed by Dr. ZebaAlam’s (DLSU) talk on strategies to monitor and mitigate the effects of E-waste in the Philippines. The morning session was concluded by Dr. Ming-Chih Chiu’s (EU) research presentation on environmental DNA in modeling interactive riverine communities.
The afternoon session commenced with Dr. Michael Angelo B. Promentilla’s (DLSU) thought-provoking talk about nutrient cycling toward a circular green bioeconomy. This was followed by Dr. Angelyn R. Lao’s (DLSU) presentation on Graph Theoretical Analysis of Ecological Systems. Following this, Dr. Yumiko Obayashi (EU) discussed how microbes affect the biogeochemical cycles in marine ecosystems. Dr. Dan Jeric A. Rustia (DLSU) presented a new approach to integrated pest management using an intelligent monitoring system. Lastly, Dr. Miina Yanagihara (EU) talked about her research on the utilization of bioassay for protecting benthic organisms in the water environment.
This second webinar series of Ehime University (EU) and De La Salle University (DLSU) proved that exchanging ideas and providing an intellectually stimulating cyberspace for experts and audience to have an open conversation is undeterred by the limitations brought about by the pandemic. The webinar ended with high praises and anticipation for more from the audience, stating reviews such as:
"The webinar is very informative. I can apply this for future research and can be a stepping stone in choosing my undergraduate thesis."
"I am amazed by how ecological studies are now being dealt with. In particular the ecological relationships among species supported by mental models."
"The overall presentation is thorough and well organized. This webinar talks about the use of genomics in agriculture. Also, this webinar provides information to understand science and optimize which contributes to the ecosystem and for the benefit of everyone."
“It was a great webinar. Very thankful to have attended. Hoping to be part again in the next webinar series.”
The webinar concluded with remarks from Dr. Hisato Iwata, Head of Leading Academia in Marine and Environment Pollution Research (LaMer). He talked about the importance of the continued collaboration of researchers and scientists during this difficult time. He also emphasized his gratitude to the presenters for sharing their expertise and dedication in honing their skills in their chosen fields of interest.
Indeed, the audience was all inspired and enjoined not just to survive but thrive in this “new normal” set-up. This holds to the proverb, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”