Two faculty members of the University of Santo Tomas working on aquatic invasive species were invited to present papers during the 1st Aquatic Invasive Alien Species in Southeast Asia conference, held at the National University of Singapore last July 26-27, 2017.

Dr. Rey Donne S. Papa of the Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences (RCNAS) and Professor at the College of Science and Graduate School, presented a paper entitled “The ‘unseen’ invader has settled down: Observations on Arctodiaptomus dorsalis in Philippine lakes,” while Dino T. Tordesillas, a Ph.D. candidate in Biological Sciences at the UST Graduate School and a faculty member of the UST Senior High School presented the paper “Measuring the effects of temperature and food concentration on Arctodiaptomus dorsalis: The importance of laboratory culture studies in invasive copepod research”.

These papers were based on a research project they have conducted in the RCNAS since 2011 which led to the discovery of the invasive zooplankton, Arctodiaptomus dorsalis in the Philippines as part of an effort to document the current state of inland water biodiversity by faculty and students of UST. These findings had been published in several international journals, such as Biological Invasions, Plankton and Benthos Research, Inland Waters, International Journal of Philippine Science and Technology, Acta Manilana, and the Philippine Journal of Science.

The visit also gave the Thomasian researchers an opportunity to explore future collaborative work on freshwater zooplankton in the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. Dr. Papa and Mr. Tordesillas were able to do preliminary examinations of the CH Fernando zooplankton collection in the museum. The CH Fernando collection contains samples of freshwater zooplankton from many localities in the Philippines collected mainly during the 1970’s. This was facilitated by Dr. Jose Christopher Mendoza of the LKCNHM-NUS.

There were a total of 24 invited lectures and 4 plenary lectures all dealing with topics related to aquatic invasive species research. The invited lecturers were all from ASEAN countries while plenary speakers came from the University of Hong Kong, Queens University (Belfast, N. Ireland), University of Windsor (Canada), and Murdoch University (Australia). This is the first meeting on aquatic invasive species in Southeast Asia. The meeting was organized by the Department of Biological Sciences and Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) of the National University of Singapore spearheaded by Dr. Darren C. J. Yeo