The University of Santo Tomas signed a memorandum of understanding with the National University of Singapore last August 11, 2017, formalizing the partnership between UST’s Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences and NUS’s Department of Geography.
The agreement will be based mostly on the research cooperation between NUS’s Dr. David Mark Taylor and UST’s Dr. Rey Donne S. Papa, who will continue their work on the field of palaeolimnology, which they begin in 2013. The main output of the agreement is a joint research project to be submitted to the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, Emerging Technology Research and Development for funding.
The partnership between Taylor and Papa resulted in at least four visits to the Philippines by Taylor and his graduate students, who conducted samplings in the Lake Mohicap and Lake Paoay. Taylor was likewise a collaborating scientist in the Commission of Higher Education – Philippine Higher Education Research Network project conducted by Papa and Dr. Susan Baldia, also from UST. In 2014, Taylor hosted a workshop in UST, with funding from the NUS, and gathered professors from the University College London, University of Ulster, and University of Nottingham, together with NUS and UST participants, to map future projects and write a review paper exploring the possibility of palaeolimnology research in the Philippines. The workshop led to a 2015 research publication in Geo: Geography and Environment.
Other activities included the 1st Philippine Symposium on Freshwater Biodiversity and Ecosystems in 2016, where Taylor was a plenary speaker. Research collaborations have likewise taken place, involving Taylor, Papa, and their respective graduate students.