Decline, extinction of 15 Lake Lanao cyprinid fishes traced in NUS science historian’s lecture

A lecture entitled Baoulan to Kadurog: Histories of Life and Loss in Philippine Freshwaters was held on September 8, 2023 at the College of Science. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Anthony Medrano of the National University of Singapore, a science historian who specializes in biodiversity studies. Medrano has been appointed as a Presidential Young Professor of Environmental Studies of Yale-NUS College and an Assistant Professor at the NUS Department of History.

Medrano’s talk focused on the extinction of Lake Lanao’s 15 endemic cyprinid fishes from the genus Barbodes, including the highly prized Barbodes baoulan which was eventually traced to the proliferation of an invasive fish species, Glossogobius giuris. The latter was introduced to the lake during the 1960s to augment local fisheries. As a historian, Medrano also provided perspectives on the history of the discovery of the endemic cyprinids of Lake Lanao, including the scientists who discovered the said species and documented the decline of Lake Lanao’s biodiversity.

The lecture was attended by undergraduate and graduate students in Biology as well as select faculty members of the Department of Biological Sciences. The event was organized by undergraduate BS Biology major in Medical Biology students under 2MBio3 as part of their General Ecology (Bio 426) class under the supervision of Dean Rey Donne S. Papa, PhD.

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