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BUKIT JAMBUL, 28 May 2024 - Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) through the School of Biological Sciences (SBS), in collaboration with the Asian Society of Ichthyologists (ASI), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) with support from Universitas Syiah Kuala (USK), Indonesia and IPB University, Bogor, Indonesia today joined forces to hold the the 7th International Conference of the Asian Society of Ichthyologists 2024 (ASIIC 2024).

The conference was resumed after a four-year hiatus due to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the theme “Exploring Species Diversity and Resilience of Asian Fishes in a Changing Environment”, the 2-day conference is particularly pertinent, given the current and future global concerns caused by uncontrolled anthropogenetic activities, such as overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction, coupled with the adverse effects of climate change.

The opening ceremony held at Auditorium Murad Mohd Noor, SAINS@USM this morning was graced by the presence of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation, Professor Dr. Habibah A Wahab, representing the USM Vice-Chancellor.

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In her speech, Habibah emphasised that this event aligns with efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Life Below Water (SDG 14).

She highlighted that addressing these interconnected goals not only advances scientific understanding, but also fosters practical solutions for sustainable development and environmental conservation.

“It is hoped that through international collaboration and knowledge sharing at this conference, participants would enhance their understanding of complex issues related to biodiversity conservation,” she said.

Meanwhile ASIIC 2024 Chairperson, Professor Dr. Siti Azizah Mohd Nor in her welcoming speech expressed her confidence that this conference would strengthen professional bonds among ichthyologists working in Asia's biodiverse regions.

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The exchange of ideas and expertise here is poised to drive innovation and inspire groundbreaking research initiatives in this field.

The keynote address was delivered following that by the Curator of Ichthyology, Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore, Dr. Tan Heok Hui entitled “Encheloclarias – A Cryptic Acid-Water Catfish from Sundaland, A Critical Update."

The conference will be held from 28 to 29 May 2024 with the participation of over 180 delegates from 16 countries.

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Also present were the USM SBS Dean, Professor Dato’ Dr. Amirul Al-Ashraf Abdullah; principal officers of universities and head of departments.

Text: Nur Farrah Ezlin Mohd Suhaimi/Photo: Mohd Fairus Md Isa


BANGI, 16 May 2024 - A group of students from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has once again demonstrated its excellence in implementing environmental and sustainability initiatives, and aligning closely with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 10th Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica with the theme “Polar Research for Sustainability & Planetary Health” was organised from 14 - 16 May 2024 at Bangi Resort Hotel in Bangi, Selangor, where it was officiated by Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu, the Patron of the Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation (YPASM).

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The USM students who participated in The Sustainable Antarctica Competition 2024 - TikTok Creative Video Competition that was held in conjunction with the seminar had achieved outstanding success. Competing amongst 150 participants, they won multiple top awards, showcasing their creativity and commitment to sustainability.

Lee Ling Hui, a second-year student from the Bioresource Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, USM won the Grand Prize with her winning video.

Phang Khang Wei, a third-year student from the Food Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, USM secured the Second Prize.

Chin Pei Yi, also a third-year student from the Food Technology Division, won a Consolation Prize.

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The team of Nadiah Mohammad Yusof and Nur Arni Sabrina Azmin, both fourth-year students from the School of Biological Sciences, also won another Consolation Prize.

Meanwhile, a student from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Ahmad Adam Osman Nurhazli won the "Most Liked Video" category.

The awards were presented by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability (NRES), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad during the seminar.

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Other notable achievements by USM extended beyond the video competition.

Jiei Kobe from the Environmental Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, USM, secured the First Prize for ‘Best Oral Presentation’ with his final-year project titled "Mercury Reduction by Micrococcus sp. Isolated from Signy Island, Antarctica."

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This research is a collaborative effort between USM and the British Antarctic Survey, supervised by Associate Professor Dr. Japareng Lalung and Professor Dr. Peter Convey. The project aligns with SDG 14 (Life Below Water) and SDG 15 (Life on Land) by addressing the impact of mercury pollution on ecosystems.

Adding to the accolades, Associate Professor Dr. Yusri Yusup from the Environmental Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, USM, was announced as a recipient of the YPASM grant worth RM130,000 for his project titled “Enhancing Understanding of Antarctic Atmospheric Processes and their Teleconnection to the Monsoons in the Strait of Malacca, Malaysia through Comprehensive Data Management.”

The award was presented to him by Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu. This project supports SDG 13 (Climate Action) by enhancing understanding of climate processes and their effects.

Both the Sustainable Antarctica Competition 2024 and the 10th Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica provided a significant platform for highlighting innovative research and creative approaches aimed at promoting sustainability and planetary health.

The remarkable achievements by USM underscore its dedication to environmental stewardship and its leadership in education and research on sustainability and contributing to various SDGs, including SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Life Below Water), and SDG 15 (Life on Land).

For more details about the competition, visit Sustainable Antarctica Competition 2024. To learn more about the seminar, visit 10th Malaysian International Seminar on Antarctica.

Text: Associate Professor Dr. Japareng Lalung (School of Industrial Technology, USM)/Editing: Mazlan Hanafi Basharudin

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