International Research Experience
(1) Traditional-Use Plant Phytochemistry
Students study plants used by the Penan, Bidayuh, Orangulu, and/or Iban communities for preparing natural products (e.g., soap, shampoo, insect repellant) and medicinals. Both phytochemical analysis and biological analysis of putative bioactive compounds are conducted.
(2) Exotic Microbiology (Microbial Biodiversity)
Students study terrestrial, freshwater, and marine microbes with potential bioactive properties using modern techniques in microbiology. Previous work has focused on secondary metabolites from exotic bacteria; however, a new effort to isolate phage is also underway.
(3) Sustainable Use of Native Bamboo among the Bidayuh
Students study traditional uses of several species of bamboo, survey populations of Native species and those introduced from Vietnam or China. Transplant and propagation methods are investigated towards preserving this mainstay of Bidayuh culture. Some species are being considered as potential feedstock for biofuels production.
(4) Marine Biodiversity
A new initiative is underway to catalog the rich diversity of marine life with a focus on marine microbiology. This project will be added to the 2015 summer program.