Visiting professor lauds Kuala Belalong centre
A DELEGATION from the James Madison University (JMU) in America recently completed a 10-day research project at the Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre (KBFSC).
Twelve students, accompanied by Professor Dr David S McLeod, conducted a joint field course for both the JMU students and a number of undergraduate students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).
Professor McLeod conducted a public lecture yesterday entitled, ‘Frog diversity hidden in plain view’, where he stressed the importance of academic collaboration and spoke of his study on the Southeast Asian stream frog, scientifically known as the Limnonectes kuhlii.
Professor McLeod said that the purpose of the joint field course was to help build capacity and involvement of their students with local students in a collaborative research activity between the JMU and UBD.
“It is our first international programme from JMU to come to Brunei and I wanted an opportunity for our Life Sciences students to (take part) in a study abroad programme that was focused on research and science,” said the assistant professor.
He said that the Kuala Belalong Field Research Centre is an ideal setting to carry out research due to its resources and equipment, in addition to the safety that Brunei has to offer when hosting a group of international students.
“This is at a preliminary stage and there are a lot of groups who would want to come and do what we are doing. The KBFSC already hosts international students but what is unique about what we have done is that we did not only bring a group of international students, we brought them here to work alongside UBD students,” he added.
Students from the group also expressed their satisfaction in having taken part in the collaborative effort.
“It was spectacular. I came here to get a good feel of what fieldwork is as I am used to working in a lab, after this experience I would recommend 100 per cent to anyone for this kind of opportunity,” said Noah Greenman from JMU.
UBD undergraduate Wafiuddin Maswadi said that the opportunity allowed him to meet international students while collecting data and samples for his thesis.
Also present at yesterday’s talk was the US ambassador to Brunei, Craig Allen.
The Brunei Times