Young scientist exchange program fosters collaboration
Marine molecular biologist, ARC-DECRA Fellow at UTS Climate Change Cluster (C3), Dr Manoj Kumar was one of only sixteen Australians chosen to participate in the 2018 Australia-China Young Scientists Exchange Program (YSEP).
YSEP is a joint initiative by Australian and Chinese Governments under the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (ACSRF) and organized by China Science Technology exchange center (CSTEC) and Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).
Dr Kumar said the two week exchange program provided a great opportunity to visit leading Chinese marine science institutes including Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOCAS) in Qingdao; several State Key Laboratories at Xiamen University, Xiamen and South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Guangzhou.
“YSEP was unique in giving me the chance to meet high-profile and pioneer Chinese researchers and their team members working to address the global concern of resilience and persistence of marine plants and algae under global warming and climate change,” he said.
As well as delivering several guest lectures at these organizations Dr. Kumar met with researchers and students, introducing them to the innovative systems biology approaches to protecting marine flora he has been developing at C3. Dr Kumar uses cutting-edge omics (proteomics and metabolomics) to identify biomarkers that can be used to monitor the health of important marine flora under threat from global climate change.
“I was also able to discuss the range of scientific research grants, fellowships, scholarships and awards available for the potential exchange of Australian and Chinese researchers including the Endeavour program, opportunities from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Global Connections Fund which is a new initiative from ATSE,” he said.
Dr. Kumar said that YESP is an excellent and unique platform to build new international collaborations and strengthen existing ones.
“Not only is YSEP is a great way to promote an understanding of the cultures of the two countries and to exchange expertise and innovative ideas but the scheme also brings together future science leaders to foster short to long term collaboration between Australia and China,” he said.
Dr. Kumar also discussed his YSEP experiences with the young phycologists at the ASPAB-18 conference (Australian Society of Phycology and Aquatic Botany).