Reference number of gti application: cbd/gti-02/201 Date of reception




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Reference number of GTI application: CBD/GTI-02/201

Date of reception:

(box reserved for Belgian administration)

report

Taxonomic training & access to collections in Belgium




NOTICE

The present questionnaire must arrive with the Belgian National Focal Point to the Global Taxonomy Initiative within one month of the official closure of the capacity building visits. Electronic submission on the general e-mail address of the Belgian GTI NFP (cbd-gti@naturalsciences.be) is strongly encouraged. If electronic submission should however be impossible, paper copies may be sent by fax or ordinary mail. The Belgian GTI NFP will acknowledge receipt of all project reports.

If grantees have relevant pictures to illustrate their capacity building visit, these may be annexed to the report. The Belgian National Focal Point might use some of these pictures in one of its reporting activities, but only after the copyright holder has given his permission.

Contact and further information


Belgian National Focal Point to the Global Taxonomy Initiative

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Vautierstraat 29

B-1000 Brussels

Belgium

Tel.: +32 2 627 41 24



Fax: +32 2 627 41 41

Email: cbd-gti@naturalsciences.be




PART I – CANDIDATE INFORMATION


Family name:

Dela Cruz

First name(s):

Thomas Edison

Nationality:

Filipino

Date of arrival and departure in / from Belgium

Arrival: 04 April 2011

Departure: 02 May 2011



Number of training days:

30 days

Type of visit

X Mainly training in taxonomy and collection management

X Mainly access to collections

 Other, specify     


Location of training:

 Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels

 Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren

X National Botanic Garden of Belgium, Meise

 Other, specify     





PART II - GENERAL INFORMATION

Describe concisely how you have learned about the Belgian GTI Project

I learned about the Belgian GTI Project through the internet. A Filipino researcher emailed to our yahoogroup the news and invitation about this GTI project. I then searched the internet for more information about the Belgian GTI project.

Describe concisely how you have learned about this specific call for proposals

A Filipino researcher shared with our yahoogroup the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) proposal for training in Belgium. This call for proposal was sent to members of the yahoogroup who are also members of the Association of Systematic Biologists of the Philippines (ASBP).

If this was your first study visit financed via the Belgian GTI National Focal Point, describe concisely why you needed capacity building in taxonomy and collection management

Yes. Prior to this training, I attended a 2-day workshop on myxomycete taxonomy. However, I felt what I learned from this workshop was not sufficient for me to do conduct research and identify these organisms. Further, the specimens I collected required collection management. I believed that with my training in Belgium, I will gained the necessary skills needed in my research and establish a herbarium collection in the Philippines.

If this was not your first study visit financed via the Belgian GTI National Focal Point, describe concisely why you needed further support

-NA-

Describe concisely what support (e.g. training, access to collections,…) you have received and how this training can be related to taxonomy and /or collection management

At NBGB, I conducted field trips for the direct collection of myxomycetes. The collected specimens I characterized through microscopy and identified following comparison with published literature available at NBGB and with voucher specimens of myxomycetes, mainly from the collections of Nannenga-Bremekamp. I also learned to develop an interactive database for the myxomycetes I collected from the Philippines.

Describe concisely how your gained capacity will help you in your professional duties

Through my training at NBGB, I gained the necessary skills needed to collect, characterize, and identify myxomycetes. I also learned to develop an interactive database. These helped me start and establish the myxomycete collection in my university. The interactive database for Philippine myxomycetes which I developed during my training now is being used in our laboratory as the database for myxomycetes in the country.

Describe concisely how your gained capacity will be implemented in your institution

All specimens of myxomycetes collected in my researches are now included in the database I developed through my training in Belgium. I also was able to teach my students the proper techniques for the identification of these organisms. I plan to expand now the myxomycete collection to include specimens of lichens and macrofungi collected in the country. Hopefully, this will serve as the foundation for the planned virtual herbarium.

Describe concisely what other support you eventually would need

Grants to support research projects on Philippine myxomycetes will be helpful in my plan to explore and catalogue more the myxomycetes in other parts of the country. Furthermore, the research grant can also be used to establish a small but decent herbarium facility for myxomycetes, and eventually for lichens and macrofungi in the Philippines, and to conduct seminar-workshop to train future curators and researchers in the country.

Describe concisely what infrastructural and human resources you and your institution eventually still need to become fully functional

To fully establish our myxomycete/mycology herbarium, we require specimen dryer and cabinets for storing our collected specimens. We require also some equipment, e.g. dissecting microscope or Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) that will be used in the identification of collected specimens. We require also computer that will be used solely for the database of the collected specimens.

Describe concisely how you think the Belgian GTI National Focal Point could further construct capacity for you and your institution

The Belgian GTI National Focal Point can provide a substantial amount of financial support to be used in the field collection of myxomycetes in many unexplored forest habitats in the Philippines. These collected specimens will then be characterized, identified, and digitally photograph using high-resolution dissecting microscope. The collected specimens will then be incorporated into the database developed during the training to create a virtual herbarium for Philippine myxomycetes. Eventually, the project will be extended to lichens and macrofungi in the Philippines. It is also hoped that through the Belgian GTI National Focal Point, a small research grant will be provided to support these activities including the proposed seminar-workshop aimed in training future curators and young researchers in the country, which can be done in my university. The Belgian GTI can also send/support experts/scientists/taxonomists from Belgium to come to the Philippines to provide research trainings and workshops and also conduct collaborative research surveys. Belgian scientists can be invited to give lectures to several universities here in the Philippines.




PART III – TAXON SPECIFIC INFORMATION

What is your taxon of interest

plasmodial myxomycetes (slime molds)

Describe concisely the different methodologies for collecting your taxon.

Direct field collection of myxomycetes can be employed to gather many specimens of these organisms. Substrates such as ground and aerial leaf litter, twigs, and barks can also be collected and prepared in moist chambers. Myxomycetes grow on these moist chambers and can be collected and identified.

Describe concisely how to best preserve collected specimens of your taxon for taxonomic purposes

Collected specimens can easily be preserved as dried specimens on herbarium boxes. Microscopic slide preparation can also be prepared to aid in the identification of the species.

Describe concisely the best practice in the management of a collection of your taxon

The best method to manage the collection of myxomycetes is to establish a herbarium for these collections and develop an interactive database or a virtual herbarium for easy access by other researchers.

Describe concisely how you intend to make your taxonomic data available to other colleagues

With some financial support, I plan to conduct a seminar-workshop for teachers, researchers, and possible future curators in some remote parts of the country. These areas had the remaining forests in the Philippines, and thus, harbour many species waiting to be discovered. I also can host students to have summer training in my laboratory to learn more about myxomycetes and its collection and identification.




Have you been briefed on the aims, scope and contents of the journal AbcTaxa?

Not yet. However, I wish to learn more about this journal and wish to receive information about this via mail or email (thomasdelacruz@yahoo.com / tedelacruz@mnl.ust.edu.ph).

Do you think you have enough capacity to make a contribution to Abc Taxa?

 No, I still lack capacity

X Yes, if I get adequate guidance and support from my tutors

 Yes, I feel able to do this autonomously

 Other, specify     




If you feel capable to contribute meaningfully to Abc Taxa, are you willing to do so

 No

 No, I have no time to develop such a capacity building manual

X Yes, I will send a proposal along the lines stipulated on the website of
Note: Please send me more information on the proposal I can submit or at what capacity I can contribute to ABC Taxa.




Field collection of myxomycetes during the Mycoforay organized by my training supervisor, Dr. Myriam de Haan, National Botanic Garden of Belgium.

GTI-02 / report /





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