Indonesia is a high biodiversity country. Luke Daniels, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology Faculty of Biology at The Collage of Idaho, USA, said the rich biodiversity was a promising resource for research to develop science and technology.
“The biodiversity in Indonesia is amazing. This shows the high potential for observation and new findings in biology,” said Luke on Monday (30/1), giving a public lecture themed Why Biology Matters: Global Challanges and Opportunities at Faculty of Biology UGM.
The lecture is his first as visiting professor at UGM for the next 6 months under the Fulbright Fellowships programme. “Learning biology is usually driven by curiosity. This has encouraged researchers in the past to do basic research on biology,” he said.
Luke said many advanced countries have done research on basic sciences and proved to benefit the state. In the 1960s, the U.S. allocated huge funding for basic sciences, including biology. This gave a good foundation to the progress of the U.S.
In Luke’s opinion, basic research on biology was important to do to produce equipment, methods, or breakthroughs to address problems among the society. Biology research is proved to give huge impacts to many areas of life, such as done by himself in bacteriophage at The College of Idaho. Bacteriophage is a virus that can infect bacteria and even kill the bacteria.
“Initially, we wanted to know the mechanism of infection of bacteriophage in the bacteria and the defence mechanism of bacteria in responding to the virus infection. Eventually, the research expanded to other areas such as epidemiology, bioinformatics, and so on,” said the Fulbright Fellowship awardee.