The Department of Biology at the University of Malta held its Annual Biology Symposium on Saturday, 5 December 2020.
For the first time since its inception in October 1993, and due to the prevailing circumstances, the Symposium was organised online.
The new formula allowed for a different form of interaction between the panellists and the audience, with the ‘Q&A’ facility permitting questions to be asked at any time rather than at a predetermined question time.
The Symposium was inaugurated by Professor Emanual Sinagra, Dean of the Faculty of Science.
The 129 attendees then listened to six presentations from BSc graduates, two from MSc graduates and one from Dr Sandra Agius Darmanin, the most recent PhD graduate.
The BSc presentations included discussions on the ecology of corals, the use of spheroids in testing anti-cancer drugs, using drones to map assemblages on shallow seabed, recovery of useful products from Tuna discards, fisheries and endemic plants. The MSc graduates spoke about mycorrhizal associations and habitat-forming corals.
Dr Agius Darmanin delivered an exhaustive treatment of the effects of sport fishing. Apart from these, two Research Support Officers who work in the department, Mr Arthur Lamoliere and Dr Noel Vella, summarised the scope of their research to the audience.
A new addition to the symposium was a ‘testimonials’ section from seven past students of the department. These alumni gave the attendees an insight into the career pathways that they have taken since graduating from the University of Malta.
The Annual Biology Symposium Online 2020 was very kindly sponsored by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), who kept up their long-running support of the event.
The booklet of abstracts is available online.