Punjab University (PU) Institute of Botany’s (IoB) Phycology Research Laboratory, in collaboration with the International Society for Applied Phycology (ISAP), Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF), Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), organized a one-week international psychological training workshop.

The speakers, while addressing the inaugural session, have said that there is an abundance of algae in Pakistan and it can be utilized to produce biofuel, resolve a number of agricultural and medicinal issues and produce several food items without using chemicals in Pakistan.

Dean Faculty of Life Sciences Prof Dr Javed Iqbal Qazi, IoB Director Prof Dr Abdul Nasir Khalid, Chief Organizer Prof Dr Ghazala Yasmeen Butt, researchers from various international and Pakistani universities and a number of students participated in the event.

Addressing the ceremony, Prof Dr Javed Iqbal Qazi said that interdisciplinary research work was being promoted across the world and through such joint research efforts, the scientists could contribute for resolving several issues being faced by the country.

Prof Dr Ghazala Yasmeen Butt said that continuous research on plants had enabled them to fulfill the expanding demands of human society for food, shelter, medicine etc.

She said that the workshop was aimed at creating awareness about algae, algal collection techniques, identification of algae and selection of efficient strain of algae, commercial uses of algae, growing freshwater microgale to produce bio-fuel and enhancing lipid content as alternative and renewable fuel to meet human requirements.

However, she said, the field of phycology had been badly neglected in Pakistan unfortunately while we could contribute to the development of the country, society and relevant industries in this field.

She said that we could cope with the food and feed shortage and get the best quality food without using chemicals. She said that it was the need of the hour to train researchers to gather new ideas from experts and try to meet the new demands for a sustainable future.

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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