Seminar on physiological anthropology

The seminar speakers and participants

It was a first for UTAR’s Centre for Biodiversity Research (CBR), the Journal of Physiological Anthropology (JPA), and the Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology (JSPA) to join hands in organising the JPA/JSPA/UTAR Seminar on Physiological Anthropology 2016 at UTAR Kampar Campus on 3 March 2016.

Over 80 participants including UTAR staff and students from the Faculty of Science (FSc), Faculty of Business and Finance, and Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) attended the inaugural physiological anthropology seminar which highlighted novel researches on physiological functions of modern man, focusing on the bio-cultural effects on human adaptability to the current environment.

According to Organising Chairperson Assoc Prof Dr Say Yee How, the seminar was the fruit borne of a collaboration between UTAR CBR and JSPA, as the latter intended to promote and create awareness in the multi-disciplinary field of physiological anthropology in Malaysia, as well as to foster research exchange and collaborations between Malaysian and Japanese young researchers.

Dr Say welcoming the speakers and participants

Heartened by the success of the inaugural seminar, JPA Deputy Editor Prof Harunobu Nakamura said, “Today’s seminar is an opportunity for JPA to be introduced to many. And I’m happy that this is a platform which will promote academic exchanges involving young researchers from both Malaysia and Japan.”

Prof Nakamura extending his gratitude to the organising committee

Presenting the seminar topics were home turf researchers, namely LKC FES lecturer Chong Yu Zheng, Dr Victor Selvarajah a/l Selvanayagam from University of Malaya, Dr Ng Yee Guan from Universiti Putra Malaysia, Dr Cameron Teoh from HELP  University, and Dr Yan See Wan from Taylor’s University. Other researchers hailing from the Land of the Rising Sun were Assoc Prof Dr Hitoshi Wakabayashi from Chiba Institute of Technology, Assoc Prof Dr Keita Ishibashi from Chiba University, Dr Takayuki Nishimura from Nagasaki University, Dr Yoshiki Yasukochi from Mie University, and Dr Yuko Tsunetsugu from Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute.

Topics discussed during the enriching sessions included ergonomics, occupational health, sports science, neuroscience, human nutrition, and biomedical engineering, further sparking interactive discussions amongst the speakers and participants.

Clockwise from top left: Dr Wakabayashi, Dr Teoh, Dr Ng, Dr Selvanayagam, Dr Yan, Chong, Dr Tsunetsugu, Dr Yasukochi, Dr Nishimura, and Dr Ishibashi

“Physiological Anthropology is something new to us. I’m sure we can learn something new from this as it will enrich our understanding on how humans live and how this will help improve our daily living,” said Dean of FSc Assoc Prof Dr Lim Tuck Meng at the closing ceremony, who also expressed his anticipation for further collaborations in the near future.

Dr Lim giving the closing remarks

UTAR Biotechnology freshmen Keng Chan Ming and Krishni a/p Sugumaran were inspired by the research presentations, as well as the creativity and novelty showcased by the speakers. “We may be first year students who are still new to research but the seminar has given us a glimpse of how research benefits people,” Keng mentioned. Krishni concurred, and said that the topics have also enriched her list of potential research areas.

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