YOGYAKARTA – About 250 thousand to 30 thousand species of plants have the potential as a source of food and feed, while more than 20 thousand of biological resources have the potential as ingredients in traditional and modern medicines. However, only 12 percent of plants and 5 animal species are developed as food sources. No wonder Indonesia becomes the object of study of foreign scientists. Biology researchers from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Rosichon Ubaidillah, until 2013, the trend of foreign study in Indonesia showed that biology research is the field that mostly performed by foreign researchers in Indonesia. “I think it is because of the abundant of biological resources,” said Ubaidillah in a workshop of Biology curriculum development in the Faculty of Biology UGM, Monday (23/11).
He further said that research that is mostly performed after biology is ecology and primatology, subsequently zoology, anthropology, archeology, oceanography, architecture, volcanology and paleseismology. The foreign researchers are mostly from the United States, Japan and Germany. “About 22 percent of Americans and 15 percent of Japanese,” he said.
Ubaidillah said there are still a lot of biodiversity that should be investigated, not only by foreign researchers but also researchers from Indonesia. He considered Indonesia requires a lot of research especially in the field of biology. Therefore, the preparation of human resources, graduates in biology is the key to increase the added value of biological resources. “We need reliable human resources to conduct research of mega diversity,” he said.
He added the need for competent human resources in the field of biology is expected to open up more opportunities of the availability of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, food and energy so that biological resource-based industries can develop. “Qualified human resources are based on the university that has a dynamic curriculum and in line with national development,” he explained.
Vice Dean of Academic and Student Affairs Faculty of Biology, Dr. Budi Setyadi Daryono, M.Agr.Sc., said that the biology faculty is conducting curriculum development in order to develop the Faculty as a center of excellence in the conservation and utilization of tropical biological diversity resources. Curriculum changes will provide more space for students in mastering communication skills, language skills, problem solving, professionalism, lifelong learning, interdisciplinary science enrichment and integrating extra and co-curricular integrate into the curriculum.
He added that values instilled in students through the curriculum changes on the consciousness of caring the environment, improving fighting spirit, strengthening humble personal characteristics.
While a lecturer from Charles Darwin University, Dr. Penny Wurm, said students of the Faculty of Biology should be guided to master interdisciplinary field of science so that they can work in various fields. He mentioned that in Darwin university students majoring in environmental science are guided to master competences in the field of biodiversity, environmental science and culture, hydrology and geomorphology. “All must be supported by competent teachers who master the knowledge,” he said. (UGM public relations/Gusti Grehenson)