Taiwan is surrounded by the ocean, and its land resources are severely limited. Changes and developments throughout the history of society have always been closely related to the ocean. Therefore, how to sustainably make full use of the ocean’s resources and carry out ecological conservation is a key issue for the government and the public at large. The southern region of Taiwan is home to dense fishing and aquaculture industries, as well as a prosperous petrochemical industry. This has led to serious pollution of the marine environment, and such ecological threats are greatly concerning to an increasingly environmentally-aware public in recent year.
National Sun Yat-sen University is in the Sizihwan Scenic Area of Kaohsiung, nestled between the mountain and the sea. This enchanting location is right next to a metropolitan area, making for convenient transportation. The Department of Marine Biotechnology and Resources (hereafter referred to as the Department) was established as the Department of Marine Resources in 1983, actively engaging in marine science and the development and exploitation of marine resources while maintaining ecological conservation and sustainable management concepts. Masters and doctorate programs were established in 1991 and 1996, respectively, in order to cultivate talented people specializing in the research, application and development of marine science, while enhancing the competitiveness of domestic marine science scholarship and related industries. However, due to the rapid pace of technological development and the increasing division of knowledge in the modern era, the Department was given its current name in 2005, and its original focus on marine biology, marine chemistry, marine physics, marine geology, etc. was reformulated as marine biology, biotechnology applications, marine chemistry, natural products, etc.
The Department annually admits 44 undergraduate students, 33 master students and 5 PhD students. The educational objective of this Department is to instill a fundamental understanding of marine life science and enhance training and cultivation of independent research ability with respect to academic knowledge of marine biology in order to foster expertise in the development of marine biotechnology and bioresources as well as ecological conservation, while improving the competitiveness of domestic academia and related industries.
The undergraduate program is focused on 1) training in fundamental marine science and 2) marine biotechnology in addition to 3) marine resource development and conservation. Training in fundamental marine science involves reinforcing basic science education and providing relevant marine-oriented courses to improve students’ familiarity with marine science, enabling them to step into the fields of marine biotechnology and resource exploration and development. Training in marine biotechnology involves building on marine science to provide complete and distinctive training in professional biotechnology in accordance with modern biotechnology teaching and practice, instilling students with the basic skillset for engaging in marine biology and the application of modern biotechnology while bolstering competitiveness in research, advanced studies and serving related industries. Resource development, aside from covering basic research into marine biology and chemistry, also involves promoting research into marine fishery resources and biodiversity as well as developing natural marine product resources, in order to provide students with alternative methods of understanding biotechnology and genetic engineering while preventing overdevelopment of bioresources. Resource conservation involves researching the effects of human activity on marine life and marine ecology as a whole and evaluating the impact on marine resources with a view to benefitting conservation and management of all marine resources, thus allowing a balance between economic resource development and ecological conservation.
The objective of the master’s program is to enhance students’ academic knowledge and research ability within the areas of marine ecology and sustainable exploitation or marine natural product biomedical development and marine chemical analysis, cultivating the core talents that fit society’s needs. The master’s program is divided into three tracks: Molecular Biology and Physiology, Bioresources, and Marine Chemistry and Natural Products. Primary areas of research include marine microorganisms, marine biotechnology, development of functional proteins from marine organisms, marine biodiversity and conservation, marine molecular ecology, marine benthos ecology, marine ecological environment assessment, marine natural product chemistry, marine environmental chemistry resources, and more. In recent years, Department faculty have actively participated in research under the Ministry of Education’s “Aim for the Top” project, forming a strategic alliance with the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Kaohsiung Medical University, and the environmental technology industry in order to collaborate on establishing a marine organism and molecule database, marine natural product extraction and purification, structure identification, bioactivity testing, and research into mechanism of drug action and marine ecological environment monitoring. This union of marine science and biomedical technology produces exceptional research results and confers a blue ocean advantage.
Annual student activities in the Department always include an Orientation Camp to welcome new students, an educational marine biology summer camp for senior high school students, a Marine Resources Week and specimen exhibit to introduce the Department, and a south coast ecology research event during the summer vacation. The graduate school also features a Columbus Academic Poster Competition, displaying research results from all laboratories of the Department on the first floor of the main building.
List of Chairs of DMBR
Prof. T. S. Tang (1983,08-1984,07)
Prof. K. H. Chang (1984,8-85,7; 1988,8-89,7)
Prof. L. S. Fang (1985,08-1988,07)
Associate Prof. Y. L. Lee (1989,08-1991,07)
Prof. W. H. Wang (1991,08-1997,07)
Prof. I. M. Chen (1997,08-2003,07)
Prof. J. H. Sheu (2003,08-2009,07)
Prof. C. S. Lin (2009,08-2012,07)
Prof. C. Y. Duh (2012,08-2015,07)
Prof. W. T. Lo (2015,08-2018,07)