SNI distinguishes three STRI scientists
August 09, 2010
Panama's Sistema Nacional de Investigación [Panama's National Research System] or SNI, selected STRI researchers Hermógenes Fernández-Marín, Sunshine Van Bael and Roberto Ibáñez, as new members
Recently, Panama´s Sistema Nacional de Investigación [Panama’s National Research System] or SNI, selected STRI researchers Hermógenes Fernández-Marín, Sunshine Van Bael and Roberto Ibáñez, as new members, in the category of distinguished scientists.
The Sistema Nacional de Investigación (SNI), an initiative of SENACYT, was created to promote dedication to scientific and technological research in individuals through distinctions or economic incentives to high quality work in science or development, importance of research subject, high production, and the impact their studies may have on society.
Hermógenes Fernández-Marín, Earl S. Tupper postdoctoral fellow from the University of Copenhagen at STRI focuses his research on ecology and evolution of infectious diseases and disease management in fungus growing ants. Hermógenes is the first Panamanian ever to receive the 3-year Tupper postdoctoral fellowship, the most prestigious research award offered by STRI.
STRI associate scientist Sunshine Van Bael began her research in Panama ten years ago with work on the importance of birds in regulating insect herbivore populations. Birds reduce the damage inflicted by herbivores in forest communities, including organic cacao farms. She also studies the interaction of endophytic fungi and plants. She expects to use her broad knowledge on bird-insect and plant-fungal interactions in the tropical forests to improve the sustainability of farms in the tropics.
Herpetologist Roberto Ibáñez, for many years STRI´s research associate, is the regional director of the Panama´s Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Center located at the Summit Municipal Park in Panama. Through this project, STRI and eight partners including SI´s National Zoological Park are committed to save Panamanian frogs from extinction.