A group of Filipino environmental scientists has discovered a fern that has a rare and remarkable ability to absorb toxic element of arsenic from mining sites. We speak with Mary Jane Apuan, a member of the research team.
The fern called Pteris melanocaulon, has the capability to absorb high concentrations of arsenic. This development can help in the rehabilitation of mining sites once mining operations have ceased.
The research team is led by Dr Rene Claveria and Dr. Teresita Perez from the Environmental Science Department, Ateneo de Manila University, Dr. Dennis Apuan of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines, (Cagayan de Oro) Ms. Mary Jane Apuan of Xavier University (Cagayan de Oro) and Ms. Ellaine Perez of the Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines. Mentoring them was Dr Augustine Doronila, a DOST Balikscientist from the University of Melbourne.
The three-year project was funded by the DOST-PCIEERD (Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development) “Program for Rehabilitation and Restoration of Mining Areas Through Phytotechnologies.”