Photo of Chieng Siew KeeI am very grateful to the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre (SBC) for giving me the opportunity to conduct my industrial training here. I have gained a lot of new experiences especially through hands-on training with laboratory machines which we do have have a chance to operate in university. These experiences are vital to prepare fresh graduates like me to be competent when we go out to work.

During my training at SBC, I have been attached to Plant Preparation, Extraction and Analytical Chemistry laboratories. I have learnt basic plant sample preparation – from recording plants received from the field, to washing and drying them. I have also been given opportunity to carry out actual grinding and vacuum packing the plant samples.

In the Extraction lab, I have learnt plant extraction using different solvents and how to concentrate the extracts using rotary evaporator. I have been doing analytical HPLC for several plant samples as my mini project. I have also experienced working in the Microbiology lab for a week to learn to carry out antimicrobial screening (microtiter plate assay) of these plant samples. This is a new experience for me and I truly enjoyed learning all these techniques and processes.

I am studying for Bachelor’s degree in Plant Resource Science and Management from the Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. In this 3-years course, I have learnt plant systematics and plant taxonomy (which involves plant identification, botanical description and herbarium specimen preparation), plant molecular systematics, plant propagation, plant tissue culture, plant chemotaxonomy and soil science.

I will be graduating soon after I finish industrial training at SBC. I am interested in plant botanical description and how natural products discoveries take place.

I do wish that I have a chance to work with SBC in the future as through this attachment, I have found a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff here.

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