1. Introduction about the IBE

  The Institute for Biotechnology and Environment emerged from former Central Laboratory (1992), the Laboratory of Biotechnology (1996), and the Center for Biotechnology and Environment (1999). In August 30, 2006 the Institute of Biotechnology and Environment was established by decision No. 634/QD-DHNT. The Institute now consists of three units: Department of Biotechnology, Department of Technology and Environmental Engineering, and Department of Research and Technology Development.
  1.1. Department of Biotechnology
The education program in biotechnology provides students with both advanced knowledge and specialized skills in biotechnology. It also equips students with the professional and soft skills to enable them to function either independently or in teams in the field of biotechnology including the application of biotechnology in food, cosmetics, agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and medicine.

In-depth studies have been implemented through scientific research and other projects at the national and international levels with a wide range of focuses, including probiotics, bacteriocin, biodiversity and marine conservation, biofuel, plant tissue culture, molecular diagnostics of fish diseases, marine microbiological testing, and micro-technology applications in the food and aquaculture industries. 

1.2.   Department of Environmental Engineering

  The Department of Environmental Engineering, Institute for Biotechnology and Environment, Nha Trang University was established under Decision No. 221/QD-DHNT dated March 6, 2008. The main task of the Department is to train engineers specializing in environmental engineering to have the knowledge, professional skills, political morals, ethics and professional behavior in order to achieve success in a career in environmental and social fields.     

The main objective of the Environmental Engineering Department is to provide students with a foundation of knowledge and professional skills in environmental engineering technology to meet the evolving needs of the working environment.

This includes developing a basis of knowledge in chemical-biological-treatment measures of environmental pollution and their applications in environmental technology. Students graduating from the Department of Environmental Engineering are fully qualified to perform environmental analysis and monitoring techniques, conduct environmental impact assessments, complete environmental pollution treatment systems design, perform consultations and implement a variety of practical environmental projects. 
With these skills, graduates from this department can find employment at universities, research institutes and centers, environmental monitoring stations, or Environmental State Departments and Ministries. 

1.3. Department of Biology

Department of Biology was established on May 16, 2013 under the Decision No. 544 / QD-DHNT of Rector of Nha Trang University. The department is responsible for teaching the basic components of Biology such as Biochemistry, Microbiology, General Biology, Immunology, Biosafety, Biodiversity ... for relevant training disciplines such as Biotechnology, Environmental Engineering, Food Technology, Aquatic Processing, Post Harvest Technology, Aquaculture, Aquatic Resource Management, and fisheries Exploitation.

 2. Component Description 


Geographically, Vietnam located in areas with diverse marine biological systems and sustains both extensive aquaculture activity and high biodiversity. The predominant coastal habitats are coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove forests, which serve as shelter and nurseries for a substantial number of marine organisms. Among these dominating habitats, coral reefs are the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems known on Earth and are estimated to provide habitat for over a million marine species.  Together ecosystem services from these three habitats and aquaculture activities (Hoegh-Guldberg et al. 2009) support more than 500 million people across tropical and subtropical region. However, increases in sea surface temperature are heavily affecting aquaculture and is resulting in coral bleaching, and storm surges and sea level rise is causing various impacts on mangroves and sea grass beds. Ocean acidification limits distribution, productivity, health and survival of the marine organisms living here and the consequences of a changing climate will be immense both for these key habitats and the costal associated aquaculture.

It has also been assumed that changing seawater parameters such as pH and temperature will have a significant impact on marine symbionts, potentially altering the diversity, function and community dynamics of their hosts (Galil and Innocenti 1999). For this reason, symbiontscan be used as a hyper sensible tool for climate change (CC)  in the sea.

Thus, one of the research themes will focus on the effect of CC on population dynamics of the swimming crab, Portunuspelagicus, typically found throughout the Indo-Pacific to the coast of Africa, and the epidemiology of selected disease causing organisms. The blue swimming crab is present in large numbers with great value for both recreational and commercial fisheries. Data on the symbionts community of Portunuspelagicus in the NhaTrang Bay area is available and 13 species of symbionts and parasites have so far been identified. Six of those found were in both high prevalence and intensity, while the other 7 are rare. Five of the same 6, are known to have negative impact on host populations (Bristow et al 2011). At 3-5 sampling sites (Cat Ba (HaiPhong), NhaTrang (KhanhHoa) and PhuQuoc (KienGiang) the symbiont community of Portunuspelagicus will be examined and compared. It is expected that the thermal gradient, from North to south, will be reflected in the symbiont community of the different crab populations. The collected data will be used to establish the P. pelagicus/symbionts system as a general field indicator model for CC in coastal waters.

Another research will focus on the effect of acidification caused by CC processes on the host/symbiont system of clown fish and their anemone. Anemonefish (Pomacentridae), lives in tropical and subtropical coral reef areas and have a mutualistic relationship with sea-anemones, upon which they rely for protection. Presently, coral reefs are seriously declining globally and time-lagged effects and increasing CO2 levels mean that rapid further declines are imminent (Munday et al. 2012). Anemone fish are also affected by increasing ocean acidification and it has been shown that increasing pH in the seawater disrupts their sense of smell, impairing their ability to find their specific host sea- anemone (Ha  and Nguyen, 2009, Nguyen et al., 2010, Nguyen and Ha, 2010). By manipulation environmental key parameters for the marine waters, such as seawater acidity and temperature, under controlled laboratory conditions, the changed behavior of the clown fishes will be monitored. The results will provide a fine-tuned model for predicting the consequences for the marine organisms in coral reef areas on changing water conditions.

PD. Dang Thuy Binh: Effect of acidification caused by climate change processes on the host/symbiont system of clown fish and their anemone

Ph.D. Nguyen Thi Hai Thanh: Effect of climate change on population dynamics of the swimming crab, Portunuspelagicus, and the epidemiology of selected disease causing organisms

Contact Person:

Assoc. Prof Ngo Dang Nghia, Component Leaderemail:


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