Bioresources transfer to boost Nature Bank

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Australian Institute of Maribe Science and Griffith Uni
From left, Eskitis Director Professor Ronald Quinn, Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O'Connor, Queensland Health Minister Mr Lawrence Springborg and AIMS Research Program Leader Dr Lyndon Llewellyn

Griffith University’s Nature Bank collection of plant and marine samples will be vastly increased after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).

Under the MOU formalised this week and attended by Queensland’s Health Minister The Honourable Lawrence Springborg MP, AIMS and Griffith will negotiate the transfer of custodianship of AIMS’ extensive Bioresources Library.

The library comprises more than 18,000 marine invertebrates and plants, a culture collection of more than 9000 marine microbial isolates and more than 35,000 chemical extracts and fractions derived from them.

These will be added to Nature Bank’s collection of more than 45,000 samples of plant and marine invertebrates stored at Griffith’s Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery.

A Commonwealth statutory authority, AIMS was established in 1972 and has highly developed capabilities in marine biodiversity, impacts and adaptation to climate change, water quality and ecosystem health.

AIMS Research Program Leader Dr Lyndon Llewellyn travelled from Townsville for the MOU signing.

“This is a sensible and significant development in the bid to grow the capacity for national and international biodiscovery with Australian biodiversity,” says Dr Llewellyn.

“As well as bringing together the AIMS library and Nature Bank collection to enhance scientific research, this agreement will allow AIMS greater access to the biodiscovery collaborators and commercial partners already working with Eskitis.”

Eskitis Director Professor Ronald Quinn AM says the benefits of the MOU will include more opportunities for collaboration on research and development, greater knowledge of Australian marine diversity to support its conservation and management, and improved public health outcomes through the development of better therapeutic treatments.