UAE: Student discovers new type of crustacean in Abu Dhabi

"I will remain passionate about scientific research and discovery in this important field," says Shamma Eisa Al Neyadi

Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 5 Oct 2022, 2:43 PM

Last updated: Wed 5 Oct 2022, 5:11 PM

Biodiversity, and conservation and development of wildlife have always received great and attention in the UAE. Shamma Eisa Al Neyadi, a masters student in the Department of Biology at the College of Science at UAE University, discovered a new type of crustacean, Cladocera, in a number of areas after a field research in the Shuwaib Dam area in the UAE.

The student worked with a team of researchers and scientists at the UAE University and international scientific research centres, most notably the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow in Russia.

"The reason (I chose) biology as a specialisation is my passion for science since childhood... a passion, desire and love for scientific exploration, anatomy, and knowledge of the composition of living microorganisms,” Al Neyadi explained.

“The journey of research and learning led me to travel to Russia and to work with experts and researchers from many countries of the world in the Russian Academy of Sciences, due to the precise specialisation, and the research and scientific expertise and technology in the laboratories of research centres there, in this vital and important field."

She added: “It was a great experience through which I learned a lot and reviewed many international research and scientific publications in this field. In addition, the researchers have high scientific skills in laboratories, through which I have been able to learn and transfer knowledge and scientific, technical experience, and to apply them in the UAEU laboratories.”

The 'camera lucida' is one of the latest devices in laboratories today. One can use it to transfer what can be seen under the microscope to paper. The main reason for using it is to transfer a detailed accurate drawing of all the details of the living organism under the microscope, in addition to its use as clear scientific evidence in the research and scientific fields. It creates a more precise drawing than the ordinary microscopic image.

Al Neyadi indicated that her choice to study the crustacean Cladocera in particular, is due to the lack of scientific discoveries for many reasons, including the lack of fresh water bodies, in addition to the country's climate, and the lack of studies in the field of fauna and flora of the freshwater and most studies focus on water salinity or sustainability.

She added: "My vision for the future in this field is that if scientific discoveries continue, we can build a national database for the United Arab Emirates, containing all crustacean organisms in the country, and research their origins, in addition to the fact that this field is currently new in the country. If the greatest attention is given, it can be transformed from a scientific project into an economic project, especially since crustaceans can be used as a safe and sustainable food in fisheries projects and fish farming, as marine food in a clean and safe environment. I will remain passionate about scientific research and discovery in this important field."

"I believe that this diversity, both terrestrial and marine, constitutes an essential part of the heritage of the United Arab Emirates, and scientific studies and research on the biodiversity of cladocera - or crustaceans - are intensified globally in freshwater ecosystems. However, animals or crustaceans in particular in some hydrographic regions are still unknown."

“We have studied the species richness and composition of Cladocera in the United Arab Emirates, in cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences, to reach important results that confirm the need for further studies in "Crustaceans of Christacera and Cladocera", to build a national database for the United Arab Emirates in this important research and scientific field.”


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