Dr. Sergey Dobretsov
Welcome to the website of the Center of Excellence in Marine Biotechnology (CEMB)
There is widespread and ever-increasing interest in marine biotechnology and its socio-economic impacts. Oman’s exploitable economic zone covers some 400,000 square kilometers of ocean, which has a rich biodiversity. Living marine resources are Oman’s major renewables and have remarkable potential for commercial exploitation beyond the present capture fishery. Aquaculture is at
the core of future development plans and must be supported by the application of appropriate genetic, cellular and molecular technologies, which enable fish farmers to produce more abundant, resilient and healthier supplies of seafood. Extreme environments occur within oceans, which have led to the evolution of marine organisms with unique structures, metabolic pathways, reproductive systems and sensory and defense mechanisms. In the future, within these molecular structures and processes will be found new materials, bioactive compounds and biochemical systems and processes that will have applications in human health, nutrition and future supplies of energy.
The multi-disciplinary nature of biotechnology research fits well into a university environment, with its ability to engage researchers from life sciences to engineering to business development on single projects. With foresight, Sultan Qaboos University has actively supported marine biotechnology through the establishment of a UNESCO Chair in 2004 and a research center in 2005. CEMB was opened with the stated aims of capacity building and implementation of new research programs in marine biotechnology. Since 2005, CEMB has served as the Sultan Qaboos University focal point for marine biotechnology, through multi-disciplinary research programs, post-graduate training and dissemination of information. Areas of current research include marine microbiology and biofouling, isolation and identification of potentially useful compounds from marine invertebrates, heavy metal content of shellfish and aquaculture biotechnology. Research links have been established with leading centers overseas and CEMB is bringing its expertise and linkages into close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Wealth in support of national plans for aquaculture development.
The wide range of research topics covered within the past five years are reflected in the listing of peer-reviewed publications, which are all available from the center, as PDF files, on request.