In the morning, we met with the Director of the Freshwater Fisheries Research Center (FFRC), Dr. Xu Pao. He gave us an overview of FFRC, its mission, departments and staff. The Center has two main missions, to conduct research on aquaculture and freshwater fisheries, and to conduct technology transfer and training to the private sector, local governments and even to aquaculture specialists from other countries.
Our discussion was mainly focused on the research mission, where Dr. Xu Pao explained that FFRC was established in 1978 and has 8 research departments: (1) Aquaculture, (2) Genetics and Breeding, (3) Biotechnology, (4) Open Water Management, (5) Environmental Protection, (6) Fish Disease, (7) Nutrition and (8) Fisheries Economics and Information Transfer.
The FFRC has a staff of about 200 people, of which 134 are Research Scientists. Of these scientists, 26 are Professors, 50 are Associate Professors and the others are Assistant Professors.
The mussel group at FFRC. Dr. Wen (white shirt center) and his lab group. Dr Shu and Dan to his left.
After our meeting we walked around campus and visited some of the laboratories. Many areas being upgraded and new equipment being brought in. In one of their labs, they had an excellent set-up for conducting histology and SEM microscopy.
We visited Dr. Wen’s lab where we saw his shell collection of Chinese freshwater mussels. (I’ve uploaded a couple of photos on the Flickr site).
The FFRC is impressive, to see so much research and extension dedicated to aquaculture and fisheries housed under one roof. Currently, there are >100 scientists and technicians from >20 countries around the world who are studying at FFRC, people from Sierra Leon, Kenya and many others from countries in Asia.
After our tour of FFRC, we went for lunch in downtown Wuxi with Xu Pao and a few of his staff. Their hospitality and generosity has been amazing!
More photos can be seen at the Flickr site: