A UAEU student receives the Top Project Award in biological sciences from the UK’s Royal Society of Biology


Afraa Mazen Taj Elddin, a student from the Department of Biology in the College of Sciences at UAEU, received the Top Project Award in biological sciences from the UK’s Royal Society of Biology (RSB) for 2023. Her research was published in the international journal “Frontiers in Marine Science”, under the supervision of Prof. Khaled Abbas El Tarabily, and Prof. Synan Abu Qamar, both from the Department of Biology.

The research titled “Using beneficial bacteria living in the roots along with seaweed extract to enhance mangrove growth and efficiency in the UAE” was published in the internationally renowned journal Frontiers in Marine Science. This journal is ranked first in the world with an impact factor of 5.24, and is among the top 5% of journals in this field.

She received a one-year free membership from the RSB, London, and has been invited to next year’s accreditation awards ceremony at the Royal Society in London. Her name will be published on the Royal Society’s website, as a laureate, and she will also be featured in other Society publications.

Afraa stated, “The idea of the research revolves around utilizing beneficial bacteria inhabiting mangrove plant roots, combined with seaweed extract, to enhance the growth of mangrove plants in the UAE using modern techniques.” She further explained that the study aims to assess the effects of employing liquid seaweed extract as a growth stimulant, a mixture of beneficial marine bacteria secreting plant hormones, which are carefully isolated from UAE sea beaches, or a combination of both methods. This examination seeks to explore potential synergy and positive cooperation between the two approaches, with the ultimate goal of promoting the growth of mangrove plants in nurseries and on the seashore through a new, safe, and environmentally-friendly approach.

Regarding this study, Prof. Khaled El Tarabily explained, “This method will substantially accelerate the germination and growth of mangrove plants during reforestation on the UAE’s seashores, which is currently considered a top priority in developing tourism, marine environments, and natural reserves in the country”. Prof. Abu Qamar also mentioned, “The main goal is to rehabilitate coastal areas and preserve ecosystems by cultivating mangrove trees, either from seeds or seedlings, to mitigate the environmental impacts caused by negative economic activities.”