- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2016

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn University will partner with Ocean University of China in an effort to improve aquaculture and environmental science research.

Auburn University and Ocean University of China have joined together for the OUC-AU Joint Center for Aquaculture and Environmental Sciences, the Opelika-Auburn News (https://bit.ly/2fJYUZO ) reported. The center will provide research opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and post-doctorate students.

“It brings together two of the strongest programs, really, in the world as it relates to fisheries and aquaculture and it brings investigators from both institutions together to work collaboratively,” said Paul Patterson, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. “I think, through collaboration, we’ll see stronger research results.”

Auburn Provost Timothy Boosinger and Ocean president Zhigang Yu exchanged gifts to honor the universities partnership during a ceremony Wednesday.

John Liu, Auburn’s associate vice president for research and associate provost, said the center should provide more data for faculty research through the Auburn and Ocean grants program. The program will give funding to OUC and Auburn scientists for research in aquaculture and environmental sciences.

“It’s going to provide the fundamental answers to some of the problems,” Liu said.

Eight research proposals were selected for the center’s first round of projects that will begin in the next few weeks.

Patterson said the two universities have partnered on various research projects, which helped with their new collaboration.

Henry Fadamiro, assistant dean in Auburn’s College of Agriculture and Auburn’s director of the joint center, hopes the center will draw new students and faculty.

“We’re talking about top-notch students that want to come to Auburn University to study,” Fadamiro said. “It’s a chain reaction where you bring in people here, they learn more about Auburn University, they go out and go back to their country and tell people about Auburn University. It just adds value to the entire campus.”

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