The Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) at the University of the South Pacific (USP), interfaces the University's expertise and facilities to the independent island countries of the South Pacific Region. In particular, as a laboratory based institute, it makes these resources available to regional organisations, governments, business, and the people of the region.
The Institute of Applied Sciences was established in 1977 (under the name of Institute of Natural Resources) at the Suva campus of the University of the South Pacific with a full time staff of one using the facilities and space provided by the science teaching departments at the University. IAS has now grown to have 18 full time staff and its own laboratories and scientific equipment located in the Marine Science Building at the "lower" Laucala Bay Campus by the sea. The various units at IAS are the Analytical Unit, Environment Unit, Food Unit, Marine Natural Products Unit and the South Pacific Herbarium.
IAS is the consulting arm of the Faculty of Science, Technology & Environment; it markets the academic expertise of the teaching staff to the outside world. The Institute also works with other schools, institutes and individual departments at USP on interdisciplinary projects that require a wider range of skills than those usually found in individual departments or faculties.
Another role of IAS is to organise short technical and scientific training courses that cannot be met through the normal teaching program of the university. In addition, there are often several visiting scientists, graduate students or exchange staff from various overseas universities or organizations using the Institute as a base for their research work at any one time. IAS also sponsors many local postgraduates students to assist in its work and develop local capacity. The activities of the institute are carried out through projects units working around the core facility, the Analytical Services Laboratory. The project areas are not fixed and are designed to changed as the needs of the region and staff interests change.
At the present time, The Institute is focusing on five main project project areas, environment, food, water quality, marine natural products and community based resource management.
In addition, it markets the facilities of the South Pacific Regional Herbarium and does work in any area of expertise that can be provided by its professional staff. The Division has facilities and expertise in laboratory-based research in a range of areas, including tissue culture, microbiology, animal physiology, plant physiology and electrophoresis. We also have a range of field equipment and relevant expertise. We are perfectly placed for field studies of tropical terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems.
Note: List of research and thesis titles (including abstracts) by staff and postgraduates can be viewed under each Units homepage.