Formalize existing collaboration to address transboundary agriculture, natural resource issues 

COLLEGE STATION — Texas A&M AgriLife Research and leadership from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, or FMVZ, at Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, or UAT, in Tamaulipas, Mexico, have signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize a longstanding research partnership supporting students and faculty in addressing transboundary issues in agriculture and natural resources.

Texas A&M AgriLife deputy vice-chancellor, Susan Ballabina, Ph.D., and Texas A&M’s Natural Resources Institute, or NRI, director, Roel Lopez, Ph.D., attended the signing, which took place on the Texas A&M University campus. Also in attendance was FMVZ-UAT’s director, Edgar López-Acevedo, who expressed his enthusiasm to jointly develop research, academic excellence and strengthen international collaborative efforts. Other attendees included NRI’s associate director for research Brian Pierce, Ph.D. and UAT’s Everardo Salinas-Navarrete and Eduardo A. González, both FMVZ professors and researchers.

Signing of the memorandum of understanding at the Texas A&M AgriLife Center. (Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute photo by Brittany Wegner)

Participants said the goal of this collaborative partnership is to facilitate joint education programs, student and professor efforts, and international research projects from both universities. They noted as both universities specialize in agriculture and environmental efforts, their partnership will not only help address agricultural, natural resource and wildlife challenges along the Tamaulipas-Texas borderland region but also help train future agricultural and natural resource professionals from both countries.

Areas of interest from our renewed relationship include student and professor exchanges, workshops and service programs that benefit conservation on both sides of the border,” Lopez said.

Ballabina said the MOU will expand academic efforts, research and collaboration among both universities, and that she’s interested in watching the partnership expand as both universities pursue future research endeavors. Some example projects include work on feline species in the Tamaulipas-Texas borderland region and work with aquatic resources for shared watersheds. Other potential future collaborative efforts include animal-wildlife disease work and land stewardship.

Lopez said the NRI looks forward to the partnership to support ongoing activities along the Texas-Mexico border and their ecology, taxonomy, population distribution, and other science-based knowledge and solutions for state and federal natural resource agencies.

The NRI works to improve the conservation, management of natural resources and private land stewardship through interdisciplinary and applied research, education and policy. NRI is a unit of Texas A&M AgriLife Research headquartered in College Station with offices in San Antonio, Dallas and Washington, D.C. For more information, go to https://nri.tamu.edu/.

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