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Felix Bast

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Felix Bast
File:Felix Bast1.JPG Felix_Bast1.JPG
Bast with President of India at Rashtapati Bhavan in 2015
BornSreejith Vadakke Madam Nambissan
(1980-05-27)May 27, 1980
Payyanur
🏳️ NationalityIndian
🎓 Alma materKōchi University, Japan
💼 Occupation

Felix Bast, (born Sreejith Vadakke Madam Nambissan) (born 27 May 1980) is an Indian Science Communicator, Natural Historian, science philosopher and author based at Central University of Punjab, India.[1][2]. He had discovered four new seaweed species, named after him (including Monostroma kuroshiense and Ulva paschima). He had been a recipient of “INSA-INSPIRE Faculty Award” from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India in 2012[3]. He served as an invited in-residence intern with President of India as an “Inspired Teacher” for one week at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi in 2015[4]. He is also a recipient of “Teaching Innovator Award” from MHRD, Govt. of India in 2019[5]. He is a fellow of INSA-INYAS, New Delhi[6]. Felix undertook an expedition to Antarctica, and stayed at India’s research stations, Bharati and Maitri, as part of Ministry of Earth Sciences “Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica-36” delegation from December 2016 to April 2017.[7]

Early Life[edit]

Felix Bast was born in Payyannur, Kerala, India in a brahmin family. He adopted "Felix Bast", a caste- and religion-neutral name, after being inspired from French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire in 2003[8].

Education[edit]

He received his B.Sc with university first rank (Gold Medal) from Kannur University, Kerala (2000), and M.Sc. from the University of Madras (2002)[2]. He was selected under prestigious Monbukagakusho Japanese Government International Doctoral Fellowship and earned his PhD in molecular phylogenetics from MEXT, Japan in 2010[2].

Teaching[edit]

Since 2010 he has been teaching at Central University of Punjab. He started his teaching career with DST INSPIRE Faculty Award. At present, he is working as Associate Professor, Department of Botany. Bast is an early adopter of e-learning and involved with UGC e-PG pathshala and UGC SWAYAM MOOC[9][10]. In 2020 one of the online courses that Dr. Bast has offered through UGC-Swayam has been ranked as the 7th best online course in the world[11]

Work[edit]

Research[edit]

His major research contributions include the discovery of three new species of marine algae from Indian coast (named after him): Ulva paschima Bast[12][13], Cladophora goensis Bast[14][15] and Ulva uniseriata Bast[16][17]. It was Bast who named the second most expensive seaweed in the world, Monostroma kuroshiense[18][19], which is often used in Japan in Sushi. He has also discovered that the spores of subaerial green algae Trentepohlia annulata caused the blood rain in Kerala[20]. New taxonomic records made by his team includes: Endophytic algae Ulvella leptochaete for the first time in Indian Ocean[21], and Sargassum zhangii[22], Trentepohlia annulata[20] and Ulva sapora[23] as first records in India. Bast has also released an open-access database of Indian Algae, dbIndAlgae[24]. As an avid natural historian, he has explored major coastal intertidal habitats of India, Japan, UK, Scandinavia, North-Western US and Canada[2]. Bast was an exploration team member of 36th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica.

Science Communication[edit]

Felix Bast is a known science writer in India with his contributions regularly appearing in Resonance, Science Reporter, Dream 2047, The Hindu, Times of India and so on. He also writes popular science articles in Malayalam-his mother tongue, in magazines such as Shastra Keralam and Eureka. His 2019 book Voyage to Antarctica.[7] (published by Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India) has received several critical acclaims. He is also involved with science education and popularization with a number of science outreach talks at local schools, libraries, colleges and universities[2]

Foundation[edit]

In 2010, Bast founded Felix Foundation (FF), a non-profit organisation. The foundation's major initiatives include donating popular science books to less fortunate government schools, popularization of science through community activities, talks, articles, etc.[25] Bast works closely with INYAS and KSSP as part of the foundation's activities.

Philanthropy[edit]

Dr. Bast an outspoken advocate of organ donation[2]. He has pledged a total organ donor through the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. He is regular blood, platelets and plasma donor, with blood donations on each birthday. Dr. Bast has also signed up for post-mortem whole body donation for medical and forensic education and research.

Environmentalism[edit]

Dr. Bast is an avid cyclist who regularly commutes to the university on cycle. He frequently conducts solo cycling tours, sometimes combined with social and environmental outreach activities, such as beach cleaning.[26] He advocates a low carbon-footprint lifestyle which is environmentally conscious and sustainable. Dr. Bast is also a vegetarian, and a teetotaler.

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Elected Fellow of INSA-INYAS (2019)
  • Elected in National Core Committee of INSA-INYAS (Biology and Medicine)
  • DST-INSA-INSPIRE Faculty Award(2012)
  • Inspired Teacher recognition Invited In-Resident Intern with President of India at Rashtrapathi Bhavan, New Delhi (2015)
  • Teacher Innovator Award Commendation certificate, MHRD, Government of India (2016)
  • NAM-ZMT Germany International Guest Scientist Award (2018)
  • Japanese Govt. Monbukagakusho:MEXT International Doctoral Fellowship 2005

Other Appearances[edit]

Interview with Dr. Bast at Nervazhi[27]

External Links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. "Felix Bast". World Science Forum. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Felix Bast" (PDF). Central University of Punjab. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. "Inspire Award List-2011" (PDF). Indian National Science Academy. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. "List of Inspired Teachers" (PDF). President of India. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. "Times of India". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. "INYAS". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Voyage to Antarctica". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. "Resonance, Indian Academy of Sciences". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. "CEC Swayam". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. "Times of India". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. "Punjabi University's Media Centre earns top ranking for MOOCs". The Times of India.
  12. Bast, Felix; John, Aijaz Ahmad; Bhushan, Satej (2014-10-15). "Strong Endemism of Bloom-Forming Tubular Ulva in Indian West Coast, with Description of Ulva paschima Sp. Nov. (Ulvales, Chlorophyta)". PLOS One. 9 (10): e109295. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...9j9295B. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109295. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4198087. PMID 25329833.
  13. "AlgaeBase". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  14. Bast, Felix; John, Aijaz Ahmad; Bhushan, Satej (December 2015). "Cladophora goensis sp. nov. (Cladophorales, Ulvophyceae) –a bloom forming marine algae from Goa, India". Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences. 44 (12). ISSN 0975-1033.
  15. Rohatgi, Meenakshi (2014-06-25). "New algae species could provide valuable biofuel". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  16. Bast, Felix; Rani, Pooja (November 2019). "First report of uniseriate free-living Ulva species with description of new species Ulva uniseriata sp. nov (Chlorophyta, Ulvales)". Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences. 48 (11). ISSN 0975-1033.
  17. "Central University team discovers new species of green algae, to explore use in anti cancer compound". The Times of India. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  18. taxonomy. "Taxonomy browser (Monostroma kuroshiense)". www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  19. "Monostroma kuroshiense F.Bast 2015 :: Algaebase". www.algaebase.org. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Rajgopal, K. S. (April 2015). "The Hindu". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  21. Rajgopal, K. s. (2015-03-11). "The Hindu". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  22. Bast, Felix; Bhushan, Satej; Rani, Pooja; John, Aijaz Ahmad (2016-07-02). "New record of Sargassum zhangii (Sargassaceae, Fucales) in India based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA barcodes". Webbia. 71 (2): 293–298. doi:10.1080/00837792.2016.1221188. ISSN 0083-7792.
  23. Bast, Felix; Rani, P. (2019). "First report of Ulva sapora (Ulvales, Chlorophyta) from Indian subcontinent". ISSN 2454-1117.
  24. Bhushan, Satej; Mehra, Richa; Rani, Pooja; Bast, Felix (2016-08-25). "DB IndAlgae:An On-Line Resource of Marine Algae from India Identified on the Basis of Molecular and Morphological Features". Current Science. 111 (4): 723–726. doi:10.18520/cs/v111/i4/723-726. ISSN 0011-3891.
  25. "FelixLab - Felix Foundation".
  26. "Central University Punjab faculty member on solo cycling tour in Odisha | Chandigarh News". The Times of India.
  27. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW5JsR0PSAE

Category:1980 births Category:20th-century Indian Scientists Category:Indian agnostics Category:Indian humanists Category:Naturalists Category:Nature writers Category:Pacifists Category:Indian science writers Category:Skeptics Category:Critics of alternative medicine Category:Critics of creationism Category:Critics of parapsychology Category:Critics of religions Category:Cultural critics Category:Pantheists Category:Science communicators Category:Secular humanists Category:Social commentators Category:Social critics Category:Writers from Kerala


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