On July 19th 2010, at the meeting room of Royal Phuket City hotel, Teerayuth Aiumtrakul, a Vice Governor of Phuket, presided over the 17th World Congress of Malacology or WCM 2010, being held 18-24th July. This was the first time that the WCM has ever been held in Asia and was jointly organized by Unitas Malacologica, Chulalongkorn University and the Biodiversity Research & Training Program of Thailand. There were 233 Malacologists, who study zoology of mollusks, from 46 countries attending the event. Meanwhile, 102 students from related master and doctoral programs presented 236 articles and 120 research papers to the audience.
Apart from this, there were an exhibition of mollusks in Thailand and a visit and dive off the Phuket coast to witness that the island’s coastal biology was abundant and diversified.
Prof. Dr. Somsak Panha, a malacologist from the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, as President of Unitas Malacologica, said that it was an honour for Phuket to be chosen as host of this world congress and he appreciated being selected as the president.
WCM 2010 was an international stage for malacologists to present their research and discuss many aspects of mollusks. They also discussed how to support the new generation of malacologists in South East Asia, as well as provided the opportunity to share their opinions and knowledge in Malacology. One of the concerns discussed was climate change causing reduced numbers of shells, more parasites, and coral bleaching.