Jurgenne Primavera

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Dr. Jurgenne Primavera

Jurgenne H. Primavera, Ph.D. is a Filipino scientist. She is well-known for her research in mangrove ecosystem preservation, for which she earned recognition as one of Time Magazine's Heroes of the Environment for 2008.


Early Life and Education

Dr. Primavera was born and raised in the province of Agusan del Norte in Mindanao, where her exposure to nature and environment began. She took up Zoology under a National Science Development Board scholarship at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, where she graduated cum laude in 1966. After college she went back to Mindanao to teach Biology and Zoology courses at Mindanao State University.

Intensifying armed conflict in Mindanao left Primavera with no choice but to relocate. In 1975, she, along with several other scientists, transferred to Iloilo and joined the Southeast Asian Fisheries and Development Center (SEAFDEC). She then focused her work on fishponds and mangroves in the town of Leganes. Later on she pursued a master's degree in Zoology at Indiana University.

Focus on mangrove research

In 1990, Dr. Primavera was granted another scholarship for her doctorate studies by the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development. Her thesis discussed the impact of aquaculture on mangroves. After she obtained her Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, she returned to SEAFDEC to continue her research on environment aquaculture.

Throughout her studies, Dr. Primavera shed light on the negative effects of shrimp and prawn aquaculture on mangrove ecosystems, mentioning the destruction of these environmentally important coastal areas to give way to fishponds. She pushed for a balance between business and nature; that is, for every unit area developed for ponds, there should be at least four unit areas for mangroves to help protect the environment.

Dr. Primavera has published more than 40 scientific articles and review papers in various national and international journals. She also produced 20 manuals, book chapters, technical reports and other publications where she is credited as senior author. She has attended more than 60 scientific conferences, symposia, and workshops on aquaculture, fisheries, mangroves and the environment, and international consultancy work.

She has a daughter and three sons, and is happily married to her husband Nick.

External Links


  • Beech, Hannah (2008). "Jurgenne Primavera." Time.com. Accessed on October 14, 2008.
  • Burgos, Nestor Jr. (2008). "RP scientist named ‘hero of environment.’" Inquirer.net. Accessed on October 14, 2008.



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