Singapore Asian Scientist Magazine's 8 Filipino Scientists to Watch

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Filipino scientists are committed individuals – the thinkers, doers, and problem-solvers – that make all the difference in the world. They come from various fields and industries who work towards solving real-life problems that many Filipinos face. Their dedication, perseverance, innovativeness, and positive attitude to work productively despite limited resources, serve as example to young, aspiring scientists. The following is a list of Singapore Asian Scientist Magazine's "8 Filipino Scientists to Watch":

Angel Alcala.jpg

Angel Chua Alcala is a Filipino marine biologist who was conferred the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 1992. He has done extensive work on Community Development in conjunction with Marine Development and Ecology, Marine Biogeography, and Marine Life Conservation. His work was primarily geared towards helping local fishing communities produce better yields, and raising people's awareness on the advantages of protecting the reefs. He has given presentations of his research findings in the Philippines, Australia, Hawaii, British Columbia and the United States. He also was also a consultant on programs on ecological conservation and biodiversity which were commissioned by the United Nations, as well as the World Bank.

On 12 August 2014, President Benigno Aquino III conferred Alcala the rank of National Scientist of the Philippines for his research on Philippine amphibians and reptiles. In 2016, he was in the seventh place in the first ever Asian Scientist 100 list.

Ramon Barba.jpg

Barba is a Filipino horticulturist who is recognized for his significant and outstanding scientific and technological contributions to the Philippine agriculture. His technology of using potassium nitrate to stimulate flowering is a milestone in the study of tropical tree physiology and is the main stimulus to the growth of the local mango industry. His researches on tissue culture of bananas, sugarcane, cassava, and many other horticultural crops have resulted in the development of valuable methodologies in plant physiology and plant breeding. He was one of the recipients for 1974 TOYM Awardees for Agriculture. In 2014, Barba has been conferred National Scientist by President Aquino. In 2016, he was ranked third on the Asian Scientist 100 List.

Tetchi Cruz-Capellan
Tetchi Cruz-Capellan.jpg

Tetchi is a pioneer of solar energy in the Philippines, and a recognized industry leader globally. The former Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary helped alleviate poverty using renewables. In 2006, as United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Chief-of-Party, she helped deploy thousands of solar home systems to light 500 villages in remote communities in southern Philippines.

In 2010, she joined Sun Edison, a US-based global solar company, and served as its Country Advisor for Philippine business development and regulatory affairs. In 2013, she founded SunAsia Energy, Inc. and began developing utility scale solar projects in the Philippines. They have developed the 60Mw solar plant in Cebu and is working on its solar portfolio with about 350Mw in the pipeline.

Tetchi was awarded Women Power of the Year by the Singapore Power and Electricity in 2014. She was also named by the Singapore Asian Scientist Magazine as the one of the 8 Philippine scientists to watch.

Edgardo Gomez.jpg

Gomez is a world-renowned marine biologist and professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines (UP) Marine Science Institute (MSI) in Diliman, Quezon City. He is also the founding director of the UP-MSI, considered as the leading marine science department in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. His studies on coral reefs led to his work on the true giant clam (Tridacna gigas) and is credited for saving this shelled mollusk from extinction.

In 2014, Gomez was conferred the rank of National Scientist of the Philippines by President Aquino. In 2016, he placed ninth in the Asian Scientist Magazine.

Mahar Lagmay.jpg

Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco Lagmay is the Executive Director of Project NOAH and Faculty Member of the National Institute of Geological Sciences at University of the Philippines, Diliman. Project NOAH is a responsive program, launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), for disaster prevention and mitigation for the Philippines' warning agencies to provide a 6 hour lead-time warning to vulnerable communities against impending floods.

Lagmay is into theoretical and experimental research on the reciprocal influence of volcanoes and their basement. With colleagues, they advance the understanding of volcano-tectonic interaction using a variety of methods such as analogue modeling, remote sensing, GIS, Persistent Scatterer Interferometry, CFD simulations, shallow subsurface geophysics, and structural field mapping. They also apply the same skills for disaster work, either to volunteer in search and rescue, conduct forensic analysis or carry out basic research on the hazard event.

He is the recipient of the 2015 Plinius Medal from the European Geosciences Union for his research into natural hazards and disasters in the Philippines, in particular volcanic hazards, earthquakes, typhoons, landslides and floods.

Aisa Mijeno.jpg

Aisa Mijeno is a Filipino engineer and a faculty member of Engineering at De La Salle University-Lipa. She is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Sustainable Alternative Lighting (SALt).

The SALt lamp is an environment-friendly and sustainable alternative light source. It runs on saltwater which makes it suitable to both the people living in coastal areas and those in remote barrios. The lamp can run for eight hours with just two table spoons of salt and one glass of tap water or just ocean water.

SALt aims to provide electricity to those without access to it or who has no financial capacity to acquire alternative source of electricity.

Mijeno had been thrust on the world stage after being chosen to join President Barack Obama and multi-billionaire Jack Ma to discuss climate change and renewable energy at the APEC CEO Forum in 2015. During the forum, Mijeno narrated how she was motivated by her immersion experience living with a native tribe in Kalinga.

US President Obama said that Aisa is a perfect example of young entrepreneurs coming up with leap-frog technology. Obama called Mijeno's project a “brilliant idea” at becoming innovative in addressing climate change. Mijeno urged the need for measures to address climate change. She shared that her ultimate goal is to power an entire island using ocean or saline water in a way to address climate change.

Reinabelle reyes.jpg

Reinabelle Reyes is a Filipino astrophysicist who proved Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity on a cosmic scale. Reyes and her Princeton University collaborators verified the Theory if General Relativity beyond the confines of the solar system.

In 2010, their research team showed how galaxies are clustered together in exactly the same way General Relativity predicts. They came up with a new astronomical measurement that indicated how galaxies are pulled together by gravity. Her findings also support the existence of Dark Energy – a force greater than gravity.

In 2008, Reyes received the “Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award” for her major role in the discovery of the largest number of “obscured quasars,” which are “super massive” black holes in the centers of galaxies cloaked in gas and dust.

Gavino Trono.jpg

Gavino Cajulao Trono, Jr. is Emeritus Professor of Marine Botany, Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. His dissertation was about the taxonomy of the marine benthic algae of the Caroline Islands conducted under the supervision of Prof. Maxwell Stanford Doty, who was generally regarded as the father of seaweed cultivation in the Philippines. He was elected as Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines in 2007.

For his contributions to tropical marine phycology with a focus on seaweed biodiversity, in 2014, Trono was conferred the ranks of National Scientist of the Philippines by President Aquino. In 2016, Asian Scientist Magazine named Trono part of the Asian Scientist 100 list.




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