Aletta Yñiguez

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Aletta Yñiguez is a Filipina scientist. She was awarded a PHP 400,000 grant under the For Women in Science (FWIS) program of L'Oreal, a cosmetics firm and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for her research on harmful algal blooms (HABs). She is currently an assistant professor at the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines.


Yñiguez has completed a PhD in Marine Biology and Fisheries at Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at University of Miami. She was a Fulbright Scholar and a recipient of Maytag Fellowship.


Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) Coral Reef Fellowship grant

In February 2004, Yñiguez was granted the CCMI Coral Reef Fellowship to develop a computer model that showed 3D macroalgae growing as they respond to their environment of light and nutrients. Macroalgae plays an important role to the marine ecosystem by providing food and shelter to the sea creatures around them. To create models, which will be a better way to test hypothetical scenarios which can't easily be created around the field, she conducted several diving surveys to measure different traits of macroalgae. She also studied the different levels of light and nutrients in the water and where macroalgae preferred to grow.

FWIS National Fellowship grant

In July 2012, Yñiguez received the FWIS National Fellowship grant for her research proposal entitled “Enhancing Robustness of Plankton Models and Monitoring Systems by Understanding Fine-Scale Biophysical Processes”.

HABs, more popularly known as red tide, happen when harmful phytoplankton accumulate in a large body of water. These cause shellfish poisoning and large-scale death of sea creatures. Using the grant from the FWIS, Yñiguez will observe phytoplankton types in the Bicol shelf, a productive fisheries area and Sorsogon Bay, a known HAB site to look for environmental conditions that cause red tide. Data gathered will be used to develop computer models to monitor the phenomenon.


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