AQD supports students to be research winners

Much is gained by working with the experts.

This is probably the common lesson learned by students conducting their research studies under the guidance of the scientists at the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) Aquaculture Department (AQD) based in Iloilo.

Year-round, this research center devoted to promoting sustainable aquaculture in Southeast Asia is host to numerous high school, college, and graduate students who seek the guidance of its competent pool of scientists and the use of its state-of-the-art laboratory facilities.

Indeed, many of them who conduct their researches in the research center proceed to win science fair competitions both in the national and international scenes.

Just, last month, 15-year old Angeli Joyce Yap Dy of Capiz National High School (CNHS) took home the 2nd Special Award from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry during the Intel International Science Fair (ISEF) in Reno, Nevada last May 10-16, 2009.

Despite being only in second year high school, Dy did not limit herself to high school science. She sought the help of notable research institutions to come up with her award-winning study.

Dy’s study which assessed the potential anti-cancer properties of milkfish bile was done in a large part under the guidance of SEAFDEC microbiologist Dr. Rolando Pakingking and used the research center’s modern facilities for protein, cytotoxicity, and microbial assays.

After winning the Intel Philippine Science Fair (IPSF) in Subic which qualified her to proceed to the Intel Fair in Nevada, Dy along with her parents and CNHS research adviser Ronilo Aponte made a visit to SEAFDEC to thank the center for its “very helpful” contribution in the conduct of her study and the writing of her research paper.

“We have trust and confidence in SEAFDEC, 100 percent,” says Aponte who recalled his previous student, Melvin Carlo Barroa, who also gained recognition in the Intel ISEF with the help of SEAFDEC.

Barroa garnered the 4th grand award (microbiology category) during the 2007 Intel ISEF held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His study investigated the antimicrobial properties of fish mucus. SEAFDEC microbiologist Dr. Gilda Po supervised Barroa during his microbial assay test.

SEAFDEC/AQD Chief Dr. Joebert Toledo says the center is very willing to support young researchers like Dy and Barroa as long as their research topics are in line with the thrusts of the center.

The SEAFDEC stations in the provinces of Iloilo, Rizal, and Guimaras boast of advanced laboratories that are dedicated to its researches on various fish, crustacean, mollusk, and seaweed commodities.

More SEAFDEC-assisted winners

At the 12th Intel Philippine Science Fair (IPSF) held in Subic last February 23-27, 2009, Toribio Ramon Hechanova III, Jonathan Quiogue, and Janvin Jessel Cariscal from the Philippine Science High School Western Visayas won 1st place (physical science group category) and a special award from the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology.

Dr. Ma. Junemie Lebata-Ramos, a stock-enhancement scientist at SEAFDEC, assisted them in the conduct of their study which demonstrated the negative impact of urea dumping on the egg viability and embryonic development of sea urchins.

The previous year, Mae Anne Tabasin, Tranquilino Tono, and John Vincent Gabiano of

Maasin National Comprehensive High School won 1st place (life sciences group category) in the 11th IPSF held in Tagaytay. They studied the effect of the levamisole antibiotic on the immune response of tilapia under the guidance of Dr. Edgar Amar, a fish health scientist at SEAFDEC.


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