National Scientist Gomez, marine conservation advocate, 81
National Scientist Edgardo Gomez
National Scientist Gomez, marine conservation advocate, 81
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — National Scientist Edgardo Gomez, a pioneer in marine conservation in the Philippines, died on Dec. 1. He was 81.

Gomez was a researcher, scientist, conservation advocate and educator in various fields, including invertebrate biology and ecology; giant clam culture and restoration; and coral reef assessment and conservation.

He was also recognized for his contributions and research on marine ecosystems, which became the basis for management of conservation programs for the country’s marine resources.

Among his most notable works were his contributions in the baseline mapping of the Philippines, which included the disputed Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea.

His pioneering research on the extent of damage to coral reefs resulted in worldwide conservation initiatives, such as the Global Reefs and Risk Analysis, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and the International Coral Reef Action.

Gomez was founding director of the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines, a world-class research and teaching institution in marine science and an internationally renowned center of excellence for national and scientific initiatives.

Born on Nov. 7, 1938, the renowned national scientist finished Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Education, summa cum laude, at De La Salle University in 1962; Master of Science in Biology at St. Mary’s University Minnesota in 1967; and Doctor in Marine Biology at the University of California San Diego in 1973.

He served as member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Western Society of Naturalists, World Mariculture Society, National Research Council of the Philippines and the International Society for Reef Studies.

He was awarded the Global 500 Roll of Honor by the United Nations Environment Program in 1989; Outstanding Filipino in Science (Marine Biology) by the Philippine Jaycee Senate in 1992; Outstanding Science Administrator by the Department of Science and Technology in 1996; Gregorio Y. Zara Award (Basic Science) by the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998; and the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award by the Philippine Civil Service Commission in 2000.

He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines in 1993 and was proclaimed National Scientist in 2014.

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