DR. MARIA VANESSA BARIA-RODRIGUEZ
UP Marine Science Institute
She is an Assistant Professor at the UP Marine Science Institute. She obtained her PhD in Marine and Environmental Science at the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan. Her field of research interests are coral reef ecology, invertebrate biology and its application to propagation, coral reef restoration, and conservation and management. She studied coral reproduction, and became one of the pioneers who established reproductive timing of multiple coral species in northwestern Philippines and applied this to coral larval culture for reef restoration. This work served as baseline for succeeding coral reproduction studies in the country. She currently leads internationally-funded projects on coral restoration science using larval seeding technology and socio-political governance. In addition, she is also the principal investigator of various nationally-funded projects on coral reef benthic diversity (particularly on hard corals, soft corals and sponges) as wells as researches on coral population dynamics, physiology, and reproduction exposed to various disturbances such overfishing, eutrophication, global warming and submarine groundwater discharges (high temperature, low pH and high nutrient conditions). She hopes that her research outputs will serve as bases for science-based policies for sound management and conservation.