Thomasian biologist wins award for the protection of tawilis

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College of Science instructor Elfritzson Peralta wins the Best Oral Presentation Award at the 51st FIMS Convention in Sogod, Southern Leyte, on Oct.18. PHOTO GRABBED FROM THE UST DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES' FACEBOOK PAGE

A FACULTY member from the College of Science won the Best Oral Presentation award for her research on marine life in Taal Lake during the 51st Federation of Institutions for Marine and Freshwater Sciences (FIMFS) held from Oct. 16 to 18, in Southern Leyte State University, Sogod, Southern Leyte.

Elfritzon Peralta co-authored the paper on how the presence of isotopes affects marine life and traces how tawilis interact and depend on food sources in Taal Lake.

“I felt happy and proud on what our research group has accomplished. I felt more challenged and driven now to publish our findings very soon,” Peralta told the Varsitarian in an online interview.

Sardinella Tawilis, which is endemic to lake Taal and the only known freshwater sardinella in the world, is an endangered type of fish with its harvest having declined by at least 50 percent over the past 10 years.

In January 2019, it was declared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species due to exploitation, pollution, habitat degradation, and competition with other fishes in the lake.

Peralta, an instructor from the Department of Biological Sciences, took home the award under the Novel and Innovative Biological Assessment Techniques and Policy Governance category for his research paper.

She was among eight presenters chosen out of a pool of 90 to compete under the category which recognizes studies that have stemmed from the use of new methods and technologies to assess aquatic organisms and their environments.

Founded in 1968, the FIMFS is composed of higher education institutions from around the country that offer programs and research grants on aquatic science and aims to gather data for the conservation of freshwater and marine resources in the Philippines. J. V. V. Yap

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