graduated from the University of the Philippines Los Ba˝os in 1999 with a
Bachelor of Science degree in Biology majoring in Ecology. She had worked
on coral competition for her undergraduate thesis. She then proceeded to
work as a research assistant at the Marine Science Institute, University
of the Philippines Diliman for nearly two years. During this time she
worked on the problem of harmful algal blooms, looking at aspects of the
population dynamics of dinoflagellates in relation to their physical
environment. After she was awarded the Fulbright-Department of Agriculture
Scholarship and the University of Miami Maytag Fellowship, she started her
Ph.D. program under Dr. John McManus at RSMAS in the Fall of 2001.
As a part of the National Center for Caribbean
Coral Reef Research (NCORE), she was able to pursue her original interest
in coral reef ecology. She is now focused on elucidating macroalgae
community dynamics through a combined field work and modeling approach.
Macroalgae are increasing in dominance in some coral reefs, most
especially in the Caribbean. It is important to determine the factors such
as eutrophication and overfishing that are leading to this. She would like
to capture macroalgal dynamics (e.g., growth, mortality, competition,
succession) and the interaction of macroalgae with other benthos using the
relatively new agent-based modeling simulation techniques. These
techniques would allow the incorporation of not only temporal, but also
spatial information that plays an important role in these benthic sessile
organisms. This approach can help to better understand the mechanisms
underlying the interactions of corals and macroalgae.