Scientists and researchers from the University of the Philippines Los Baños were lauded during the 3th Annual Scientific Meeting of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) held at the Manila Hotel in Ermita, Manila on 13-14 July 2016.
Dr. Virginia C. Cuevas, Professor Emeritus from the Institute of Biological Sciences, was conferred by NAST with the rank and title of Academician for her significant contributions as a scientist, educator, and mentor in the field of mycology and environmental biology. Her various research projects on cellulose and lignin degrading fungi led the wide use of Trichoderma harzianum as activator for rapid composting technologies.
Dr. Cuevas also developed the Trichoderma Microbial Inoculant, a biofertilizer that also acts as a biocontrol agent for fungal diseases in crops. This technology helped cabbage farmers in Benguet save millions due to its effectiveness in against the clubroot disease.
Dr. Tonette P. Laude, Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture, was given the 2016 Outstanding Young Scientist Award for her work in plant breeding, specifically her work on identifying superior populations of white corn with high-quality protein. IPB Var 6 (NSIC CN 2008-244), the most preferred variety for con grits, is part of this research.
Dr. Laude was also recognized because of her work on preventing the genetic erosion of corn landraces in the country through recurrent selection procedures and the development of biotic and abiotic stress-resistant hybrid corn varieties.
UP Scientist and former UPLB Chancellor Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz received that NAST Environmental Science Award for his contributions to the development, as well as the implementation, of the watershed approach to land use planning and natural resources management. Dr. Cruz also led the formulation of development master plans for key watershed areas in the country. The National Conservation Farming Village (CFV) program, also led by Dr. Cruz, promoted and provided upland communities with sustainable and resilient upland farming systems.
Dr. Jomar F. Rabajante from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics received the 2nd Prize for the 2015 NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists for his research entitled “Equilibrium switching and mathematical properties of nonlinear interaction networks with concurrent antagonism and self-stimulation.”