Rhodora V. Azanza

Rhodora V. Azanza

University of the Philippines, Philippines

Title: Oceanographic studies related to the understanding and management of harmful algal blooms


Rhodora V Azanza, Professor and Scientist III of the Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines - Diliman and Academician, National Academy of Science and Technology, is internationally recognized for her outstanding and relevant research, publication and extension services in Marine Science. She has served the University of the Philippines (UP) in various academic and administrative positions including being the first woman dean of the College of Science - UP Diliman. She has extended her expertise to various national government agencies and international organizations. She was concurrently the Vice-chairman of UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Panel on Harmful Algal Blooms (IPHAB) and the Project Leader of IOC’s Harmful Algal Blooms in Southeast Asia (HABSEA) Portal and e-learning for 7 years. The ASEAN Red Tide Network, the first regional network of its kind, was coordinated by her for more than 10 years.


Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) which could be threat to public health and the local economy seem to have increased in occurrences and intensity in the recent years. Anthropogenic and natural factors have been invoked to explain these harmful events. Sediment and water column evidences support other data and information from satellite images to help understand harmful algal bloom phenomena and afford inter-basin comparisons in a tropical area like the Philippine Islands located 13oN and 122oE. Three sites i.e., Manila Bay, Sorsogon bay and Bolinao-Anda, Pangasinan, chosen for the number of occurrences/recurrences of these blooms and the extent of previous researches, have been chosen for more indepth oceanographic studies. Twenty (20) year data sets have likewise made possible the development of several models made from studies of physical, chemical, geological and biological oceanographers. Technologies to help in the management of these health and sometimes socio-economic hazards and risks are being developed for coastal communities, most of which are dependent on the harvest from the sea. Interactions of oceanographers and biologists with managers, local government units and other academic units make research and mitigation efforts more productive.