Mr. Elfritzson Peralta, a Biological Sciences student of the Graduate School, won the Best Poster award in the Luzon Regional Scientific Meeting of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and the Department of Science and Technology – Luzon Cluster, held from April 24-25, 2019, in Pangasinan.

Peralta, who co-authored the paper with Alexis Belen, Julie-An Gregorio, Irisse Bianca de Jesus, Norman Mendoza, Takuya Ishida, Jonathan Carlo Briones, PhD, Francis Magbanua, Noboru Okuda, and Prof. Rey Donne S. Papa, PhD, presented the poster of the study entitled “Life below water in the Anthropocene: Using ecological and isotopic approaches to trace human impacts in Laguna de Bay and its watersheds.”

According to the study’s abstract, “human activities (e.g. land use changes and deforestation) continue to impact freshwater ecosystems through unsustainable urbanization.” This led to the researchers’ aim of determining “appropriate indicators and mechanisms of stressors in freshwater habitats and biodiversity in developing countries like the Philippines.”

“Study sites from Laguna de Bay ‘LDB’ (30), Marikina Watershed ‘MW’ (30), and Silang-Santa Rosa Subwatershed ‘SSRS’ (13) were surveyed for canopy openness, land use patterns, human population density (HPD), and physicochemistry and sampled for benthic macroinvertebrates (BM), organic matter sources, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and Oreochromis niloticus for δ13C and δ15N stable isotope analysis.”

The study found a clear link between human activities and freshwater ecosystems amidst socio-economic progress in the country.

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