Professor Rey Donne S. Papa, PhD, Dean of the College of Science, is the 2021 Outstanding Young Scientist of the National Academy of Science and Technology in the field of Biological Sciences. The award was confirmed by NAST President Academician Rhodora V. Azanza, PhD. The virtual awarding ceremonies will be held on July 15, 2021.
Papa is an expert in tropical freshwater microcrustacean zooplankton ecology and systematics, as well as lake ecology, with his study site being Lake Taal. The research undertakings he and Thomasians have been engaged in with regard to Lake Taal have led to, among other scientific endeavors, the creation of the UST Zooplankton Reference Collection, the first organized repository of freshwater zooplankton in the Philippines.
In 2016, Papa organized the first-ever Philippine Symposium on Freshwater Biodiversity Ecosystems, which gathered scholars from here and abroad and which also received funding from the United States Agency for International Development and the United States National Academy of Science. In the same year, Papa was elected as the Vice-President of the Association of Systematic Biologists of the Philippines, of which he is now President. He also serves as the Vice-President of the Philippine Society for Freshwater Science. In January 2020, he became the first Filipino national representative to the International Society of Limnology.
With the recognition, Dean Papa becomes the first alumnus of the University’s BS Biology and PhD Biological Sciences programs to get the Outstanding Young Scientist award. He earned his BS Biology degree in 2002 and his PhD in 2011.
Papa also joins fellow Thomasian scientists who have previously received the distinction, namely Chemistry professors Alicia M. Aguinaldo, PhD, Christina A. Binag, Allan Patrick G. Macabeo, Dr. rer. nat., Bernard John V. Tongol, and Mario A. Tan, PhD, as well as Biological Sciences professors John Donnie A. Ramos, PhD, Grecebio Jonathan D. Alejandro, Dr. rer. nat., and Thomas Edison E. dela Cruz, Dr. rer. nat.