DOST confers first-ever Career Scientist V on Santos of GS

Dr. Mudjekeewis Dalisay Santos from the UST Graduate School was named the Philippines’ first Career Scientist to have been conferred the title Scientist V under the Scientific Career System. The conferment and oath-taking were held on December 11, 2023, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, Manila.

Santos was recognized for his exceptional contributions to fisheries science and governance in the country, where his work involves genetics, resource assessment and policy studies to support fisheries management and aquaculture for food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation in the country.

“Doc Mudjie”, as he is often called, established the NFRDI-Genetic Fingerprinting Laboratory, the country’s leading genetics lab for fisheries and pioneered the Fisheries Vulnerability Assessment Tool (FishVool), a standard protocol for assessing vulnerabilities of fisheries communities and commodities to climate change.

Aside from being Scientist V at the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), Santos is an Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines, and an academic staff at the Graduate School of the University of Santo Tomas.

Santos has authored and co-authored over 100 scientific articles, book chapters and books. He led the revival and transformation of The Philippine Journal of Fisheries (TPJF) into a world-class Scopus indexed Journal and is currently its Editor-in-Chief. He also serves as a Section Editor of the Philippine Agricultural Scientist and an Editor of Fisheries Science, the official journal of the Japan Society for Fisheries Science.

He is a recipient of numerous awards including the Award of Excellence in Socio-Economic Applications of DNA Barcoding by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada and the prestigious Presidential Lingkod Bayan award given by the Civil Service Commission and the Office of the President of the Philippines.

In recognition of his significant contribution to the advancement of fisheries science and management in the country, a species of fish was named after him in 2015 (Chelidoperca santosi), by two of the world’s leading fish taxonomists in the world, Dr. Jeffrey Williams and Dr. Kent Carpenter. In the same year, an islet in Zamboanga City was named in his honor, “Mudjie Wise Key Islet,” by the people of Barangay Dita, Zamboanga City. Later, he was officially recognized by the City of Zamboanga, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and by the Sardine Industry as one of the prime movers of the closed fishing season in the Peninsula that not only benefits the City but the entire country. As such, he is sometimes called “Mr. Fisheries Research” or the “Fisherfolk’s Scientist.”

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