National Scientist Edgardo D. Gomez, an authority in the field of marine science, has passed away on December 1, 2019 at the age of 81.
NS Gomez was a known researcher, scientist, conservation advocate, and mentor in invertebrate biology and ecology, giant clam culture and restoration, and coral reef assessment and conservation. He was also recognized for his outstanding contributions and researches on marine ecosystems which became the bases for management of and the conservation programs for the country’s marine resources.
Through his pioneering research, he was able to steer the world’s first national-scale assessment of damage to coral reefs that led to the widespread concern over the status of coral reefs. This resulted to the worldwide conservation initiatives, such as the Global Reefs and Risk Analysis, Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, and the International Coral Reef Action.
He served as the Founding Director of the Marine Science Institute (MSI) at the University of the Philippines (UP), a world-class research and teaching institution in marine science and is an internationally renowned center of excellence for national and scientific initiatives.
One of his most notable works was his contributions in the baseline mapping of the Philippines to handle the highly-contested Spratly Islands and in the groundwork for the Archipelagic Studies Program that the UP System has established.
NS Gomez was born on November 7, 1938. He finished Bachelor of Arts/ B.S. Education summa cum laude in De La Salle University (1962), M.S. Biology in St. Mary’s University Minnesota (1967), and Ph.D. Marine Biology in University of California San Diego (1973).
He served as member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Western Society of Naturalist, World Mariculture Society, National Research Council of the Philippines, and the International Society for Reef Studies. He was awarded the Global 500 Roll of Honour by the United Nations Environment Programme in 1989, The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) in Science (Marine Biology) by the Philippine Jaycee Senate in 1992, Outstanding Science Administrator by the Department of Science and Technology in 1996, Gregorio Y. Zara Award (Basic Science) by the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998, and the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award by the Philippine Civil Service Commission in 2000.
He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines (NAST PHL) in 1993 and was proclaimed as National Scientist in 2014.