The award is given to exemplary researchers in honor of national scientist Dr. Angel Alcala, who was behind the invention of artificial reefs.  

Flandez and co-author Eliza Espinosa were recognized for their paper, Reef fish abundance and diversity inside and outside marine protected areas in Cuatro Islas, Leyte, Eastern Philippines.

The study provided evidence that marine protected areas in Leyte’s Cuatro Islas is an effective strategy to conserve economically and ecologically important reef fishes. It has also provided useful information on the biodiversity and current status of reef fishes in the islands that can be used to improve conservation and management initiatives in Cuatro Islas Protected Landscape Seascape.

Flandez said the professional category was very competitive owing to the amount of relevant researches presented.

“For me, it’s always an honor to represent VSU on this national event.” Flandez said.

Flandez also won the Best Poster category in the same event last year.

The FIMFS is the longest running scientific organization of aquatic sciences in the country since 1968 and has been a venue for the presentation of research and studies on aquatic sciences done by academic and research institutions all over the country.