Marine Science Researcher and Oceanographer
Who is Aletta Concepcion T. Yñiguez?
Around the world, a harmful environmental phenomenon is causing havoc. It’s called Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS), or red tide — and it is causing unforeseen damage. It’s when an accumulation of harmful phytoplankton builds up in a large body of water. Not only does it affect the economy with fisheries closing down, it affects human health. And there is little understanding about it on a community level.
But one science is at the forefront of the battle. Her name is Aletta Concepcion T. Yñiguez. Her field of expertise is Biological Oceanography, which primarily focuses on microorganisms in the ocean. She graduated from the Division of Marine Biology and Fisheries, Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Florida. Not only that, but she was on a Fulbright Scholarship and a Maytag Fellowship during her PhD. Her general research lies in population and ecosystem dynamics, but she has no problem using her vast knowledge to tackle the red tide doing damage to her communities.
Dr. Aletta is a project lead of COASTS (Community Alliance for the Sustainability of our Threatened Seats). It’s a long name, but a simple goal — to improve food safety and overall quality of water. They’re seeking to complete this mission by developing an early warning system that would help to address sudden red tides. To further this research, Dr. Aletta also uses computer modeling. “We try to capture what we see in the actual world in computers, simulate them, and try to predict what is going to happen,” she says. Furthermore, she collaborates with the National Institute of Physics of the University of the Philippines for the development of low-cost sensors to help gain real-time data. It is no wonder that Dr. Aletta is hailed as a woman innovator, inspiration, and hero of the ocean. She is truly amazing and an example of what happens when a smart girl grows up to become a smart woman.
3 Things We Love About Aletta Concepcion T. Yñiguez:
- Her page BaybayDagatPH shares news and views on Philippine marine science.
- She was an honoree of the Many Faces of the Teacher award!
- She is involved in many extension programs, including summer camps, because she believes that producing advocates of science starts with the very basic level of education.