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Under the Sea: Marine Life in the South China Sea | A Roundtable Discussion

The Strategic Studies Program of UP CIDS and the Foreign Service Institute are organizing an onsite roundtable discussion, Under the Sea: Marine Life in the South China Sea, on 16 July 2024, 10:00 AM–12:00 NN, Seminar Room, 2F, Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman. The roundtable is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants are encouraged to pre-register.


Roundtable Topics

The discussion will center on the following questions

    1. What is the status of our databases regarding marine life (e.g., fish, corals) in the South China Sea? What do we know/not know (data gaps) on the topic of your expertise?
    2. Is there currently a mechanism for data sharing among scientists? If so, what are these mechanisms? Please share your experience of having been part of any mechanism for data sharing.
    3. Are there any ongoing joint research efforts among scientists from different countries in the South China Sea? Please share your prior experience if you have been involved or are currently involved in these research efforts. Are there plans to integrate these research efforts into a broader diplomatic strategy?
    4. What are the current policies for protecting the marine environment?
    5. What are the current programs with higher education institutions to facilitate the study of Philippine waters?

For background information, view the concept note (PDF).

Resource Speakers

Wilfredo Licuanan, PhD is a “Full Professor of the Biology Department and University Fellow of De La Salle University….He has been surveying and monitoring coral reefs for over twenty-five years and has led research teams to many previously unstudied reefs from all around the country including the Kalayaan (Spratly) Islands (where he discovered a coral species new to science), and the Pacific Ocean coasts from Luzon to Mindanao.” He obtained his PhD in Biology from the University of Southern California. His research interests cover “coral taxonomy and coral reef ecology, Box jellyfish ecology and biology, citizen science, [and] marine Biology” (DLSU).

Charina Lyn A. Repollo, PhD is an Assistant Professor and Deputy Director for Research at the Marine Science Institute (MSI). She earned her Ph.D. in Oceanography, specializing in Physical Oceanography, from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2016.  Her research interests encompass coastal and island circulation, high-frequency radar remote sensing, air-sea interactions, mesoscale dynamics, and climate change.


Deo Florence L. Onda, PhD is Associate Professor, Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman. He has an Interuniversity PhD in Oceanography (Microbial Oceanography) from the Université Laval, Quebéc City, Québec, Canada, and held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany. His research interests cover “understanding host-symbiont interactions, microbial biogeography, diversity, dynamics and trophic interactions and consequences of changing conditions using -omics approaches (genomics, transcriptomics and metagenomics), other molecular methods and advanced techniques in confocal laser scanning microscopy” (MSI).

Queries and Organizers

For queries, please email: [email protected]

The roundtable is organized by the Strategic Studies Program of the Center for Integrative and Development Studies, University of the Philippines, UP’s policy research unit; and the Foreign Service Institute. SSP is one of UP CIDS’ 16 Research Program, and focuses on international relations, foreign policy, and related issues. Learn more and download SSP policy papers for free.

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