Dr. Milagrosa R. Martinez-Goss, Professor Emeritus for Algal Biology and Biotechnology

MRMGoss prof emeritusPhycologist Dr. Martinez-Goss was awarded the title Professor Emeritus for Algal biology and Biotechnology (Biofuels and Feed) by the U.P. Board of Regents last October 31, 2007. She completed her Ph.D. in Botany, specializing in Phycology at UPLB in 1976, focusing on the diatom flora of Laguna de Bay in Luzon Island. But her love affair for algae, particularly diatoms, began after enrolling in a class of the late Dr. Gregorio T. Velasquez, recognized as the Father of Philippine Phycology. These lessons inspired her to pursue research on these microscopic, but important producers of the food pyramid. Since 1976, she has been a treasured faculty of the Plant Biology Division of the IBS, teaching many key courses in Botany, and helped establish the first phycological collection in the UPLB Botanical Herbarium.

Dr. Martinez-Goss is dubbed the “great algal-agriculturist of the sea” for her exceptional contributions in the study of diatoms and algal taxonomy, a field dominated by foreign researchers. Certain species of diatoms are key indicators of oil deposits and used to determine the age of these deposits, making them useful in forensic studies. She has described 13 new species and varieties of algae, including three currently deposited at the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences. She has also identified 17 species of algae, which represent the first country records for the Philippines.

After retiring from IBS, Dr. Martinez-Goss continues to be involved in research and extension work at the Institute, focusing on studies to mass cultivate freshwater microalgae for biodiesel feestaock, as emphasized in her lecture on “Prospectives of micro-algae as sustainable biofuel sources” during the Botany Centennial Celebration last December 9, 2010. She continues to spearhead many phycological researches and most recently, she was assigned program leader for the UPLB-CHED program on “Development and Capability Building Program on Algal Research” which convened together researchers from eight different state universities and college from all over the Philippines.

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