Dr. Zafaralla has a Ph.D. in environmental science from UPD. She has taught courses in botany, phycology, plant physiology, environmental impact assessment, structure and dynamics of ecosystems, to name a few, at the IBS, SESAM and Open University for 40 years before she retired. She is Professor Emeritus in Botany and Environmental Science. She has written a monograph on the Microalgae of Taal Lake, and to come out soon is her new book on the Microalgae of the Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, Laguna. She has to her name 25 national and local awards from respected national institutions, and 11 recognition awards for her contributions to science through scientific publications in both ISI and refereed journals, and most especially for spear-heading the rehabilitation and restoration of degraded streams, and for elucidating on the possible causes of the fish kill phenomenon in Taal Lake, and for “making a difference in the local communities where she works for stream restoration, conservation and protection”.
Her major awards are: Lifetime Achievement Award from the UPAA, an international award, the Mabuhay Award from the American Field Service (AFS) Philippine Chapter for her community work in the restoration of degraded streams, Achievement Award from the NRCP, Nast-Hugh Environmental Science Award from NAST-DOST, Outstanding Teacher in Biology from the UPLB, Outstanding Researcher from the CAS, Outstanding Alumna for Environmental Teaching and Research from the College of Agriculture, Outstanding Microbiologist from the Philippine Society for Microbiology, Diplomate from the Philippine Society for Microbiology, Recognition Award from the DENR Region IV for her contribution in the development and review of the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape Management Program. She is the only faculty member of the CAS for whom a Resolution (No. 2012-53) was passed by the Los Banos Sangguniang Bayan commending her for her work in Molawin Creek. Last year, she and her research staff won the much coveted 2013 Gold Award for Best Paper (Fisheries Category) from the Department of Agriculture for their work in identifying and characterizing the indicators of an approaching lake overturn in Taal Lake leading to a fish kill.
She continues to be active in winning allies, for the IBS in particular and the UPLB in general, in the effort of restoring and rehabilitating degraded streams in Calamba City, Laguna, Tanay, Rizal, and Sta. Rosa City. Her BioPark approach is marked with success as seen in the return and induced robust growth of fish populations when applying her developed UPLB aquatic macrophyte biosorption system (UPLB AMBS). Dr. Zafaralla is no swivel chair researcher-teacher. She walks the talk.