One of the new members of the Q-quatics Team, Roesyvette ‘Roesy’ Hernandez, is a recipient of the “Accelerating Growth to One Research and Extension in Action (AGORA) Research Grant” bestowed by her alma mater the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA).
The search for AGORA student research grantees was initiated by the OVCSA in February 2022 as part of the University’s continuous efforts to expose students to research and extension during their undergraduate studies. It awards a student or a group of bonafide undergraduate or graduate students with outstanding proposals that provide solutions to specific problems in the four research focus areas of AGORA –food security and sovereignty, resiliency and sustainability, future communities and institutions, and One Health.
Shortly before joining Q-quatics, Roesy and three other students from the Bachelor of Science in Biology program of UPLB –Angelica D. Magtagñob, Jyeshaira Mhae G. Amores, and Gabrielle Marie L. Cruz, under the guidance of Dr. Ronilo Jose D. Flores from the Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS), College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) received the AGORA research grant for the ‘One Health’ focus area for their undergraduate research “Microbial Water Quality Analysis of Surface Water in Different Segments of Molawin River in the University of the Philippines Los Baños Campus.” The main purpose of the project is to achieve a level of understanding of the health of the river as affected by humans and vice versa.
The research grant is worth Php75,000 for each of the four focus areas and each team is given one year to conduct their research.
“This award reminds us that taking chances can lead to surprising success, as we have just submitted our proposal for our special problem topic,” Roesy said. “This award is also a responsibility because we must strive and provide an output that is beneficial to our community and be an inspiration to other students.”
As one of the AGORA grant awardees, Ms. Hernandez was invited to participate in the recently concluded 114th UPLB Foundation Day to present the AGORA video and their project on behalf of ‘Team Molawin River’ as part of the UPLB Convocation Program and Awarding Ceremonies held on 6 March 2023 at the Charles Fuller Baker Memorial Hall in UP Los Baños, Laguna.
Roesy is a Research Assistant at Q-quatics since October 2022 for the DigIn -–a project funded by the National Science Foundation of the United States of America in collaboration with the Florida Museum (University of Florida) which aims to improve the accessibility and sustainability of marine biodiversity data. She documents marine biodiversity through the digitization of invertebrate collection particularly in the georeferencing working group of the marine and freshwater specimens from different partner museums/institutions.
“I am thankful to Q-quatics because they are very open and supportive of these kinds of professional developments,” Roesy remarks. “Working here also has given me the chance to be near our study site and gain knowledge that is applicable to our study, especially georeferencing.”
According to Roesy, Dr Daniel Pauly is one of her biggest inspirations, particularly for his many contributions in the field of fisheries science being one of the world’s most cited fisheries scientists. “I also look up to my coworkers, who are the backbone of research in the field of marine science,” she said.
“Just months of being on the team, I have discovered new things about me and my capabilities in the workplace,” Roesy added. “I also recognized the importance of collaboration in every aspect of doing research.”