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Friday, June 30, 2006

Prof. Prudencia V. Conlu:

Ichthyologist Par Excellence

By

Melchor F. Cichon

Otolith, April-June 1995, p. 7.

Do you know that one of the most prominent ichthyologists in the Philippine is an Aklanon?

She is no other than Prof. Prudencia V. Conlu, a retired professor and former dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo.

She began as an instructor in ichthyology in the College in 1961 until she rose to the position of full professor in 1981. She also held various administrative positions in the CFOS the latest of which was as dean from 1992 to 1995.

Prof. Conlu was born in Ibajay, Aklan on April 27, 1930. She earned a degree of Bachelor of Science in Education, major in Biology in 1952 at the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) in Manila. In 1957, she took a special training course in Marine Taxonomy (fishes) and Planktology as a UNESCO fellow at the Oceanographic Institute, Nhanrang, Vietnam. She obtained her Master of Science in Zoology degree at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia as a Colombo Plan Fellow in 1961. Again in 1964, Prof. Conlu became a UNESCO fellow in Advanced Courses in Marine Biology: Marine Invertebrates and Fish and Fisheries at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

As an ichthyologist, she was instrumental in the establishment of the College of Fisheries Museum and has written various scientific and technical papers including two landmark books on Philippine fishes. These are the Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna (Fishes), vol IX, published by NRMC, Ministry of Natural Resources and the University of the Philippines in 1986 and Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna (Fishes), vol 1, published by MNR-UPNSRC project funds, in 1982. Also, in recognition of her expertise in fisheries, she has been asked as external examiner for many graduate school theses of universities in the Philippines and abroad.

For her valued contributions for the development of fisheries and fisheries education in the Philippines, Prof. Conlu received 16 citations and awards from various organizations in the country. Some of these are the Likas Yaman Award given by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Pride of Heritage Award as Outstanding Educator of the International Press Research Development Progress. She was also the first to be given the Trident Award as the Most Outstanding College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Faculty by the UP Fisheries Guild of the UP in the Visayas.

She is a member of 19 national and internationally recognized learned societies, professional and scientific organizations like Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society Alpha Chi, Chapter of UP, the New York Academy of Science, and the American Society of Ichthyologist and Herpetologists.

Prof. Conlu retired from the government service one month after her 65th birthday last May 27, 1995. Her colleagues and those she had worked with will always remember her as the lady whose deep love for fishes was expressed through dedication and hard work in her chosen career.