Dr. Maria Victoria Ortega-Espaldon
Second Keynote Speaker
Dr. Ortega-Espaldon is a UP Scientist and a professor at the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), University of the Philippines - Los Baños (UPLB). She was conferred Doctor of Geography by the University of Guelph, and has from then held academic positions at UPLB, as a Dean of SESAM from 2006-2011 and a Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension from 2011-2014.
Aside from teaching, she finds joy in doing a kaleidoscope of tasks. She is an active member of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Technical Committee on Environmental Science; serves as program leader of a DOST-PCAARRD funded program on Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry or SARAI. She also co-chairs the Climate Risks Study Center of UPLB, a new interdisciplinary center which began in 2007. Dr. Ortega-Espaldon also co-athoured a book with 14 other Filipino scientist entitled “Changing Philippine Climate: Impacts on Agriculture and Natural Resources” published by UP Press in 2014. The book received the 2015 Outstanding Book Award by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). She also received a Special Citation for Environmental Science from the NAST in 2014.
As if her credentials are not enough to prove her dedication, a newly found species of Hoya found in Polillo Island in Quezon Province, the Hoya espaldoniana, was named after Dr. Ortega-Espaldon, in honor of her diligence and continuous support in environmental education and conservation of Philippine biodiversity.