UPLB Museum of Natural History curator for composites and lichens Dr. William Sm. Gruezo was recently honoured by the UP Alumni Association (UPAA) as one of the UPAA Distinguished Alumni Awardees at its 2014 UP Grand Alumni-Faculty Homecoming and Reunion, on June 21. He has been named as a Distinguished Alumni in Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development.

According to the 2014 UP Alumni Association Yearbook "Bagong Tagsibol," Dr. Gruezo’s scientific accomplishments for more than 40 years have immensely advanced the environmental and natural resources conservation efforts of the Philippines. Dr. Gruezo is cited as an accomplished taxonomist, scientist and University Professor who has produced several scientific and technical publications, including books, book chapters and journal articles on floral diversity. One of the books and 20 ISI journals articles have been given International Publication Awards by the UP system.

In recognition of his contributions in taxonomy, several new species of gymnosperm, mites and spider have been named after Dr. Gruezo. The numerous biological collections he obtained during field studies here and abroad have been studied by other systematists and used as type materials of new genera and new species. He was commissioned by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) to update the works of the late Prof. Juan Pancho on the plants of Mount Makiling resulting in the publication of two books by NAST-DOST.

Dr. Gruezo was involved in three internationally funded biodiversity programmes which are instrumental in determining the current conservation status of many endemic and indigenous plants of the Philippines. With the DENR, he has helped draw up a list of threatened plants and economically important plants as the backbone of a nationwide plant conservation and food security program.

The numerous biodiversity and environmental impact assessment studies of Dr. Gruezo are significant scientific contributions to the search for immediate solutions to biodiversity loss, food supply shortage and problems of global climate change.

Dr. Gruezo is multi awarded. The most recent significant recognition was the 2009 UPLB Outstanding Researcher Award and the UPLB Outstanding Alumnus Award (Natural Resources Conservation).

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