Institute of Biological Sciences Associate Professor and Museum of Natural History Curator for Mammals Phillip A. Alviola is set to be given the prestigious 2017 Outstanding Young Scientist Award by the National Academy of Science and Technology this coming July.

Prof. Alviola is one of three awardees from the University of the Philippines System and the lone awardee from the UP Los Banos campus. A wildlife biologist with an experience of over 20 years, Prof. Alviola has substantially contributed to the fields of mammalian ecology and taxonomy, cave biology, conservation biology, and bat virology.

He has published either as sole or co-author 26 scientific papers in ISI-indexed and prestigious high-impact journals. He belongs to the list of most cited scientists from Philippines based on Google Scholar.

In the early years of his career, Prof. Alviola has contributed substantially in the development of methodologies for the monitoring of biological diversity in protected areas. As a mammalogist, he has authored/co-authored 13 papers on mammalian taxonomy, and diversity on mountain ecosystems. Prof. Alviola’s research involvements resulted in the description of 10 new mammals (including a new genus and subgenus), and testing of several hypotheses on mammalian ecology.

In recent years, Prof. Alviola has embarked on studying the diversity and ecology of cave-dwelling bats in the Philippines. His recent experiences in working at several cave systems in the country have become instrumental when he helped institute the Cave Ecology (BIO 154) course at UPLB, the first of its kind in the Philippines.

He has also contributed to studies on bat viruses and public health. As a bat biologist, he has helped foreign and Filipino virologists capture and identify bats, and isolate novel viruses (and antibodies) from them. Together with foreign collaborators, Prof. Alviola became part of some six publications on potentially zoonotic viruses and pathogens of bats.

Prof. Alviola is a "child" of the Museum, having been exposed to the MNH's work and activities during his growing years. Even before he finished college, he has been involved in some of the Museum's expeditions led by his father, the late Prof. Pedro L. Alviola III. He eventually started his academic career at the Museum and steadily rose from the ranks after transferring to the Institute of Biological Sciences.

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