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PIA Press Release
2010/08/13

Academician Prescillano Martinez Zamora, 77

Quezon City (13 August) -- Dr. Prescillano Martinez Zamora, the nation's top-notched icon on plant anatomy-morphology studies succumb to heart attack on Tuesday (August 3) at 9:30 p.m.

The National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), Philippines, the country's highest recognition and advisory body on science and technology, joins the scientific community in the mourning of the death of Dr. Zamora, who was chiefly recognized for his works on plant anatomy-morphology, pteridophyte biology, and the preservation of environment and natural resources policy studies.

His work on the xylem elements of vascular plants is the basis for the formulation of the two-phase wall deposition concept now accepted worldwide. His extensive researches on the taxonomy of Philippine ferns led to the detection for additional species of the group. He has been a consistent supporter of the conservation of the environment in the Philippines and a supporter of natural resources policy research.

Dr. Zamora's basic studies on the structure and development of xylem elements of vascular plants, which are cited on textbooks have impacted the academic segment of society especially students of biology. Moreover, his basic studies on fern biology yielded five species of plants, putting the country on the world map of science.

On July 1982, in view of his recognized expertise in the biology of lower plants in the Southeast Asia, he was selected by the Faculty of Science, University of Hong Kong as External Examiner for a Ph.D. student with the dissertation entitled "A Taxonomic Reassessment of the Hong Kong Fern Allies with Special Reference to Selaginella Beauv."

His involvement on the field of studies on mangrove areas in the country and his own policy research studies on the nation's mangrove resources have helped trigger the formulation of guidelines or strategies and later the issuance of two Presidential Proclamations for the conversation of said resources in which the ultimate beneficiaries include all segments of society but most especially the lowly sustenance fishermen.

Dr. Prescillano Zamora was a Rockefeller Foundation Member at Cornell University from 1961 to 1965; a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research grantee from 1962 to1965; and UP Professorial Chair holder from 1977 to 1980. He was also a recipient of the Likas Yaman Award from the Ministry of Natural Resources given in Malacaņang in 1979 and was listed in the International Directory of Distinguished Leadership (8th edition) in 1999.

He was elected Member by NAST in 1987 as recognition for his important contributions to the advancement of biological studies in the Philippines. Prior to his retirement, he served as Director of the Institute of Biology, College of Science in UPD, and was also Director of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS).

Dr. Zamora, who hails from San Nicholas, Pangasinan completed his baccalaureate degree in Botany from the University of the Philippines, Diliman (UPD) in 1952. He obtained his M.S. degree in Botany and Ph.D. in Plant Anatomy Morphology from the Cornell University, New York in 1958 and 1996, respectively. (PIA) [top]

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