Mary Chona E. del Castillo worked as an associate scientist for an international fisheries research organization in Southeast Asia (SEAFDEC/AQD) before she began teaching at UA&P. She has more than 10 years of experience conducting research in the fields of marine sciences, fisheries, and biotechnology. She holds a master’s degree in fisheries from the University of the Philippines Visayas and a master’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Queensland. Her current research interests include biotechnology of microalgae, with emphasis on isolation and evaluating the potential of using microalgal biomass as an environmentally acceptable biofuel feedstock in an effort to find a sustainable alternative source of biofuel.
She received the Philippine Department of Agriculture Secretary’s Award in 2003 for her scientific paper entitled “Transport of hatchery-reared and wild grouper larvae, Epinephelus sp.,” and the University of Asia and the Pacific Research Award in 2010 for her scientific paper entitled “Enrichment potential of HUFA-rich thraustochytrid Schizochytrium mangrovei for the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis.” Both were published in the international journal Aquaculture.