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  • University of the Philippines Visayas, Miagao, Iloilo
Dr. Mary Jane A. Amar, University Researcher I (Career Scientist I)

Dr. Mary Jane A. Amar, University Researcher I (Career Scientist I)

Translating scientific research projects into tangible technologies has been a huge consideration in crafting various research proposals. Having a bird’s eye view of the community’s current needs is a huge advantage and a skill to be developed for budding researchers. With her expertise in the field of aquaculture, Dr. Mary Jane A. Amar has established her name in aquaculture, translating her research into promising technologies that benefit various stakeholders.

Dr. Mary Jane A. Amar graduated with a BS in Fisheries degree at UP Visayas. She pursued her graduate studies, both her master’s and PhD at Tokyo University of Fisheries (TUF) which is now known as Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT). Before obtaining her graduate degree, she worked as a contractual research assistant at UP Visayas Institute of Aquaculture for 2 years, then she became a University Research Associate I. After a few years of obtaining her PhD, she was promoted to University Researcher I. Due to her various scientific accomplishments, in 2013, she was conferred the Career Scientist I position by the Scientific Career System, DOST-NAST. Her research interests include, Fish Nutrition and Health, Biotechnology, and Bivalve Seed Production.

When she finished her bachelor’s degree, the aquaculture industry was booming, there were many promising opportunities in the private sector. However, the first job that she landed was a Research Assistant under the Fisheries Sector Program (FSP)-funded project in UP Visayas. This sparked her interest in research and significantly influenced her to pursue a career in the field of research.

For Dr. Amar, all the research projects she conducted were challenging and every research brings a unique type of challenge. But the most memorable one she considered was their research on the hatchery of green mussels. There were a lot of factors beyond their control, especially the occurrence of natural calamities, including red tide which affected their broodstock collection and hatchery operations on top of the COVID-19 pandemic during the study. Overcoming these challenges and generating a technology that could benefit the mussel industry was truly rewarding.

One of the most important steps in making a research project is crafting a promising proposal. As for Dr. Amar, one of the essential considerations in doing a research proposal is the industry relevance of the research, research should not be conducted for the sake of research. It should not end with a publication but with a technique or a product useful to the industry. Moreover, she also emphasized the funding or financial support for the project. She believes that there are a lot of innovations that have failed to be materialized because of inadequate funding. As a researcher, one’s goal should be to demonstrate that his/her results have answered the problem that had been identified, which means that some experiments will be repeated to verify that the positive results are not due to chance, and this is not possible with a meager budget.

It is truly rewarding to have great mentors in the field of research. Dr. Amar’s advice to those who are starting their research careers, especially young researchers, is to emulate the more experienced researchers and do well-designed experiments. They should also enjoy and love their work, be passionate and stay focused in all that they do.