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Within the ocean thrives a diversity of life uniquely adapted to the challenges of a dynamic, and sometimes extreme, environment. Our research interest lies in exploring the genomic complement of marine organisms to reveal the keys to their success in various ecological niches, as well as to gain insight into the origin and evolution of animal diversity and complexity.


We apply next-generation sequencing and techniques in molecular biology to elucidate gene composition, expression dynamics, and the regulatory networks that control different aspects of marine life, such as developmental transitions and responses to changing ocean conditions.


The Marine Molecular Biology Laboratory is part of the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Many of our experiments are conducted at the Bolinao Marine Laboratory in Bolinao, Pangasinan. We welcome collaborations with students and experts from diverse fields.



Gene expression dynamics

Organismal responses to stress

Transcriptome dynamics

Regulatory mechanisms

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Evolution and development

Larval development

Comparative gene expression

Genome evolution

Early nervous system evolution

Marine symbiosis

Symbiosis and resilience

Holobiont interactions

Microbial community diversity


Coral resilience and adaptation (Part of the Regional Coral Restoration Networks in the Philippines and Australia Project)

The aim of this project is to enhance survival of coral larvae and recruits by selective breeding from heat-tolerant broodstock and co-culture of heat-tolerant microalgal photosymbionts. Funded by ACIAR

Investigating the genetic basis of adaptive capacity in mesophotic organisms (Part of the Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems Program)

The aim of this project is to provide a global view of genetic changes in the holobiont that underlie adaptation to mesophotic habitats. Funded by DOST-PCAARRD

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