Gomez was conferred the rank of National Scientist in 2014 “for his outstanding
contributions to science particularly his research on marine ecosystems which became the
bases for management of and the conservation programs for the country’s marine
He was known for his notable researches in coral reef ecology and restoration,
conservation of marine resources, reproduction of marine invertebrates and culture of
A founding director of the internationally acclaimed The UP Marine Science Institute from
July 1974 to April 1999, Gomez was conferred the University Professor Emeritus in 2005.
Gomez obtained his BA and BS Education, summa cum laude, from the De La Salle
University in 1962. He later earned his MS in Biology from St. Mary’s University in
Minnesota, USA in 1967 and his PhD in Marine Biology at the Scripps Institution of
Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA in 1973.
He received numerous awards as an expert in the field of marine science. Among his
prestigious awards were the Global 500 Roll of Honour by the United Nation’s Environment
Programme in 1989; the Pew Marine Conservation Fellow in 2001; the Presidential
Lingkod Bayan Award by the Philippine Civil Service Commission in 2000; and The
Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award in Science in 1992. In 1993, he was elected
Academician by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines.
In 2017, Gomez, together with co-authors Mei Lin Neo, Colette C.C. Wabnitz, Richard D.
Braley, Gerald A. Heslinga, Cécile Fauvelot, Simon Van Wynsberge, Ser.G.E. Andréfouët,
Charles Waters, Aileen Shau-Hwai Tan, Mark J. Costello, Peter A. Todd, published their
research on the “Giant clams (Bivalvia: Cardiidae: Tridacninae): A comprehensive update of
species and their distribution, current threats and conservation status” in the book
Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review, Volume 55, 1 st Edition.
Gomez’s works “The spaghetti sponge Callyspongia samarensis (Wilson, 1925) provides
temporary habitat for reef fish recruits” (2016) and “Performance of single versus mixed
coral species for transplantation to restore degraded reefs” (2015) were published by peer-
reviewed international journals such as the Marine Biodiversity (Springer-Verlag) and
Restoration Ecology Journal, respectively. He co-authored both researches with UP MSI
professors Patrick C. Cabaitan, PhD and Helen T. Yap, PhD.—Haidee C. Pineda
Photo credit: National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines