Professor Gay Jane P. Perez, PhD wins the top award of the 2018 ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women. She is the first Filipino to receive the prestigious award, besting 45 other scientists in the region.
An associate professor at the UP Institute of Environmental Sciences and Meteorology (IESM), Perez won for her research on improving yield using satellite observations, together with various models and ground data. Her work aims to better derive and develop prediction tools for agriculture in the Philippines. Using the remotely sensed data, Perez examines spatial distribution of vegetation, amount of precipitation, temperature variability and soil moisture content to assess drought impacts in Philippine agriculture.
Perez currently serves as IESM Deputy Director for Research and Extension. She received her PhD in Physics from the UP National Institute of Physics in 2009, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center in the USA, from May 2010 until December 2011. Perez is also a Project Scientist of the Philippines’ microsatellites, Diwata-1 and Diwata-2.
Now on its fourth year, the ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women is given out by the ASEAN, the US Agency for International Development, and the Underwriter’s Laboratory, a global safety science company. The award aims to identify, recognize and encourage ASEAN-based women, 40 years of age or younger, who are applying science to solve various challenges. This year’s prize seeks to recognize female scientists from the ASEAN region who are achieving excellence in the field of precision agriculture. Winners receive US$20,000.