The first speaker is Joseph Jesse Fenichel. Jesse is currently a PhD student in sociology at Northeastern University. Prior to enrolling at Northeastern, he attended New York University School of Law and practiced for five years as a lawyers in New York City. Jesse’s presentation is entitled; The Legal Process Outsourcing Industry and the Status Hierarchy of the Philippine Legal Profession. This Fulbright research was part of a broader dissertation research on the globalization of the international market for legal services. Using a mixture of methods, the research examined the nature of the jobs created in the Philippines by the Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) industry and their place in the status hierarchy of the Philippine legal profession. The hypothesis underlying this research was that the relative status of LPO industry jobs in different legal markets will be an important factor in determining where LPO firms are able to successfully attract enough talented lawyers to “move up the value chain” and capture more sophisticated — and more profitable — legal work.
The second speaker is Sally Feng. She is a recent graduate with a B.S. in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her stay in the Philippines, she has been involved in coral reef restoration projects at the Bolinao Marine Lab, the official marine station of UP MSI. Her interests include marine conservation and environmental education. The title of her presentation is Removing Drupella Snails One by One from the Bolinao-Anda Reef. — The Philippines, located at the apex of the Coral triangle, has the second largest coral reef in Southeast Asia. Coral reefs provide many benefits to the ecosystem and economy. Unfortunately, they are under threat from natural disasters, human interferences and marine predators. For this project, the research looked into the prey choice of a corallivorous gastropod, Drupella, and the effect of its removal from the Bolinao-Anda reef. Along the way, the research provided opportunities for participation in outreach events educating children, young adults, and fishermen about the importance of corals.
Robert Fidler is the last speaker. He is a Ph.D. student at the Florida Institute of Technology. He received an M.S. in Marine Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2013, and a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Environmental and Biological Conservation from the University of Virginia in 2010. His research interests include microevolutionary processes, fisheries evolution, and the realized biological impacts of active conservation programs. His presentation is entitled; Fish for the Future: The Impact of Marine-Protected Areas on Fisheries Evolution. — The Philippines is widely considered to be the epicenter of global marine biodiversity. The vital marine resources of the country, however, face increasing threats from a variety of anthropogenic sources. Most notably, fisheries, which provide 70% of the protein intake of the Philippines, have places intense pressure on fish populations throughout the country. In response, the Philippines has increasingly turned to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – areas in which fishing is prohibited – as the primary tool of marine resource management. Although previous studies have repeatedly shown significantly higher fish density and biomass within MPAs compared to adjacent fished reefs, little attention has been given to the evolutionary implications of MPAs. In addition to reducing population size, size-selective fishing pressure causes directional shifts in body size toward the predominance of smaller and early maturing individuals in exploited populations. Small, early-maturing fish exhibit significantly reduced reproductive output, and therefore, reduced fitness. This research was designed to analyze whether MPAs can mitigate or reverse these negative life-history shifts in exploited fish populations by addressing the following question: Does MPA protection promote changes in the associations among fish age, length, and sexual maturity towards faster growth, later maturation, and increases in overall fish health and reproduction?