Prof. Prudencia V. Conlu, 86
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” —Benjamin Franklin
Prof. Prudencia V. Conlu was one of the pioneering faculty and the first woman Dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), the Flagship College of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), since 1992 until her retirement in May 1995.
She was instrumental in the establishment of the UPV Museum of Natural Sciences at the UPV Miagao campus in 1989. The museum housed a collection of various Philippine flora and fauna particularly the collection of fishes and aquatic invertebrates for classroom instruction.
An ichthyologist, Conlu was a recipient of numerous awards and citations from UPV and various organizations in the country for her outstanding contributions in fisheries development and fisheries education in the Philippines including the “Likas Yaman Award” given by the Ministry of Natural Resources for her book, “Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna.” She also received the Pride of Heritage Award as Outstanding Educator of the International Press Research Development Progress and the first Trident Award as the Most Outstanding CF Faculty by the UP Fisheries Guild.
Prof. Conlu was a member of professional and scientific organizations like the Philippine Association of University Women (UP Chapter), Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society Alpha Chi Chapter, Systematic Biologist of the Philippines, the New York Academy of Science, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologist, and European Ichthyological Union, among others.
Moreover, Conlu was one of the pillars of the Philippine Fish Systematics and Taxonomy, founding member of the Asian Fisheries Society, and founding adviser of the UP Ichthyophilic Society, a College-based organization of CFOS.
Prof. Conlu was born on April 27, 1930 in Ibajay, Aklan. She finished her Bachelor of Science in Education major in Biology from the University of Sto. Tomas in 1952. She also earned her Master of Science in Zoology from the same University in 1960. She took up a special training course in Marine Taxonomy (Fishes) and Planktology as a UNESCO fellow at the Oceanographic Institute in Nhatrang, Vietnam in 1957. She was a Colombo Plan Fellow at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia for her Diploma in Marine Biology in 1961. She became a UNESCO fellow again in Advanced Courses in Marine Biology: Marine Vertebrates and Fisheries at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in 1964.
She represented the country to the international European Ichthyological Congress in Warsaw, Poland and Budapest, Hungary in 1979 and 1988, respectively.
Prof. Conlu joined our Creator on February 26, 2017. She may have passed away, but her legacies remain. She will always be remembered by her colleagues, students, peers and family. (With sources from Soledad Garibay, UPV-MNS and Melchor F. Cichon. Prof. Prudencia V. Conlu: Ichthyologist Par Excellence. Otolith. 1995)