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Ecology and Systematics

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Mission and Core Values


The Ecology and Systematics Research Cluster and Workgroup explores the Philippine and SE Asian biodiversity by taxonomic and evolutionary research and the study of organisms and their manifold interactions with the environment.



By the use of a wide range of methods in field and laboratory research, this workgroup studies the diversity and distribution of organisms, their habitat requirements and interactions with humans and the environment. A major goal is to study threats to the long-term survival of indigenous species and to deduce conservation strategies for endangered wildlife. The range of organisms in focus reach from microbes to cetaceans. Most attention is given to the study of aquatic ecosystems and their associated biotic components, namely tropical oceans, streams and stagnant inland waters.

Several new taxa of Philippine and Asian freshwater invertebrates have been discovered and scientifically described by members of the workgroup and their collaborators.



Current Team


Dr. H. Freitag (head)

Dr. C. Lopez

Mr. R. Cruz

Mr. J.L. Robil

Mr. Z.A.N. Maini

Ms. A.R. Eda

Mr. P.R.S. Joson

Mr. J.P. Yan

Mr. C.V. Pangantihon (RA)

Current Projects


Survey and Evaluation of Rural Landscape Biodiversity of Roxas, Oriental Mindoro, with Identification and Scientific Description of Taxa New to Science and Identification of Priority Areas for Conservation (Dr. H. Freitag, Dr. M. Chan; CHED: PHERNet)


Philippine Microbial Biodiversity (Ms. M.K. Constantino, Dr. C. Lopez, Ms. P. Gulpeo)


"Rainforestation Farming": Indigenous Forest Rehabilitation for Biodiversity Conservation and Promotion of Sustainable Income for the Rural Communities of Roxas, Oriental Mindoro (Dr. H. Freitag, BOx Ateneo Biological Organisation; PHERnet)


Taxonomic surveys and molecular-genetic analysis of aquatic arthropods in biogeographic micro-regions with insufficiently known fauna in the Philippines (Dr. H. Freitag, Mr. Z. Maini; Ateneo University Research Grant)


Aquatic biodiversity, conservation, & systematics of stream dwelling insects & decapods (Dr. H. Freitag, Mr. C.V. Pangantihon)


SEABIO A SE Asian EU Scientific Consortium for Interdisciplinary Biodiversity Research (in cooperation with the National Museum of the Philippines and research institutions from Austria, Cambodia, Germany, Thailand; SEA-EU-NET & DOST)




Department of Biology, Ateneo de Manila University

Rm 105-A G/F Science Education Complex-A,

Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights

1108 Quezon City, Philippines

Phone: (02) 426 6001 ext. 5610

Fax: (02) 426 1034

E-mail: biology[at]ateneo.edu