Deo Florence L. Onda, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Deputy Director for Research 

Interuniversity PhD in Oceanography (Microbial Oceanography)
Université Laval, Quebéc City, Québec, Canada

Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany

Research Interests: 
Understanding host-symbiont interactions, microbial biogeography, diversity, dynamics and trophic interactions and consequences of changing conditions using -omics approaches (genomics, transcriptomics and metagenomics), other molecular methods and advanced techniques in confocal laser scanning microscopy

Selected Publications:
  • Beringuella RT, Purganan DJE, Azanza RV, Onda DFL. (In press). Spatio-temporal variation an assocuaion of epiphytic dinoflagellate-diatom assemblages on selected reg algae (Rhodophyceae). The European Journal of Phycology.
  • Onda DFL, Gomez NCF, Purganan DJE, Tolentino MP, Bitalac JM, Calpito JV, Perez JN, Viernes AC. (2020). Marine microbes and plastic debris: research status and opportunities in the Philippines. Philippine Journal of Science, 149(1):89-100. 
  • Albelda RL, Purganan DJ, Gomez NC, Calalang PC, Genovia TGT, Narvarte BCD, Gernato EM, San Diego-McGlone ML, Bondoc KG, Onda DFL. (2019). Summer phytoplankton community structure and distribution in an aquaculture-intensive coastal environment. Philippine Science Letters, 12(2):157-166.
  • Dungca-Santos J, Caspe JO, Tablizo F, Purganan DJ, Azanza RV, Onda DFL. (2019). Algicidal potentials of cultivable bacteria from pelagic waters against toxic dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense (Dinophyceae). Journal of Applied Phycology.
  • Onda DFL, Santos MAG, Dela Cruz-Papa D, Yniguez A, Siringan MA, Azanza RV. (In review). Microbial oceanography studies in the context of climate change in the Philippines. Submitted to Philippine Science Letters,  12 (1):9-23.
  • Joli N, Gosselin M, Ardyna M, Babin M, Onda DFL, Tremblay JE, Lovejoy C. (2018). Need for focus on microbial species following ice melt and changing freshwater regimes in a Janus Arctic Gateway. Scientific Reports, 8:9405.
  • Onda DFL, Medrinal E, Comeau A, Babin M, Lovejoy C. (2017). Seasonal and interannual ciliate and dinoflagellate species assemblages in Amundsen Gulf (Arctic). Frontiers in Marine Science, Aquatic Microbiology 4: 1-16. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00016
  • Onda DFL, Lluisma AO and Azanza RV. (2015). Potential DMSP-degrading bacterial assemblage dominates endosymbitoic microflora of Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum (Dinophyceae) in vitro. Archives of Microbiology 197:965-71.
  • Marquez GPB, Reichardt WT, Azanza RV, Onda DFL, Lluisma AO, Hasegawa T and Montaño NME. (2015). Dominance of hydrogenotrophic methanogens at the peak of biogas production in thalassic digesters.  Waste and Valorization.DOI: 10.1007/s12649-014-9325-4
  • Onda DFL, Azanza RV and Lluisma AO. (2014). Development, morphological characteristics and viability of temporary cysts of Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum (Dinophyceae) in vitro. The European Journal of Phycology 49:265-275.
  • Onda DFL, Benico G, Sulit AF, Gaite PL, Azanza RV and Lluisma AO. (2013). Morphological and molecular characterization of some HAB-forming dinoflagellates from Philippine waters. The Philippine Science Letters 6(1):1-10. (NAST Outstanding Scientific Paper 2014)
  • Marquez GPB, Reichardt WT, Azanza RV, Onda DFL, Lluisma AO, Hasegawa T and Montaño NME. (2015). Dominance of hydrogenotrophic methanogens at the peak of biogas production in thalassic digesters. Waste and Valorization.DOI: 10.1007/s12649-014-9325-4.
  • Azanza RV, Vargas VMD, Fukami K, Keshavmurthy S, Onda DF and Azanza PV. (2013). Culturable algalytic bacteria isolated from seaweeds in the Philippines and Japan. Journal of Environmental Science and Management 1:1-10.
  • Manset KJV, Azanza RV and Onda DFL. (2013). Algicidal bacteria from fish cultures in Bolinao, Pangasinan, Northern Philippines. Journal of Environmental Science and Management 1:11-20.
  • Benico G, Onda DFL, Munar J, Lluisma A, Cruz L, Iwataki M and Azanza R. (Submitted). First report of Alexandrium catenella toxic clade from Philippine Tropical Asian waters: evidence from morphology, phylogeny and toxicity. Harmful Algae.
  • Onda DFL, Lovejoy C. (Submitted). Dinoflagellates in size fractionated samples from the Canada Basin, Western Arctic Ocean. The Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology.
  • Joli N, Ardyna M, Onda DFL, Babin M, Gosslin M, Lovejoy C. (Submitted). Baffin Bay: The Janus Gateway. Scientific Reports.

Ongoing Research Projects/Collaborations

  • Program Leader. PLASMEATS: Plastics in the marine environment, aquaculture, and trophic systems. National Research Council of the Philippines – DOST. March 2020 to February 2022.
  • Project leader. Biodiversity in WPS. National Security Council, March 2020 to March 2021.
  • Program Leader and Chief Scientist, Predicting Responses between Ocean Transport and Ecological Connectivity of Threatened ecosystems in the West Philippines Sea (PROTECT-WPS). Funding: DENR-CMEMP-BMB, April 2019 – April 2020.
  • Project Leader, Co-occurrence and association of parasitic Amoebophrya (Syndiniales) with toxic dinoflagellates (Dinophyceae) in Philippine waters. Funding: Balik PhD, OVPAA - UP System, January 2018 – December 2020.
  • Project Leader, Microbes-Plastics Interaction: Potential roles of microorganisms on the fate of plastics in the marine environment. Funding: OVCRD PhD Incentives Award. February 2018 – January 2021.
  • Project Leader, Dangerous hitchhikers: Investigating harmful phytoplankton species associated with floating plastic debris in the marine environment. Funding: OVPAA Enhanced Creative Writing and Research Grant (ECWRG). September 2018 – March 2020.
  • Project Leader, Diversity and parasitism of Amoebophrya spp. as potential HABs biocontrol. Funding: UP MSI In-house Grant. January 2018 – December 2021. 
  • Project Staff, Project 2. Fine-scale characterization of plankton community composition dynamics for enhanced modeling of harmful algal blooms. Funding: DOST-GIA through PCAARRD. March 2018 – February 2021. Collaborator: Dr. Katja Metfies, Alfred Wegener Institute – Hemholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Germany. 


MS Students (Graduated )

         Romella Beringuela (MSc, 2019), Thesis: Spatio-temporal variability and association in the epiphytic dinoflagellate-diatom assemblages of red                      algae (Rhodophyta)

         Jenelle Clarisse Dungca-Santos (MSc, 2019), Thesis: Algicidal activity of cultivable bacteria from pelagic waters against the toxic dinoflagellate                  Pyrodinium bahamense (Dinophyceae) 

MS Students (Ongoing)

         Maria Anna Michaela dela Cruz (MSc), Thesis: Host-parasite dynamics between Amoebophrya spp. (Syndiniales) and host dinoflagellates in               mariculture-impacted areas in the Philippines

         Mark Paolo Tolentino (MSc), Thesis: Floating plastic debris as potential dispersal mechanism of ‘dangerous hitchhikers’ in the marine                             environment

         Daniel John Purganan (MSc), Thesis: Temporal succession and mechanisms of attachment of marine microorganisms in floating marine plastic           debris

         Norchel Corcia Gomez (MSc), Thesis: Structure and biodegradation potential of microbial communities in plastics-enriched marine                                 environments 

         Alvin Caril (MSc), Thesis: Community structuring and association of phytoplankton and their viruses (Phycodnaviridae) in atolls and reefs of                   Kalayaan Island Group (West Philippine Sea)

         Alvin Claine Viernes (MSc), Thesis: Characterization of plastic-degrading bacterial isolated from plastics enriched environments of Manila Bay

         Justine Marey Bitalac (MSc), Thesis: Isolation and characterization of plastics-degrading microbes from plastics enriched marine environments

         John Bennedick Quijano (MSc), Thesis: Diversity and distribution of picoeukaryotes in the South China Sea

         Nickolo Perez (MSc), Thesis: Nutrient dynamics of microbial communities forming in the plastics surface or plastisphere 

         Jahanna Calpito (MSc), Thesis: Optimization and standardization of fluorescence-based techniques in identifying and quantifying                                     phytoplankton in Philippine Seas

Microbial Oceanography Laboratory