Maria Helena T. Yap, Ph.D.





Doctor rerum naturalium 

University of Rostock, German Democratic Republic 


Research Interests: 

Coral Reef Ecology, Complex Systems 

Selected Publications:

  • Azcuna, M., J. O. Tun, H. T. Yap, and G. P. Concepcion. (2018) Callyspongia samarensis (Porifera) extracts exhibit anticancer activity and induce bleaching in Porites cylindrica (Scleractinia). Chemistry and Ecology, DOI: 10.1080/02757540.2018.1437148.
  • Labao, A.B., P.C. Naval, Jr., D.L.T. Yap, and H.T. Yap. (2017) Influencing rural livelihood switching through equipment assets for agroecosystems to alleviate pressure on resources. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 248: 96-104.
  • Benjamin, C.S., A.T. Punongbayan, D.W. dela Cruz, R.D. Villanueva, M.V.B. Baria and H.T. Yap. (2016) Use of Bayesian analysis with individualbased modeling to project outcomes of coral restoration. Restoration Ecology, doi: 10.1111/rec.12395. 
  • de la Cruz D.W., B. Rinkevich, E.D. Gomez and H.T. Yap.  (2015) Assessing an abridged nursery phase for slow growing corals used in coral restoration. Ecological Engineering 84: 408-415. 
  • Wagner, A., D.L.T. YAP and H.T. Yap. (2015) Drivers and consequences of land use patterns in a developing country rural community. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 214: 78-85. 
  • Cabaitan, P.C., E.D. Gomez and H.T. Yap. (2015) The spaghetti sponge Callyspongia samarensis (Wilson, 1925) provides temporary habitat for reef fish recruits. Marine Biodiversity, doi: 10.1007/s12526-015-0410-0. 
  • Cabaitan, P.C., H.T. Yap, and E.D. Gomez. (2015) Performance of single versus mixed coral species for transplantation to restore degraded reefs. Restoration Ecology 23: 349-356. 
  • Yap, H.T., D.M.L. Espita, M.N.E. Montaño, C.S. Benjamin and E.D. Gomez. (2014) Biochemical comparison of bleaching and non-bleaching Montipora digitata (Order Scleractinia) in the Philippines. Philippine Science Letters 7: 293-299. 6 
  • Yap, H.T. (2013) Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines: pushing the envelope. Philippine Science Letters 6: 204-205 (Editorial). 
  • Gomez, E.D., P.C. Cabaitan, H.T. Yap and R.M. Dizon. (2013) Can coral cover be restored in the absence of natural recruitment and reef recovery? Restoration Ecology doi: 10.1111/rec.12041. 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2012) Coral reef ecosystems. In Meyers RA (ed), Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, pp 2489-2509, Springer, New York/Heidelberg 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2012) Climate change and disaster science in the Philippine setting. Philippine Science Letters 5: 53-54 (Editorial).
  • Yap, Helen T. (2011) A perilous future for coral reefs. Conservation Biology 25: 205-206 (Book review). 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2011) Reverie Alvarez-Molina and Caryl S. Benjamin. Factors promoting coral-algal transition in coral transplantation experiments. Philippine Science Letters 4: 60-69. 
  • Gomez, E.D., H.T. Yap, P. C. Cabaitan and R.M. Dizon. (2011) Successful transplantation of a fragmenting coral, Montipora digitata, for reef rehabilitation. Coastal Management 39: 556-574.
  • Villanueva, R.D., H.T. Yap, and N.M.E. Montaño. (2011) Reproductive effects of the water-accommodated fraction of a natural gas condensate in the Indo-Pacific reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 74: 2268-2274. 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2010) Disaster after disaster. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 60: 153-154 (Editorial). 
  • Malone, T., M. Davidson, P. DiGiacomo, E. Gonçalves, T. Knap, J. Muelbert, J. Parslow, N. Sweijd, T. Yanagi and H. Yap. (2010) Climate change, sustainable development and coastal ocean information needs. Procedia Environmental Sciences 1: 324-341. 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2009) Local changes in community diversity following coral transplantation. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 374: 33-41.
  • Montebon, A.R.F. and Helen T. Yap. (2009) Abundance, density and size structure of Spirobranchus gaymardi (Polychaeta, Serpulidae) in Philippine coral reefs. Bull. Mar. Sci. 84: 93-108. 7 
  • Palomar, M.J.S., H.T. Yap and E.D. Gomez. (2009) Coral transplant survival over 3 years under different environmental conditions at the Hundred Islands, Philippines. Philipp. Agric. Scientist 92:143-152.
  • Villanueva, R.D., H.T. Yap and M.N.E. Montaño. (2008) Timing of planulation by pocilloporid corals in the northwestern Philippines. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 370: 111-119.  
  • Villanueva, R.D., M.N.E. Montaño and H.T. Yap. (2008) Effects of natural gas condensate-water accommodated fraction on coral larvae. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 56: 1422-1428. 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2007) Coral reef resilience. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 54: 1075-1076 (Editorial). 
  • Norström, A.V., J. Lokrantz, M. Nyström and H.T. Yap. (2007) Influence of dead coral substrate morphology on patterns of juvenile coral distribution. Mar. Biol. 150: 1145-1152. 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2006) Corruption begets pollution. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 52: 1121- 1122 (Editorial). 
  • Dizon, R.M. and H.T. Yap. (2006) Effects of multiple perturbations on the survivorship of fragments of three coral species. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 52: 928-934. 
  • Villanueva, R.D., H.T. Yap and M.N.E. Montaño. (2006) Intensive fish farming in the Philippines is detrimental to the reef-building coral Pocillopora damicornis. Marine Ecol. Prog. Ser. 316:165-174. 
  • Dizon, Raymond T. and H.T. Yap. (2006) Understanding coral reefs as complex systems: degradation and prospects for recovery. Sci. Mar. 70: 219-226. 
  • Dizon, R.M. and H.T. Yap. (2005) Coral responses in single- and mixed-species plots to nutrient disturbance. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 296: 165-172.
  • Dizon, Raymond T. and H.T. Yap. (2005) Effects of coral transplantation in sites of varying distances and environmental conditions. Mar. Biol. DOI 10.1007/s00227-005-0142-y. 
  • Villanueva, R.D., H.T. Yap and M.N.E. Montaño. (2005) Survivorship of coral juveniles in a fish farm environment. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 51: 580-589. 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2004) Differential survival of coral transplants on various substrates under elevated water temperatures. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 49: 306- 312. 8 
  • Sabater, M.G. and H.T. Yap. (2004) Long-term effects of induced mineral accretion on growth, survival and corallite properties of Porites cylindrica Dana. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 311: 355-374. 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2003) Coral reef “restoration” and coral transplantation. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 46: 529 (Editorial). 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2003) and Reverie Alvarez Molina. Comparison of coral growth and survival under enclosed, semi-natural conditions and in the field. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 46: 858-864. 
  • Dizon, R.M. and H.T. Yap. (2003) Metabolic changes and compositional shifts in nutrient-enriched tropical reef sediment communities. Scientia Marina 67: 117-127. 
  • Sabater, M.G. and H.T. Yap. (2002) Growth and survival of coral transplants with and without electrochemical deposition of CaCO3. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 272: 131-146. 
  • Yap, Helen T. (2001) Another look at coral reef degradation. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 42: 527 (Editorial). 
  • Yap, H.T. (2001) A good word on marine reserves, though probably not the last. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 42: 1421-1422 (Book review). 
  • Reyes, M.Z. and H.T. Yap. (2001) Effect of artificial substratum material and resident adults on coral settlement patterns at Danjugan Island, Philippines. Bull. Mar. Sci. 69: 559-566. 
  • Dy, D.T. and H.T. Yap. (2001) Surge ammonium uptake of the cultured seaweed, Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty (Rhodophyta: Gigartinales). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 265: 89-100. 
  • Yap, H.T. (2000)  The case for restoration of tropical coastal ecosystems. Ocean & Coastal Management 43: 841-851. 
  • Dy, D.T. and H.T. Yap. (2000) Ammonium and phosphate excretion in three common echinoderms from Philippine coral reefs. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 251: 227-238. 
  • Yap, H.T. (1999) Sustainable use of coral reef resources: an attainable goal? Asian Journal of Tropical Biology 3:1-8. 9 
  • Dizon, R.M. and H.T. Yap. (1999) Short-term responses of coral reef microphytobenthic communities to inorganic nutrient loading. Limnol. Oceanogr. 44: 1259-1267. 
  • Yap, H.T., (1998) R.M. Alvarez, H.M. Custodio III and R.M. Dizon. Physiological and ecological aspects of coral transplantation. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 229: 69-84.  
  • Yap, H.T., H.M.E. Nacorda and G.S. Jacinto. (1998) Community structure and distribution of soft bottom fauna at various distances from two geothermal discharge sites in the eastern Philippines. Asian Journal of Tropical Biology 2: 9-21. 
  • Custodio, H.M. III and H.T. Yap. (1997) Skeletal extension rates of Porites cylindrica and Porites (Synarea) rus after transplantation to two depths. Coral Reefs 16: 267-268. 
  • Nacorda, H.M.E. and Helen T. Yap. (1997) Structure and temporal dynamics of macroinfaunal communities of a sandy reef flat in the northwestern Philippines. Hydrobiologia 353: 91-106. 
  • Tumanda, M.I., Jr., Helen T. Yap, L. McManus, J.A. Ingles and M.G. Lopez. (1997) Growth, mortality and recruitment pattern of the brown mussel, Modiolus metcalfei (Bivalvia: Mytilacea), in Panguil Bay, southern Philippines. Aquaculture 154: 233-245. 
  • Yap, Helen T. (1996) Attempts at integrated coastal management in a developing country. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 32: 588-591. 
  • Nacorda, H.M.E. and H.T. Yap. (1996) Macroinfaunal biomass and energy flow in a shallow reef flat of the northwestern Philippines. Hydrobiologia 341: 37-49.
  • Yap, H.T., A.R.F. Montebon, J.-A. von Oertzen and R.M. Dizon. (1995) Experimental manipulations of a solitary coral (Fungia, Scleractinia) with emphasis on the effects of light. Bull. Mar. Sci. 56: 319-329. 
  • Montebon, A.R.F. and H.T. Yap. (1995) Metabolic responses of the scleractinian coral Porites cylindrica Dana to water motion. I. Oxygen flux studies. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 186: 33-52. 
  • Montebon, A.R.F. and H.T. Yap.  (1995) A device to enable multi-replicate measurements in dissolved oxygen respirometry. Coral Reefs 14: 54. 
  • Yap, H.T., A.R.F. Montebon and R.M. Dizon. (1994) Energy flow and seasonality in a tropical coral reef flat. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 103: 35-43. 10 
  • Gomez, E.D., P.M. Aliño, H.T. Yap and W.Y. Licuanan. (1994) A review of the status of Philippine reefs. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 29: 62-68. 
  • Yap, H.T. (1993) National activities in the Philippines that may contribute to JGOFS. Bulletin of Marine Science and Technology (R.O.C.) No. 12: 61- 63. 
  • Yap, H.T. (1992) Marine environmental problems: experiences of developing regions. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 25: 37-40. 
  • Yap, H.T. (1992) P.M. Aliño and E.D. Gomez. Trends in growth and mortality of three coral species (Anthozoa: Scleractinia), including effects of transplantation. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 83: 91-101.  
  • Yap, H.T. (1991) Benthic energy dynamics in a southern Baltic ecosystem. Mar. Biol. 108: 477-484. 
  • Yap, H.T., J.A. von Oertzen and U. Schiewer. (1987) Effects of turbidity caused by nutrient loading on benthic dynamics. Continental Shelf Research 7: 1439-1444. 
  • Alcala, A.C., E.D. Gomez and H.T. Yap. (1987) Philippine coral reefs: status and human responses to changes. Resource Management and Optimization 4 (3-4): 297-340. 
  • Yap, H.T. (1986) Bioindication in coral reef ecosystems. Acta Biologica Hungarica 37: 55-58.  
  • Yap, H.T. and E.D. Gomez. (1985) Growth of Acropora pulchra: III. Preliminary observations on the effects of transplantation and sediment on the growth and survival of transplants. Mar. Biol. 87: 203-209. 
  • Yap, H.T. and E.D. Gomez. (1984) Growth of Acropora pulchra: II. Responses of natural and transplanted colonies to temperature and day length. Mar. Biol. 81: 209-215. 

Current Students:

MS Students

James Matthew Miraflor (MS Computer Science, University of the Philippines Diliman)


Elsa Ligaya Dingkuhn (Wageningen University, the Netherlands)


Graduated Advisees: 

Ph.D. Students

                   Ronald Villanueva (Co-adviser) 

                Romeo Dizon

               Augustus Rex Montebon

                Danilo Dy

               Marcelino Tumanda Jr. 


  Albert Norström (Co-adviser) (Stockholm University, Sweden)               

MS Students               

               Dexter Dela Cruz

               Mike Joshua Palomar

               Marlowe Sabater

               Michelle Reyes 

                Hildie Maria Nacorda

                Augustus Rex Montebon

                Vincent Hilomen

                Wilfredo Licuanan

                Jen-Jen Manuel (Co-supervisor)  (National Institute of Physics, University of the Philippines Diliman)


Adrian Wagner (Co-supervisor) (Karlsruhe University, Germany) 

Jonathan Locqueville (Co-supervisor) (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris, France)