Maria Helena T. Yap, Ph.D.





Doctor rerum naturalium 

University of Rostock, German Democratic Republic 


Research Interests: 

Coral Reef Ecology, Complex Systems 

Selected Publications:

  • Yap HT. 2019. One-ecosystem analysis for environmental conservation and sustainble livelihood. F1000Research 2019, 8(F1000 Faculty Rev):328.
  • Servonnat M, Kaye R, Siringan FP, Munar J, Yap HT. 2019. Imperatives for conservation in a threatened center of biodiversity. Coast Manage., 47(5):453-472.
  • Baria-Rodriguez, MV, dela Cruz, DW, Dizon RM, Yap HT, Villanueva RD. 2019. Performance and cost‐effectiveness of sexually produced Acropora granulosa juveniles compared with asexually generated coral fragments in restoring degraded reef areas. Aquat Conserv, 29(6):891-900.
  • 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)