Dr. Ester Flores, DA-PCC’s National Genetic Improvement Program (GIP) coordinator, has been conferred the rank of Scientist I under the Scientific Career System (SCS) by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) effective December 3, 2020.
The significant contributions and professional expertise of Dr. Flores in research and development particularly in animal breeding and genomics made her qualified and eligible to the rank of Scientist I, granted by the Scientific Career Council (SCC), which is the governing body of the SCS.
Among the noteworthy accomplishments of Dr. Flores, together with her research team, include the establishment and implementation of separate structured breeding program for riverine and swamp buffaloes; development of a suitable genetic evaluation model for estimation of genetic parameters and estimated breeding values (EBVs); and marker assisted selection, which all paved the way to DA-PCC becoming the only livestock agency in the DA that has a well-organized and -structured breeding program demonstrated with locally produced riverine buffalo and swamp buffalo bulls with EBVs.
These initiatives, coupled with genomic selection using high density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping, provide the latest generation of performance and progeny tested Philippine dairy buffalo bulls with pedigree-based and genomic breeding values.
Dr. Flores’ team has also extended their research to cattle and pigs with the development of genetic testing protocol for genes associated with fertility, growth rate, meat yield and quality in commercial swine and cattle breeds.
Apart from her research and development work, Dr. Flores also mentors young researchers to broaden their knowledge on research and progress in the scientific path. She encourages them, particularly those who are under her headship at the Animal Breeding and Genomics Section, to take on meaningful research projects.
Dr. Flores will take her oath virtually before the end of the month.
The SCS is “a system of recruitment, career progression, recognition and reward of scientists in the government service as a means of developing a pool of highly qualified and productive scientific personnel”. Its program is being administered by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).