Dr. Angel Alcala has conducted extensive research on Philippine amphibians and reptiles since the mid-1950s. Born in March 1, 1929, Alcala made marine science publications consist of about 80 papers on coral reef fish, marine reserves, long-term effects of safeguard on marine biodiversity such as corals and top predatory fish. Majority of these documents have been published in refereed, global journals and books.
He served the Philippine government for nine years (1990-1999), initial as Deputy Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development under the Department of Science and Technology, afterward as Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources and later on as first Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education during the Ramos administration. He was Professor of Biology at Silliman University and served as its president for two years prior to taking up the final two government positions. He is at present University Research Professor at Silliman University.
He obtained his BS in Biology magna cum laude from the Silliman University in 1951 and went on to Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA to finish an MA (1960) and a PhD (1966) in Biological Sciences. He also established honorary doctorates from Xavier University and University of Southeastern Philippines. He served as advisor on marine and aquatic projects supported by the UNEP, UNDP, World Bank GEF, and the UP MSI. Dr. Alcala also dynamically participated in the Australian-ASEAN marine project in mid-1980s – early 1990s. The Silliman Marine Laboratory, which he founded in 1973- 1974, has been vigorous in research on marine secluded areas, fisheries and marine biodiversity, mariculture, and preservation of Philippine plant and animal genus.