Dr. Baldomero Olivera is the next speaker for MSI@50 Lecture Series

Among Filipino scientists, Dr. Baldomero Olivera is a man who needs no introduction. In collaboration with National Scientist Dr. Lourdes Cruz, he made waves in both toxicology and marine drug development with his work on cone snail venom. Now, Dr. Olivera is ready to join forces with the UP Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) once again. 

UP MSI is proud to announce Dr. Olivera as the next speaker for the MSI@50 Lecture Series. His seminar, “The Austronesian maritime civilization and Philippine prehistory: New scientific and cultural perspectives”, will be held in the MSI Audio-Visual Room on March 4, 10 AM.

Because written records were destroyed by the Spaniards and archeological evidence is limited, we have little information about the scope and regional significance of pre-colonial Philippines prior to Magellan’s arrival in 1521. Archeological, textual, ceramic, and genetic evidence points to the existence of a distinctive and highly successful maritime culture, the Kalaga-Putuan Crescent (KPC) in the Southeastern Philippines, a lost kingdom which apparently existed as a coherent Austronesian cultural and political entity over a millennium before the arrival of Magellan. Recent evidence suggests that the KPC was an early site of innovation in the development of Austronesian maritime technology, leading to the emergence of the Central Maritime Triangle (comprising the KPC, Champa, and Srivijaya), a trade network that was integral to the exchange of goods between the Spice Islands, China, India, the Middle East, and Europe. At its cultural and political height, the previously unrecognized KPC was a sophisticated and influential center of Austronesian culture and maritime trade.

This exploration of Philippine pre-colonial history is a topic Dr. Olivera had previously explored in his book, A Lost Kingdom in the Philippine Archipelago: The Kalaga-Putuan Crescent, 250-1550 AD. It is published in the United States, where Dr. Olivera is currently based as a Distinguished Professor for the University of Utah, School of Biological Sciences. In 2007, the Harvard Foundation named him Scientist of the Year.

Dr. Olivera is also a proud alumnus of the UP Diliman Institute of Chemistry and was bestowed Doctor of Science, honoris causa by the University of the Philippines in 2008. He served as an adjunct professor for UP MSI within the years 2007-2016. 

The MSI@50 Lecture Series is an official UNESCO Ocean Decade activity that features the various topics and disciplines in marine science our faculty members and collaborators specialize in. As one of the institute’s major events leading up to our 50th Anniversary, the Lecture Series celebrate the many ways UP MSI and its partners have gone beyond borders to forward marine science for the people.

Interested participants may register for Dr. Olivera’s talk at bit.ly/MSIat50LS11.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Communications Team
UP Marine Science Institute
Email: content@msi.upd.edu.ph