Mark Angelo O. Balendres
Mark Balendres leads a nationally recognized plant pathology research group at the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB), College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). He works across a wide range of economically important crops (and seeds) and a diverse plant pathogen, including bacteria (bacterial wilt of Solanaceae and bacterial stalk rot of corn), protozoa (potato powdery scab), fungi (vegetable and fruit anthracnose and mycotoxigenic fungi) and viruses (banana and vegetable viruses).
Research outcomes from Mark’s group include the elucidation of the etiology and epidemiology of plant diseases, selection and development of disease-resistant crops, development of diagnostics and disease-resistance screening protocols, and development of sustainable disease management strategies.
Mark is responsible for many new country records and some new crop pathogen reports. He also identified several vegetable and fruit genotypes with resistance to various diseases. Mark has published more than 40 scientific papers and has successfully won over Php 40M in competitive research grants.
He received the G.O. Ocfemia Outstanding Plant Pathologist Award in Research in 2019 from the Philippine Phytopathological Society Inc. and the 2021 UPLB Outstanding Researcher Award (Seniors Category for Natural Science) from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Mark is the only young scientist from Southeast Asia who received a 5-year membership from the Global Young Academy (GYA).