Melba Bondad-Reantaso

An aquatic animal health (AAH) specialist from the Philippines, Melba is a continuing FAO staff (based in Rome) since 2004. She is responsible for development work on aquaculture biosecurity (AB) and AAH including AMR in aquaculture. Melba led a number of international aquatic disease investigation task forces (e.g. KHV, EUS, AHPND) and pioneered capacity development on risk assessment for aquatic animal movement both at national and regional levels. She conducts expert workshops, training courses, capacity building activities and develops & implements FAO- and donor-funded projects on various aspects of AB/AAH focusing on specific diseases (e.g. EUS, IMNV and AHPND, TiLV) including development of national and regional strategies on AAH. Todate, Melba has secured an estimate of US$9M funds to support at least 22 AB/AAH-related projects. Together with colleagues from the livestock sector of FAO, she spearheaded the potential use of Progressive Management Pathway (PMP), an extension of the Progressive Control Pathway (PCP) used for terrestrial animal diseases, for improving aquaculture biosecurity . Other ongoing initiatives include: (1) designing and implementing a 12-point surveillance checklist for non-specialists; (2) aquaculture health economics; and (3) response actions to aquatic animal disease emergencies.

Prior to joining FAO, she was Molluscan Pathologist at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, DNR/Maryland; Regional Aquatic Animal Health Specialist at NACA/Thailand; and retired as Senior Aquaculturist from the BFAR/Philippines. Her academic credentials include: (i) B.Sc. Zoology (UPLB); (ii) M.Sc. Biology (major in fish parasitology, DLSU; IDRC scholar); (iii) Ph.D. Fisheries Science (major in fish pathology, University of Tokyo; Monbusho scholar); and (iv) post-doc fellowship (Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University; JSPS fellow). Her mentors include Dr J.R. Arthur (Canada), Professors K. Ogawa, T. Yoshinaga and K. Hatai (Japan), Dr S. McGladdery (Canada), Mr C. Dungan (USA), Dr R. Subasinghe (FAO) and Dr M. Phillips (NACA).

She represents FAO to NACA’s AAH Advisory Group; and is a member of the Advisory Board of GlobalSeaweedSTAR (GSSTAR) and the External Advisory Board (EAB) of USAID/MSU Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish (FIL).

Go back