Updated: Oct 16, 2023
Hafa Adai! Mabuhay! Hello!
My name is Marcel Kate G. Jardeleza (pronounced: Har-de-le-za) and I am a PhD candidate in the graduate degree program in ecology at Colorado State University. I am an immigrant from the Philippines and moved to the US territory of Guam when I was 8 years old. I grew up on the beautiful island of Guam where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Guam. After completing my bachelors degree, I moved to Colorado to work on my masters degree in ecology in the Hufbauer lab. My MS thesis looked at the roles of phenotypic plasticity and adaptation in the morphology and performance of an invasive species on Hawaii island (Jardeleza et al. 2021). Currently, I am a PhD candidate in ecology looking at how the loss of birds have affected the arthropod community on Guam.
My research interests are greatly affected by where I grew up. Guam is a US Territory in the Pacific Ocean, and its environment has been drastically altered by the introduction of the brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) in the 1940s. Growing up, it was not unusual to find snakes in or around our home at least once a month. The introduction of the brown tree snake has definitely affected our daily lives, but more importantly altered Guam's ecosystem by extirpating native birds from the jungles. Getting into science was difficult because I had to convince my family and myself that it was a valid career path. I did not know any Filipino immigrant ecologist, nor did I know many scientists of color. It was not until I participated in an undergraduate internship with University of Hawaii at Hilo Pacific Internship Program for Exploring Science (UH Hilo PIPES) where I met a Filipino ecologist (Dr. Jonathan Koch) that I was able to visualize myself in science and gain the confidence to pursue graduate school. Someday, I too hope to be that role model for others like me. Throughout my gradute degree, I have been so fortunate so have been supported and believed in by so many wonderful scientists, but most notably by my two advisors Dr. Hufbaer and Dr. Pearse. I truly would not be the ecologist I am today without them.
Once I complete my PhD in Ecology at CSU, I hope to return to my island and help develop the local scientific force in the Pacific.
Si Yu'os Ma'ase! Salamat! Thank you!
Aside from the science stuff, I enjoy cooking, eating, traveling, photography and outdoor activities.