Philippine Taxonomic Initiative Inc. Team


John Patykowski

Director of Science

John is a plant ecologist specialising in vegetation dynamics after disturbance and the role of species in ecosystem functioning. He completed a PhD at Deakin University, Australia, and has almost a decade of experience working in the environmental sector including teaching, research, and advocating for policy.


J.M. Agcaoili

Research Leader - Luzon

JM has gained considerable experience in botany and science since graduating from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Prior to joining the Philippine Taxonomic Initiative, he worked with several government and non-government agencies in research, and promoting environmental protection.


Alastair Robinson

Research Leader - Palawan

Alastair is a botanist with a passion for cryptic plants that are often overlooked by others. He has worked in the Philippines since 2007, and led the first documented climb to the summit of Mount Victoria, where Nepenthes attenboroughii was discovered. A proponent of collaborative work and teaching, he has undertaken research across the archipelago, in tandem with local researchers, for over a decade.


Celine Yap

Community Liason

Celine Yap is an environmental scientist and international community development professional with a strong focus on disaster mitigation and risk management. She has served as a committee member of Amnesty International (Victorian branch, Australia), and worked as a communications officer with the State Emergency Service of Victoria, Australia. Celine’s qualifications include a Master of International and Community Development, and a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours in Environmental Policy. She also completed a media relations internship with the Ecological Society of Australia, and hosted and produced shows for the program Refugee Radio on community radio station 3CR in Melbourne, Australia.


Raab Bustamante

Taxa Research Specialist

Raab, the Founder and Executive Director of PTI, has been studying the taxonomy of the Philippine flora for more than a decade. He specialises in a wide range of plant families, including Begoniaceae, Araceae and Orchideaeae, along with different habitat types, such as karst limestone & tropical moist broadleaf forests.