Participant Bio’s

Participant Bio’s

Michael Archer
I was born in Sydney but lived in the USA until 1967 when I moved back to Australia. By age 11 I was addicted to fossil and living animals. Degrees: Princeton University BA, University of Western Australia PhD. Key positions: Professor, University of New South Wales; Director of the Australian Museum, Sydney; Dean of Science, University of New South Wales. Current research foci on which I have published (~16 books & 265 refereed journal articles): evolution of mammals, in particular monotremes and marsupials; evolution of Australia’s terrestrial environments over the last 100 million years; biocorrelation of Australia’s Cenozoic vertebrates; impacts of palaeoclimate change; use of palaeontological datasets to optimise conservation of living species; innovative biofuel company; conservation through sustainable use of native resources; native animals as pets; battling Creationists; dental function and ontogeny; megafaunal extinctions; biogeographic history of New Zealand; early Cenozoic biotas of Argentina; megatsunamis; science communication; lacustrine and karst geology and petrogenesis; etcetera. I started the Thylacine & Lazarus Projects to see how far we could get in efforts to recover, revitalize and enable ancient DNA to construct functional organisms.

Joel Berger
Joel Berger did his PhD at University of Colorado, and a postdoc at Smithsonian Institution’s Conservation and Research Center.  He has been a biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society since 1991 and in 2007 that position melded with his current faculty appointment as the Craighead Chair for Wildlife Conservation at University of Montana.  Current interests are in the migratory systems of large mammals targeting ­­ actionable conservation – in Central Asia (Mongolia, Tibetan Plateau, and northern Bhutan), the western USA, and Arctic Alaska.  Joel led field programs to address questions about: i) the role of apex predators on prey and in shaping biological diversity, ii) whether dehorning African rhinos was biologically efficacious, and iii) fragmentation and population persistence in human-dominated landscapes.  He has served as an Associate Editor for the journal Conservation Biology since 1994, and was on the Science Council for the Western Governors Association and on the NPS Science Advisory Committee.  Currently, Joel oversees and conducts field projects on climate and muskoxen in Arctic Alaska with a component in Chukotka, Russia, wild yak and takin Central Asia, and mentors graduate students and collaborates with others on projects in the Yellowstone region.

Hilary Bok
Hilary Bok is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, and a member of the Core Faculty of the Berman Bioethics Institute. She received her B.A. from Princeton University and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is the author of Freedom and Responsibility, as well as numerous articles. Her interests include moral philosophy and bioethics.

Stewart Brand
Stewart Brand is co-founder of Global Business Network, president of The Long Now Foundation, and co-founder of Revive & Restore. He created and edited the Whole Earth Catalog (National Book Award), and co-founded the Hackers Conference and The WELL.  His books include The Clock of the Long Now; How Buildings Learn; and The Media Lab.  His recent book, titled Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto, is published by Penguin in the US and Atlantic in the UK.  He graduated in Biology from Stanford and served as an Infantry officer.

David Burney
David Burney’s research has focused on paleoecological studies, causes of extinction, and preservation of endangered species. He has over 40 years of practical experience in conservation, serving as a technical consultant for many conservation organizations and government agencies.
Prior to moving to Kaua`i in 2004 to become Director of Conservation at the National Tropical Botanical Garden, he was a Professor at Fordham University in New York for 15 years. He received a M.Sc. in Conservation Biology from the University of Nairobi (Kenya) and a Ph.D. in Zoology with a minor in Botany from Duke University. He is author of over 100 scientific articles and monographs. In 2006 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to write a book for the general public on his work at Makauwahi Cave on Kaua`i. His research has been featured on National Geographic Television, Discovery Channel, Hawaii Public Television, NOVA, and NPR.
With his wife Lida Pigott Burney, he has established the Makauwahi Cave Reserve on Kaua`i to protect, research, and restore Hawaii’s richest fossil and archaeological site and reestablish thousands of native plants on the surrounding landscape. Their studies have included rewilding techniques, inter situ conservation, and ecological surrogacy. For more information, see

Alejandro Camacho
Alejandro Camacho is a Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources at the University of California, Irvine.  His expertise is in environmental and land use regulation and ethics, with a particular focus on adaptive management and collaborative governance.  Professor Camacho’s scholarship in environmental law explores how both the design and goals of natural resources law and management must and can be reshaped to more effectively account for the dynamic character of natural systems.  He is a co-investigator on NSF-funded research working with The Nature Conservancy to develop a collaborative cyber-infrastructure for studying and managing the ecological effects of climate change.
Before joining UCI, Professor Camacho was an Associate Professor at the Notre Dame Law School, a research fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center, and practiced law.  He is a Scholar at the Center for Progressive Reform, Affiliated Faculty with the Newkirk Center for Science and Society, and the former chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Natural Resources.  Professor Camacho holds a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center, and two B.A. summa cum laude degrees from the University of California, Irvine.

George Church
George Church is Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Director of, providing the world’s only open-access information source for human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET).  His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing, barcoding & automation.  These lead to the first commercial genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in  1994 . His innovations in “next generation” genome sequencing and synthesis & cell/tissue engineering resulted in 12 companies including medical genomics ( Knome, Alacris, AbVitro, GoodStart, Pathogenica ), synthetic biology ( LS9, Joule , Gen9, Warp Drive ) as well as new privacy, biosafety & biosecurity policies. He is director of the NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS & NAE, Hoogendijk Prize & Franklin Laureate for Achievement in Science.

Alberto Fernández-Arias
1988: Doctor in Veterinary Medicine, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.
1996: PhD Thesis: “Reproductive characteristics and embryo transfer in the Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica)” University of Zaragoza, Spain.
1989-2003: Project “Reproductive assisted techniques in the Bucardo (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica) Recovery Plan” Agriculture Research Service, Zaragoza, Spain.
April 1999: Capture and release of the last surviving Bucardo female in the cliffs of Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park to obtain cell lines. This last female died ten months later.
June 2003: Birth of a bucardo clone. First de-extinction. CITA –ARAGÓN (head of the project: Dr. Folch).
2005- 2011: Director of Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park.
2012 to present: Head of the Service of Hunting, Fishing and Wetlands, Aragon Government, Spain.
Main scientific events related with the Bucardo de-extinction:
Develop of non stressful superovulatory techniques in the Spanish ibex: long acting neuroleptics plus FSH and Alzet osmotic minipumps, and electronic and gas devices for automatic FSH superovulation.
First interespecific birth in the Capra Genus by embryo transfer techniques. Study of placental hormones (PAG) in interspecies pregnancies. Use of hybrids (Spanish ibex x domestic goats) recipients in interspecies embryo transfer in the Capra Genus. Birth of extinct Bucardo by cloning.

John Francis
John Francis serves as Vice President for Research, Conservation, and Exploration at the National Geographic Society, directing funding of these disciplines through the Committee for Research and Exploration, the Conservation Trust, and the Expeditions Council, Young Explorers, and Waitt grants programs. Francis also has served or currently works on boards for the National Park System, IUCN, UNESCO, Freedom to Roam, and the Encyclopedia of Life. John received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz and spent five years as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution studying the behavioral ecology of marine mammals. In recent years, besides enabling thousands of field research projects covering Archaeology, Biology, Entomology, Geology, Geography, Oceanography, Paleontology, Zoology, and related areas of conservation and exploration, he has focused most recently on wildlife corridor creation, sustainable tourism, ocean health, and biodiversity awareness. Building on his early roles as grantee and then producer of wildlife films for National Geographic, he has worked to enhance connections between the scientific/conservation community and the public– made possible through the Society’s funding of path breaking projects and global media reach.

Terry Garcia
Terry Garcia is executive vice president for Mission Programs for the National Geographic Society. He is responsible for the Society’s core mission programs, including programs that support and manage more than 400 scientific field research, conservation and exploration projects annually. In addition, he oversees the Society’s Explorers-in-Residence and Emerging Explorers programs, geography and science education programs, exhibitions and live events. Garcia is responsible for bringing to the United States the popular Tutankhamun exhibition and for the recently launched Genographic Project that will map the history of human migration.
He is a member of the board of directors of the Institute for Exploration/Mystic Aquarium and chairman of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s board of trustees. He is also a member of the U.S. National Committee for the Census of Marine Life and the advisory board of the Harte Research Institute of Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University. Garcia has also served on panels convened by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Public Administration.

Thomas Gilbert
I am an evolutionary biologist, much of whose research draws on the analysis of DNA from degraded remains, including both historical and ancient samples. During my D.Phil (Oxford) my work focused on the challenges arising due to the problems of sample contamination, DNA degradation, and ensuring optimal extraction of nucleic acids from such material. In subsequent positions I have developed on these studies, in recent years coupling them with second-generation sequencing techniques, in order to help move ancient DNA analyses into the ‘genomic’ era. My research group study a wide range of organisms, including viruses (e.g. HIV-1), plants (e.g. maize and grapes), giant (and other) squid, as well as birds and mammals. In the context of this workshop, I have been involved in research on the genetics of mammoths, woolly rhinos, moas and passenger pigeons, specifically with regards to phylogenetic and population genetic questions.

Hank Greely
Hank Greely is the Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics at Stanford University. He specializes in ethical, legal, and social issues arising from advances in the biosciences. He has written on issues arising from genetics, neuroscience, and human stem cell research, among other things. He chairs the California Advisory Committee on Human Stem Cell Research and the steering committee of the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics, and directs the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences. From 2007 to 2010 he was a co-director of the Law and Neuroscience Project. In 2006, he was elected a fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science.
Professor Greely graduated from Stanford in 1974 and from Yale Law School in 1977. He served as a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the United States Court of Appeals and for Justice Potter Stewart of the United States Supreme Court. After working during the Carter Administration in the Departments of Defense and Energy, he entered private practice in Los Angeles in 1981 as a litigator with the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor, Inc. He began teaching at Stanford in 1985.

Michael Hofreite
I have studied biology at the universities of Munich and Aberdeen. After my diploma thesis (on vegetation reconstruction using DNA from palaeofeces) I moved to the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig where I did my PhD on population genetics of cave bears under the supervision of Svante Pääbo. I remained at the MPI EVA, first as a postdoc and later as a research group leader until 2009 when I became Professor for Evolutionary Biology and Ecology at the University of York. My work has focused on the application of ancient DNA analyses to address questions in evolutionary biology ranging from phylogenetic studies over population genetics to studies investigating the genetic basis of adaptation and functional differences between extant and extinct species. I also lead the first functional genetics study using ancient DNA. While the initial studies in this field have investigated only a few or even single genes, in our latest projects we have started to use DNA hybridization capture technologies that allow studying dozens of complete gene sequences simultaneously.

Insung Hwang
– Researcher at Sooam Biotech Research Foundation
– Coordinator of Woolly Mammoth Restoration Project
– Started working for Sooam in 2010
– M.S. in biomedical engineering from Duke University in 2009
– B.S. in biomedical engineering from Yale University in 2008
– Involved projects at Sooam:
1. Woolly Mammoth Restoration Project
– Organization and planning for expedition in Siberia
– Liaison for collaboration with scientists from other countries
– Representative and liaison for production of documentary film with Nat. Geo.
2. Commercialization of dog cloning
– Representative and Liaison for production of documentary series ‘I Cloned My Pet’ episodes 1 and 2 for TLC/Discovery channel
3. Interspecies cloning of coyotes
– Manuscript under review
4. Production of transgenic mini pigs
– Triple-gene vector knock-in system for minimizing hyperacute rejection during xenotransplantation
– GT knock-out
– Knock-in system for development of type II diabetes animal disease model
– Other projects at Sooam:
1. Production of knock-in transgenic dogs for development of Alzheimer’s and type II diabetes animal disease model
2. Production of knock-in transgenic cows for generation of human proteins in milk
3. Establishment of transgenic animal embryonic stem cell line

Kate Jones
Professor Kate Jones is Chair of Ecology and Biodiversity at University College London and the Zoological Society of London. Kate completed her PhD in 2008 in London and after fellowships at Imperial College London, University of Virginia and Columbia University, took up a permanent research post at Zoological Society of London in 2005 and then University College London in 2012. Her research examines how evolutionary processes generate global biodiversity patterns. This work has led to an understanding of the biological and anthropogenetic drivers of extinction in mammals and has generated some of the first predictive models of mammalian extinction. Kate’s work has also developed the first complete evolutionary tree of mammals which was used to create the first conservation prioritisation list based on evolutionary distinctiveness and global endangerment ( Kate’s research also focuses on developing better tools to monitor biodiversity and she has pioneered some citizen science and crowd-thinking methodology to collect and analyse biodiversity sounds (e.g. and Kate also works closely with the Indicators and Assessments Team at Zoological Society of London, which generate data for the Red List Indices ( and Living Planet Index (,134,ZI.html).

Peter Kareiva
Peter Kareiva is the Chief Scientist for The Nature Conservancy, where he mentors 600+ staff engaged in conservation science in over 30 countries around the world. Kareiva studied zoology at Duke University for his Bachelors degree and ecology and applied mathematics at Cornell University for his PhD. He is the author of more than 150 scientific publications and author or editor of eight books, including a textbook on conservation science. Kareiva is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of The National Academy of Sciences. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Kareiva was the Director of Conservation Biology at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and prior to that he was a Professor at University of Washington and Brown University. His research concerns the connection between human activities and changes in ecosystem services, as part of the Natural Capital Project which he co-founded with Gretchen Daily, Steve Polasky, and Taylor Ricketts. Kareiva is also studying the linkage between the sustainability initiatives of global corporations and their impacts on ecosystems. In the past Kareiva has published on biotechnology, agriculture, risk assessment, climate change, invasive species, and the importance of getting our children into nature.

Henri Kerkdijk-Otten
Henri Kerkdijk-Otten has a lifetime of experience in understanding the mega-fauna of our prehistoric world. His interest and research today focuses on the reconstruction and rebirth of Europe’s original mega-fauna such as the Aurochs, Wild horse and Water Buffalo.
Growing up in an eastern Netherlands farming family that raised cattle, he has grown accustomed to breeding and handling of large animals. He studied History at the University of Nijmegen, with a specialization in the Middle Ages and Provincial-Roman Archaeology. He currently holds a Master degree in History.
Fostered by his farming background and trips to Africa, MSc. Kerkdijk-Otten’s life has been dedicated to nature and mega-fauna. In 2008 he came in contact with Stichting Taurus, a foundation that uses feral cattle and ponies in natural grazing schemes. He is currently involved as manager of the Tauros Program, an international effort to recreate a bovine that is as similar to the prehistoric aurochs as possible regarding phenotype, behavior and genetically. This project is multidisciplinary and uses a diversity of sciences like archaeology, archaeozoology, cattle breeding, ecology, nature management, genetics and ancient DNA research. A similar program has been initiated by MSc. Kerkdijk-Otten for the European prehistoric horse and Water Buffalo.

Robert Lanza
Robert Lanza, M.D. is Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, and professor at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has several hundred publications and inventions, and 30 scientific books: among them, “Essentials of Stem Cell Biology” and “Principles of Tissue Engineering” which are recognized as the definitive references in the field. Others include the “Handbook of Stem Cells” and “Principles of Regenerative Medicine.” He is a former Fulbright Scholar and studied as a student in the laboratories of Richard Hynes (MIT), Jonas Salk (The Salk Institute) and Nobel laureates Gerald Edelman (Rockefeller University) and Rodney Porter (Oxford University). He also worked closely (and co-authored a series of papers) with noted Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner and heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard. Dr. Lanza received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was both a University Scholar and Benjamin Franklin Scholar. He has received numerous awards, including an NIH Director’s Award for “Translating Basic Science Discoveries into New and Better Treatments” and a Rave Award for Medicine “For eye-opening work on embryonic stem cells.”

Ross MacPhee
Ross MacPhee is a Curator in the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. Known for his research on mammalian evolution and biogeography, MacPhee has focused for much of his work on how extinctions occur, particularly on islands. He has conducted paleontological investigations in many parts of the world, including Madagascar, Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Crete, Borneo, Yukon and Siberia. He has also worked with geneticists and molecular biologists using ancient DNA as a means of studying the population structure and ultimate collapse of Pleistocene mammals. His recent fieldwork concentrates on West Antarctica, where he and his team are looking for Late Cretaceous/early Paleogene mammals and other vertebrates. He has curated a number of temporary shows at the AMNH (including the 2010 Race to the End of the Earth, featuring the Scott/Amundsen contest), and is currently co-curator of the museum’s intended renovation of its Asia Wing. MacPhee received his PhD from the University of Alberta; previously, he was associate professor of anatomy at Duke University Medical Center. In addition to having published more than 150 papers, he has edited a major collection on Quaternary extinctions, Extinctions in Near Time: Causes, Contexts, and Consequences (Karger; 1999).

Michael McGrew
I was awarded my PhD from Boston University. I became deeply interested in early embryogenesis so I joined an internationally recognised developmental biology laboratory in Marseille, France. We discovered an early mechanism controlling the timing of the formation of somites in vertebrates, now known as the ‘segmentation clock’. This is a basic biological process, which appears to be present in all vertebrate embryos. We also made many other key findings in our understanding of vertebrate segmentation during that period in which I played an important role.
I joined The Roslin Institute (Scotland) in 2001 to develop transgenesis in chickens. I realised the future of the chicken as a model system for developmental biology depended the development of new transgenic tools. My research led to the development of the first transgenic chickens using lentiviral vectors. Since that point I pursued the development of transgenic chicken models for uses in developmental biology and for studying stem cell populations. Since starting my own research group, my research interests have shifted towards a specialised stem cell; the germ cell.
We aim to:
-utilise avian germ cell technology to create frozen bio-banks
-apply this technology to species rescue using the germ cells of endangered birds

Ben Novak
I graduated from Montana State University as one of the first to enter and graduate from the Ecology and Evolution option. I specialized in paleontology, genetics, ecology and ornithology. I’ve been part of an assortment of projects involving identifying diagnostic SNP’s in trout populations, genetic diversity in prairie tiger salamanders, and analysis of biomolecules and bacteria found in dinosaur fossils. I finally broke into my desired field of ancient DNA at the McMaster Ancient DNA Centre, under Dr. Hendrik Poinar, gaining experience via exploring DNA extraction and sequencing of Mastodon fossils – the project now underway to be carried further by more researchers. Passenger pigeons and the possibility of de-extinction within the columbid family has been my passion, and I have pursued work with the species for the past 4 years, reaching my personal breakthrough recently. I am currently a prospective graduate student pursuing PhD programs to continue my de-extinction oriented work.  My interests for the project include producing a database of extinct species information and genomes, using genetic mapping to calculate the needed process for de-extinction, and supplying this data for research groups around the world to produce as much pertaining knowledge as possible.

Ryan Phelan
Ryan Phelan is a serial entrepreneur active in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. She is the Executive Director of Revive & Restore, with a mission to provide deep ecological enrichment through extinct species revival. Ryan currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Personal Genome Project, which aims to sequence and publicize the complete genomes and medical records of 100,000 volunteers, in order to enable research into personalized medicine.
In 2005 Phelan launched DNA Direct, the first medical genetics company to focus on bringing personalized medicine to the consumer market. The company was acquired in 2010 by Medco Health Solutions (with over 55 million Medco members) to provide pharmacogenetic testing services and clinical support focused on drug/gene interactions. In 2001 she was co-founder and director of the ALL Species Foundation, a global science initiative to discover all life on Earth in 25 years. It led to the online Encyclopedia of Life, which so far has collected 925,000 species web pages. In 1995 she founded Direct Medical Knowledge—a consumer health web site unique for its content depth and innovative search interface acquired by WebMD in 1999. DMK’s content became the backbone of WebMD’s consumer health site.

Hendrik Poinar
Hendrik Poinar (Ancient DNA Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario) is a molecular evolutionary geneticist and biological anthropologist by training, and relies heavily on interdisciplinary research. He uses both chemical and molecular techniques to elucidate the state of preservation within forensic, archeological and paleontological remains. This information is subsequently used to devise novel techniques to extract the molecular information (DNA and/or protein sequences) which is then used to address evolutionary and anthropological questions, such as the “relatedness” of Archaic humans and Neanderthals from a genetic standpoint, sex and diet from prehistoric Native Amerindian hunter-gatherer populations using coprolites samples, and the timing and origin of HIV using archival blood and brain tissue samples.
Poinar obtained his BS and MS at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, went on to do a PhD in evolutionary genetics under Dr. Svante Paabo then at the Ludwig Maximillians Universitat in Munich. He then completed a postdoc at Oregon State University under Dr. Steve Giovanonni in microbial genetics after which he took a postdoctoral fellowship at the newly formed Max Planck Institute for evolutionary genetics in Leipzig Germany.

William Powell
Dr. William A. Powell received his BS in biology in 1982 at Salisbury State University, MD, and his PhD in 1986 at Utah State University studying the molecular mechanisms of hypovirulence in the chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica. He spent over two years as a postdoctoral associate at University of Florida researching transformation techniques using the fungal pathogen, Fusarium oxysporum. In 1989 he became a faculty member at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse, NY, where he began collaborating with his colleague, Dr. Charles Maynard, researching methods to develop a blight-resistant American chestnut tree. Dr. Powell currently has forty-four peer reviewed publications and one patent. He teaches courses in Principles of Genetics, Plant Biotechnology, and Research Design & Professional Development. He is currently the Director of the Council on Biotechnology in Forestry and SUNY-ESF and the Co-Director of the New York State American Chestnut Research and Restoration Program. One of his significant accomplishments is the enhancement of blight resistance in American chestnut by his research team and collaborators.

Marilyn Renfree
Marilyn Renfree’s research has focussed almost entirely on marsupials because of their intrinsic interest and for the opportunities they provide as biomedical models for understanding mammalian reproduction and development. Her laboratory is known internationally for its study of the reproduction and development of marsupials that have resulted in a number of discoveries that challenged the accepted dogma including in early mammalian development, control of embryonic diapause, sexual differentiation, virilisation and genomic imprinting. She has also been involved in genome studies of the platypus and was lead author with Dr Tony Papenfuss on the genome of the tammar wallaby. Marilyn graduated from ANU with a PhD (1972), DSc (1988), and received a DSc honoris causa (Murdoch University, WA), 2008 and an LLD honoris causa (Monash University, Vic) 2010. She has held NHMRC, ARC, Fulbright, Ford Foundation and Royal Society fellowships. She was Head of Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne from 1991-2003. She was an ARC Federation Fellow 2003-8 and Director of the ARC C of E for Kangaroo Genomics from 2008-10.
She is a Laureate Professor of the University of Melbourne and presently holds the positions of Secretary, Biological Sciences and Vice President of the Australian Academy of Science.

Jean-Marie Rouillard
Jean-Marie Rouillard is co-founder and CSO of Biodiscovery, LLC / MYcroarray (Ann Arbor, MI). He received his PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Paris in 1998. His pursuits to contribute in the growing field of DNA microarrays led him to join Prof. Erdogan Gulari’s group at the University of Michigan in 2001. Here, he developed a light-directed massively parallel DNA synthesis technology on open substrates for the fabrication of DNA microarrays. In parallel, he developed several oligonucleotide design software for microarray and gene synthesis.
In 2005, Jean-Marie co-founded Biodiscovery, LLC with Erdogan Gulari to develop new applications for parallel-synthesized oligonucleotide libraries. Their customizable sequence capture kits (MYbaits) are widely used to enrich ancient DNA samples for specific targets. Currently, he is working on technologies to prepare error-free oligonucleotide libraries. These can be used as building blocks for the assembly of small or large DNA fragments, and chromosomes. His personal interests include the synthesis of extinct species genomes.

Oliver Ryder
Oliver Ryder, Director of Genetics at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, is recognized globally for his substantive and innovative contributions to establishing and developing the fields of conservation genetics and conservation genomics. He oversees research efforts in cell culture and cryobanking, cytogenetics, population genetics, conservation breeding, evolution and systematics, and applications of genomics technologies to conservation efforts for managed and wild populations of threatened and endangered species. He has guided the development of the Frozen Zoo®, a globally significant collection of frozen cell cultures that includes more than 10,000 individual vertebrates comprising more than 1,000 species. Named as a Fellow of the AAAS for his “outstanding contributions to the understanding of the maintenance of genetic variation in the persistence of populations and the preservation of rare and endangered species,” he also received the Duane Ullrey Award from the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians for “exceptional achievements in the science of wild animal health.” He has served as President of the American Genetic Association. Education: BA in Biology from U.C. Riverside; Ph.D. in Biology from U.C. San Diego. He has a prolific record of publication in highly rated journals.

Mary Schweitzer
Professor, Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University,
Ph.D. Biology, Montana State University, 1995
Certificate, Secondary Education/ Broadfield Science, Montana State University, 1988
B.S. Communicative Disorders, Utah State University, 1977
Born and raised in Montana, which still holds my heart.
I have three grown kids, a daughter in law, and a geriatric cat. I specialize in molecular paleontology by default, because when my children were small I found that small children and field research were incompatible. My research areas of interest include: Preservation and detection of original molecular fragments in well preserved fossil specimens, what are the biogeochemical conditions that led to such preservation, and how best to use the data in fossils to address today’s questions. I am also interested in the evolution of physiological and reproductive strategies in dinosaurs and their bird descendants. Were dinosaurs warm-blooded, cold-blooded or something in-between? And further afield, can we use the tools of molecular paleontology to detect biomarkers not only in fossils but also in extraterrestrial samples? Did life never evolve on other planets? Did it evolve then go extinct? Or is it thriving now

Jacob Sherkow
Jacob S. Sherkow is a Fellow at Stanford Law School in the Center for Law and the Biosciences. Mr. Sherkow’s current research focuses on patents and scientific complexity. His work has been published in law reviews and newspapers throughout the country, including the Michigan Law Review, the BYU Law Review, PLos ONE, and the New York Times. Prior to joining Stanford, Mr. Sherkow was a patent litigation attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a federal law clerk in New York. Mr. Sherkow graduated with honors from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as an editor of the Michigan Law Review and was the recipient of the Fred L. Leckie and James N. Adler Scholarships. He holds a Masters in biotechnology from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science from McGill University, where he majored in molecular biology and English literature. In addition to his legal training, Mr. Sherkow has several years of experience as a research scientist in molecular biology, including positions at Columbia University, the University of Edinburgh, and the Montreal General Hospital.

Jamie Shreeve
James (Jamie) Shreeve is Executive Editor, Science, at National Geographic magazine. Before joining the Geographic staff in 2006, he was a freelance science writer and author. His books include The Genome War (Knopf, 2004), The Neandertal Enigma: Solving the Mystery of Modern Human Origins (William Morrow, 1995), Lucy’s Child: The Discovery of a Human Ancestor (William Morrow, 1989, with Donald Johanson), and Nature: The Other Earthlings (MacMillan, 1987), the companion volume to the public television series.
Mr. Shreeve received his B.A. in English from Brown University in 1973. A 1979 graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, he contributed fiction to various literary magazines before turning to science writing. From 1983 to 1985, he was Public Information Director at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He has been awarded fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation, and the Knight Foundation. Mr. Shreeve lives in Bellport, New York, and Washington, DC.

Stanley Temple
Stanley A. Temple is the Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and former Chairman of the Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development Program in the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For 32 years he held the academic position once occupied by Aldo Leopold, and during that time he won every teaching award for which he was eligible. He is currently a Senior Fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation. He has received major conservation awards from The Society for Conservation Biology, The Wildlife Society and The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, and among other recognitions of his achievements, he is a Fellow of The American Ornithologists’ Union, The Explorer’s Club, The Wildlife Conservation Society, and The American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been President of the Society for Conservation Biology and Chairman of the Board of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin.

Frans Vera
Frans Vera is born on the 4th of June in 1949. He studied Biology at the Free University in Amsterdam and finished his study in 1978. After that he worked at Staatsbosbeheer (National Agency for Nature Management and Forestry), then he moved to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries, and then to the Agricultural University at Wageningen. There he wrote his Ph.D. thesis, which he finished back at the Ministry in 1997. It was published in an extended version in 2000 by CABI Publishing, Wallingford, as the book Grazing Ecology and Forest History.
It was the Oostvaardersplassen, in which he is involved since 1979, that made him question the classical paradigm that the undisturbed nature in Europe in places where trees can grow is a closed canopy forest. In natural conditions indigenous herbivores, such as Tarpan, Aurochs, European bison, Moose, Red Deer, Roe Deer and Wild Boar could not influence the succession to this climax, but followed it. He presented the alterative theory that in natural conditions they steered the succession, resulting in a kaleidoscope of grassland, shrubs, scrubs, trees and groves, of which the wood pasture system is the closest modern analogue.

Nathan Wolfe
Dr. Nathan Wolfe is an epidemiologist who fights disease pandemics. He is the Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor in Human Biology at Stanford University and the Founder and CEO of Metabiota, as well as the Chairman of Global Viral. His survey of diseases that have historically had the greatest impact on humanity revealed that most started with animals. Based on this, he created a global network of sites in viral hotspots where people are highly exposed to animals and are most at risk for early infection when viruses leap from animals to humans.
Dr. Wolfe has received numerous awards including a Fulbright fellowship and an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and was chosen as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He was also named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2011. Nathan has over 80 scientific publications and his work has been published in or covered by Nature, Science, The New York Times, The Economist, NPR, The New Yorker and Forbes among others. He has received support totaling over $30m in grants and contracts from, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Department of Defense and others.

Guojie Zhang
Guojie Zhang is the Associate Director of Research and the Head of the Comparative Genomics Group at the BGI. His major interests lie in the evolutionary significance of the genomics of speciation, the mode and tempo of genomic evolution, and the evolution of gene functions. Most of his work involves applying new generation sequencing technologies to genetic research, and using genomic tools to illustrate the genomic diversity in nature, to interpret biodiversity within the framework of evolutionary genomics, and to understand the molecular basis of animal behaviours and their advantages in species adaptation. In the past few years, he has led many genome projects at BGI, including the macaque genomes, yak genome and the ant genomes. He is now leading the 1,000 Plant & Animal Genome Program at BGI, and is also the coordinator of G10K-BGI collaboration project on sequencing 101 vertebrate genomes. In addition to the genome projects, he has also led several other functional genomic projects, which aim to understand the relationship between genotype and phenotype by using next generation sequencing tools, like transcriptome sequencing and methylation sequencing.

Sergey Zimov
Sergey Zimov has finished Far East State University, Dep. of Geophysic, Vladivostok, in 1977. Since 1977 he is working in Pacific Institute of Geography of Far-East Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok. 1977-1980, he was a head of year-round research expeditions, South of Far East of Russia. Since 1980 till present time, he organized and became a Director of North-East Scientific Station of Pacific Inst. of Geography, Chersky, Yakutia. In 1997 he worked in University of California in Berkeley USA. In 1996 he organized Trust Partnership “Scientific and Experimental Association, Pleistocene Park”.

He has experience of studying of cryogenic processes and modeling of ecological and geophysical processes. His research is directed at the role of high-latitude processes in influencing ecosystem and climatic processes. He has studied the role of large mammals in influencing vegetation and carbon storage in modern and Pleistocene ecosystems. In addition, he has studied the influence of Pleistocene- aged organic matter on methane efflux from Siberian lakes and on the carbon dynamics of modern landscapes, with the goal of understanding how high-latitude ecosystems influence the atmospheric concentrations of methane and carbon dioxide and therefore global climate.