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Workshop Participants

Workshop Organizers


Kent H. Redford, Principal, Archipelago Consulting. Workshop curation.

He is the principal at Archipelago Consulting, established in 2011 and based in Portland, Maine. Read More

He was most recently Director of the WCS Institute and Vice President, Conservation Strategies at the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York. For 20 years, Kent’s has convened groups of different sizes from a range of organizations and disciplines to address a broad range of conservation issues. His strategic planning has been invaluable for the New Genomics for Conservation Problems Workshop. Kent will also be curating the workshop to promote its goal of determining a small set of the cases presented at the meeting that offer the best opportunity for tool development and application, and begin further exploration.


Ryan Phelan, Executive director, Cofounder, Revive & Restore

In addition to the New Genomics for Conservation Workshop, Ryan has convened four major events and meetings for Revive & Restore. See her bio here.


Perry Hall, Project Coordinator for Genomics Workshop

Panelists & Participants:

LLuke -croppeduke Alphey, Group Leader, Vector-Borne Viral Diseases Programme, The Pirbright Institute, UK (genetically modified mosquitoes)

Prof Luke Alphey is a leader in the emerging field of genetic pest management.  He is a non-executive Director of Oxitec Ltd, a spin-out company from Oxford University that he co-founded in 2002; he was the Research Director 2002-2014. Oxitec is developing innovative technology to control insect pests, based on the use of engineered sterile males of the pest insect species (‘RIDL®males’).  In 2006 Oxitec, with the US Dept of Agriculture, led the first open field releases of a GM insect. In 2009-2010, with government of the Cayman Islands, the first outdoor GM mosquito experiments were conducted, showing that RIDL male mosquitoes could indeed find, mate with and suppress a wild mosquito population.  Further successful open trials in Malaysia and Brazil showed that the engineered mosquitoes performed well across disparate ecological and social settings.  Prof Alphey’s earlier career focused on basic science, using Drosophila as a model system, latterly at Oxford University.  After 11 years at Oxitec he moved to The Pirbright Institute in Feb 2014. Prof Alphey has published extensively on insect genetic engineering and contributed to regulatory frameworks. Dr Alphey and Oxitec have won numerous awards for this pioneering green technology. Suggested Links:

StewartBrand-1Stewart Brand, Cofounder, Revive & Restore. President, The Long Now Foundation

Stewart Brand is co-founder of Revive & Restore, of The Long Now Foundation, of The WELL, of Global Business Network, and founder/editor of the Whole Earth Catalog.  His books include Whole Earth Discipline, The Clock of the Long Now, How Buildings Learn,and The Media Lab.  He was trained as a biologist at Stanford and served as an Infantry officer in the US Army.

IMG_4436Dr. Claudio Campagna, Wildlife Conservation Society Marine and Argentina Programs; Adjunct Professor, UC Santa Cruz; Steering Committee member, IUCN Species Survival Commission

Claudio Campagna completed his medical degree at the University of Buenos Aires (1979) and his doctorate in biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz (USCS, 1987). He works for the Wildlife Conservation Society, is Adjunct Professor at UCSC and has been a member of the Steering Committee of the IUCN Species Survival Commission for almost a decade. He was elected as a Pew Fellow in marine conservation for his work in the Patagonian Sea, where he focuses on the biology of marine mammals at Peninsula Valdes, in Argentina. Beside a career in practical conservation action, he is interested in the ethics of conservation and the philosophy of language applied to the analysis of the environmental discourse.

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Karl_profile pic_cropKarl Campbell, Project Director, Island Conservation, Galapagos

Karl has a Ph.D. from the University of Queensland, Australia. As part of his doctoral work, he developed advanced Judas goat methods involving sterilization, pregnancy termination and hormone therapy, which he applied to increase the effectiveness of Judas goats in large scale campaigns he was managing in the Galapagos Islands. Karl has worked for 17 years on some of the world’s largest and most complex eradication campaigns of invasive mammals, preventing the extinction of hundreds of species. His role typically involves identifying sites and partners, detailing a strategy, plan and budget, fundraising, managing field operations and refining strategies as required. In projects he’s been involved with, new techniques or refinements to existing techniques have been made in aerial hunting, dog training, toxic baiting, trapping, Judas animals, detection probability tools, and the use of GPS, GIS and digital data collection and management technologies. Scalability and cost effectiveness are two key philosophies that he takes to each project. In 2011, Karl initiated Island Conservation’s Innovation Program and chairs the committee that oversees this initiative. He has worked on restoration projects in over a dozen countries and has published over 50 scientific and popular articles.

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carlson_picRob Carlson, Principal,  Biodesic

Rob Carlson is the Managing Director at Bioeconomy Capital, which invests in early stage biotechnology companies, and is a Principal at Biodesic, a consulting firm that focuses on strategy, security, and engineering at the intersection of biotechnology and the economy.

At the broadest level, Dr. Carlson is interested in the future role of biology as a human technology. He has worked to develop new biological technologies in both academic and commercial environments, focusing on molecular measurement and microfluidic systems. Dr. Carlson has also developed a number of new technical and economic metrics for measuring the progress of biological technologies. Carlson is the author of the book Biology is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life, published in 2010 by Harvard University Press; it received the PROSE award for the Best Engineering and Technology Book of 2010 and was named to the Best Books of 2010 lists by writers at both The Economist and Foreign Policy. Carlson earned a doctorate in Physics from Princeton University in 1997.

GMC_2011George Church, Platform Lead, Synthetic Biology, Wyss Institute, Harvard University

George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of, which provides the world’s only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994. His innovations have contributed to nearly all “next generation” genome sequencing methods and companies (CGI, Life, Illumina, nanopore). This plus chip-based DNA synthesis and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics (Knome, Alacris, AbVitro, Pathogenica ) & synthetic biology / therapeutics (Joule, Gen9Editas, Egenesis, enEvolvWarpDrive). He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, environmental and biosecurity policies. He is director of NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS & NAE & Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 330 papers, 60 patents & one book (Regenesis)

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Photo for bio_ColemanJeremy Coleman, National White-Nose Syndrome Coordinator; Northeast Regional Wildlife Disease Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Jeremy joined the Endangered Species Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in February 2008, one year after white-nose syndrome (WNS) was first discovered west of Albany, New York. As National WNS Coordinator, Jeremy chaired the development of a US response plan, he works with domestic and international partners to implement the collaborative response to WNS, and he oversees annual research and state agency capacity grant programs, among other duties. For the past three years, Jeremy has worked with a multi-agency team to develop the North American Bat Population Monitoring Program, the first standardized program designed to allow trend analyses rangewide for North American bat species. He received a B.A. in Anthropology from Colgate University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Wildlife Science from the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. His research interests are largely in organismal and applied ecology, including animal behavior and wildlife disease, and in wildlife conservation.

JPC_for_AIBS_in_lab_with_booksDr. James Collins, Professor of Natural History and the Environment, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

James P. Collins is an evolutionary ecologist whose research group studies the role of host-pathogen interactions in species decline and extinction. They use amphibians, along with viral and fungal pathogens, as models for studying factors that control population dynamics. Collins’s other research is focused on intellectual factors that have shaped the development of Ecology asa discipline, and on Ecological Ethics. Collins’s expertise in population dynamics led him to serve as Director of the Population Biology and Physiological Ecology program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) from 1985 to 1986. He also served as NSF’s Assistant Director for Biological Sciences from 2005 to 2009. From 1989 to 2002 he was Chair of ASU’s Zoology, and then Biology Department, where he used interdisciplinary programs to foster innovation in research, education, and institutional change.  

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Cook.Robert.LandscapeDr. Bob Cook, Program Director, Conservation Program and the Basic Medical Research Program, Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Bob joined the Trust from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), where he spent many years and, from 2007 to 2012, served as the General Director and Executive Vice President, responsible for the operations of the Central Park, Queens and Prospect Park Zoos; the New York Aquarium; and the WCS flagship Bronx Zoo. In addition, he directed staff leaders in Health, Education, Species Conservation and Exhibit Design, who were active both in New York and around the world. Earlier in his career at WCS, Bob was the Chief Veterinarian and Vice President of Wildlife Health, overseeing the healthcare of some 1,300 species of animals at the five New York zoological parks and conservation health programs around the globe. During his tenure, Bob worked with staff to develop a number of innovative health programs including the establishment of the wildlife clinics at the city zoos and the aquarium, the first Field Veterinary Program and the One World-One Health policy initiative. Bob serves as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, having taught classes in sustainability management and environmental policy. He is also the Science Advisor to the Mayday Fund, a family philanthropic foundation dedicated to the alleviation of human physical pain. Bob has extensive policy experience and has authored or co-authored over 100 scientific and lay publications, mentored students and staff and given hundreds of lectures and presentations.

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Josh_Donlan_cropJosh Donlan – Ecologist and specialist in island conservation, Founder and Director, Advanced Conservation Strategies

Josh Donlan is the Founder and Director of Advanced Conservation Strategies, which focuses on outcomes, incentives, and sustainable finance. Its foundation is science, yet Advanced Conservation Strategies works and collaborates outside of science to design and implement new solutions and ventures. Trained as a scientist, Josh holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and an M.A. from University of California. Josh is Visiting Fellow in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and a Visiting Professor at University of South Paris. He has over fifteen years of experience in international environmental conservation. Josh has worked on environmental issues in over a dozen countries, including the management of invasive species, environmental restoration, ecological history, and developing financial and incentive instruments for environmental conservation. Josh served as the Chief Scientist for Project Isabela in Galápagos Islands, the world’s largest island restoration project. He also played a pivotal role in building the NGO Island Conservation, whose mission is to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands, from a five-person operation to a multi-million dollar organization that now works in over a dozen countries. He served as a key advisor to the Chilean and Argentinean governments on the restoration of Tierra del Fuego. Josh’s efforts currently focus on innovation, environmental entrepreneurship, behavioral incentives, and human-centered design approaches to environmental problem solving.

Tim Doran pic Tim Doran, Senior Research Scientist and Group Leader for Advanced RNA Technology, CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship

Dr Tim Doran is a Senior Research Scientist who is currently Group Leader for Advanced RNA Technology in the CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship. Dr Doran has championed the development of RNAi technology for applications in livestock industries and is recognized as an international expert in this field. RNAi has been a key component of bio-security research within CSIRO and will play a major role in developing disease control strategies within the Biosecurity Flagship. In collaboration with Dr Craig Smith at the at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Dr Doran used RNAi technology to solve the long standing mystery of sex determination in birds and this research was published in Nature. Dr Doran is also an Adjunct Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Australia.

Owain EdwardsOwain Edwards, Program Leader Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia (CSIRO)

Dr Owain Edwards obtained a BSc in Zoology from the University of Guelph in 1986. He was awarded his MSc in Entomology from the University of Missouri‐Columbia, USA, in 1989 and his PhD in Entomology from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, in 1994. Prior to joining CSIRO in 1998, Dr Edwards undertook postdoctoral studies at the University of Florida and the US Department of Agriculture to study ecological and genetic factors controlling the establishment of natural enemies in classical biological control programs. As a Project Leader in CSIRO based in Perth, Western Australia, his research has focused primarily on the molecular basis of aphid‐host plant interactions, which now includes board membership in the International Aphid Genomics Consortium (IAGC) and strong collaborations with the Institute of Zoology (CAS Beijing), Kansas State University (USA), INRA Rennes (France) and BGI Shenzhen (China). His work on aphids has broadened to examine the molecular basis of all aphid interactions with their environment, including the genetic and epigenetic factors controlling aphid polyphenism and the molecular basis of insecticide resistance. This latter research has led Dr Edwards to focus recently in the areas of RNAi for pest control, nanopesticides, invertebrate ecotoxicology and environmental genomics. Dr Edwards is also leading CSIRO’s strategic research activities in conservation and biodiversity genomics, which includes the development of novel methods to assess invertebrate biodiversity using metagenomics. Dr Edwards also provides invertebrate genomics leadership internationally on the coordinating group of the i5K initiative to sequence 5000 insect genomes.

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Endy_Drew_picDrew Endy, Associate Professor of Engineering, Stanford University

Drew Endy developed the world’s first “fabless” genetic engineering teaching lab in the new Bioengineering program at Stanford and previously helped start the Biological Engineering major at MIT. His Stanford research team develops genetically encoded computers and redesigns genomes. He co-founded the BioBricks Foundation as a public-benefit charity supporting free-to-use standards and technology that enable the engineering of biology ( He co-organized the International Genetically Engineered Machines ( competition, the BIOFAB International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology (, and Gen9, Inc. ( He serves on the US Committee on Science Technology and Law and is a new voting member of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He chaired the 2003 Synthetic Biology study as a member of DARPA ISAT, served as an ad hoc member of the US NIH Recombinant DNA Advisor Committee, and co-authored the 2007 “Synthetic Genomics: Options for Governance” report with colleagues from the Center for Strategic & International Studies and the J. Craig Venter Institute. Esquire named Endy one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. He lives in Menlo Park CA with his wife and Stanford Bioengineering colleague Prof. Christina Smolke.

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kevin_esveltKevin Esvelt, Research Associate, Wyss Institute, Harvard University

Kevin Esvelt, Wyss Technology Development Fellow, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School (gene drives, CRISPR/Cas9, phage-assisted continuous evolution, molecular evolutionary engineering) An inventor of technologies that harness evolution, Kevin studies ways of using molecular tools to alter populations and ecosystems.  He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010 for inventing phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE), a synthetic microbial ecosystem for rapidly evolving molecular tools. As a Fellow of the Wyss Institute, he helped pioneer the development of a powerful new method of genome engineering based on CRISPR/Cas9, an enzyme that can cut DNA at almost any desired sequence. Kevin recently outlined how Cas9 might be used to alter wild populations of sexually reproducing organisms by building evolutionarily stable “gene drives”. Commonly found in nature, gene drives spread through populations over many generations by biasing inheritance in their favor, but could not previously be harnessed to make useful changes. Recognizing the potential implications of a general method of altering the traits of entire populations, Kevin and colleagues have detailed ways to control, block, or even reverse changes made by gene drives and emphasized the importance of careful evaluation and regulatory reform. Because the environment is shared by everyone, he is deeply concerned with ensuring that gene drives and other inherently collective technologies are only used after transparent, broadly inclusive, and well-informed discussions.

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RobAmakihiBrysons2014-Sackett[2]Robert Fleischer, Center Head, Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park

Rob Fleischer is Senior Scientist and Head of the Center for Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Zoological Park.  He received a B.A. at University of California at Santa Barbara in 1978 and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1983.  His primary fields of interest are evolutionary and conservation biology.  He conducts individual and collaborative research in population and evolutionary genetics, systematics, and molecular and behavioral ecology, mostly on free-ranging bird and mammal species.  Dr. Fleischer is author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed contributions to the scientific literature.  Much of Dr. Fleischer’s current research involves application of DNA analyses to studies in conservation, evolution and animal behavior.  He has particular interests in (1) the use of ancient DNA methods to document changes in genetic variation through time and phylogenetic relationships of extinct or endangered organisms (especially of the recently extinct Hawaiian avifauna); (2) the use of highly variable genetic markers to measure genetic structure and relatedness, and to ascertain mating systems, in natural populations, and (3) the use of genetics to study the evolutionary interactions between hosts, vectors and infectious disease organisms (e.g., major projects on introduced avian malaria in native Hawaiian birds and invasive chytrid fungus in amphibians).

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IMG_6347Dr. Ken Gage, Chief, Entomology and Ecology Activity, CDC Fort Collins

Kenneth Gage obtained his B.S. in Biology from Wichita State in 1980 and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Oklahoma in 1983 and 1987, respectively. From 1987-1992 Dr. Gage completed postdoctoral fellowships on tick-borne diseases at the University of Texas Medical Branch and the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories. In 1992 he accepted a plague position in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (DVBD). Dr. Gage currently is chief of the Entomology and Ecology Activity (EEA) in DVBD’s Bacterial Diseases Branch. Responsibilities include supervising efforts to monitor, prevent and control plague, Lyme disease, bartonelloses, tularemia, and relapsing fever. He also conducts and supervises research on these diseases in the U.S. and other countries, often in collaboration with other public health agencies, wildlife biologists, or university-based investigators. Dr. Gage has served in many countries as a short-term consultant on plague and other rodent-borne diseases for the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional affiliates. He is the author/co-author of more than 165 scientific publications, including 123 peer-reviewed articles, 8 invited reviews, and 18 book chapters, as well as other publications from CDC, WHO, or other sources. Suggested links

60b7d5298fac76ec87_l_ffab1 copyNeil Gemmel, Neil Gemmell, AgResearch Chair, Reproduction and Genomics, University of Otago

Professor Neil Gemmell holds the AgResearch Chair in Reproduction and Genomics at the University of Otago and was the inaugural Director of the Centre for Reproduction and Genomics 2008–13. His research blends ecology, population, conservation and evolutionary biology with recent technological spin-offs from the various genome projects.   Since returning to New Zealand in 1998 he has built a research group that synthesises genomics, population genetics and evolutionary theory to provide research services to key end users in the conservation, biosecurity and agricultural arenas, while also undertaking lead-edge research across a range of topics. A recurring theme in his research is that of reproduction, with past and current projects spanning mating systems and mate choice, sperm function, sex determination, sex allocation, and inter-sexual genomic conflict. It is through this later work that Neil has most recently begun to explore how  mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) mutations that affect males, but not females, might be exploited as a tool for biocontrol; an idea he terms the Trojan Female Technique (TFT).

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gould_fred_cropFred Gould, Professor, Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University

Fred Gould is a Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina State University with appointments in the Entomology and Genetics Departments. Dr. Gould assisted in the development and deployment of insecticidal transgenic crops in ways that suppress the evolution of pest resistance. He is now focused on the potential for engineering insects and other pests to suppress disease and crop loss, and to protect endangered species. Dr. Gould has served on two US National Academy of Sciences committees that assessed risks of transgenic crops. Fred Gould has a BS in Biology from Queens College in New York City (1971) and PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1977) with his thesis examining rapid host range evolution in a crop pest. After graduating, Dr. Gould was awarded an NSF postdoctoral fellowship to examine the relationship between insect adaptation to natural plant defenses and insecticides subsequently worked as a soil insect ecologist at North Carolina State University. He is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. Dr. Gould received the Alexander von Humboldt award for most significant agricultural research over a five-year period, the Sigma Xi George Bugliarello Prize for written communication of science, the Holladay Medal in recognition of research achievements and contributions to North Carolina State University, and the O. Max Gardner Award for contributions to human welfare. He was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2011.

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hay picture revive and restoreDr. Bruce Hay, Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology

Bruce A. Hay is a professor in the department of Biology and Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). One lab goal is to understand how deregulation of cell death, and mitochondrial quality control, contribute to cancer, and diseases of aging, including Parkinsons and Alzheimers. A second goal is to control the fate and/or composition of wild populations. There are three projects. One involves engineering reproductive isolation (speciation) between populations that can otherwise interbreed, so as to limit gene flow; a second involves creating genetic methods that can, reversibly, drive populations of invasive species and/or vectors of disease to local extinction; a third involves creating genetic methods that can drive – in ways that are easily reversible – the spread of beneficial genes into wild insect populations so as to prevent the spread of vector-borne disease. Finally, we are developing single shot, lifetime (but reversible) contraceptives for a variety of mammalian species. This technology – vectored contraception – utilizes a single intramuscular injection to bring about transgene-mediated expression of proteins that inhibit fertility through action on targets such as GnRH, a master reproductive hormone, the egg zona pellucida, which is an essential binding site for sperm, or sperm.

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Ben mug shot 2007Ben Hoffman, Principle Research Scientist, CSIRO in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Ben Hoffman is a Principle Research Scientist at CSIRO in Darwin, Northern Territory. His research interests are invasive ant ecology and management, ant community ecology and ants as bioindicators. Ben collaborates with many local and regional organisations to effectively manage invasive ant incursions, especially on Indigenous lands. Ben’s research aims to document the impacts of invasive ants on biodiversity and ecological function, to develop effective management strategies, as well as to contribute to a more broader theoretical understandings of how and why invasions occur. Ben is involved in almost all ant eradication programs within Australia, and provides advice to numerous programs internationally. He considers RNAi technology to potentially be the “next big breakthrough” in ant eradications, and finally resolve the non-target issue that currently prevents ants from becoming the world’s most eradicated animal taxa. Suggested links:

howald_150x150Gregg Howald, North America Regional Director, Island Conservation, Canada 

Gregg Howald is the Director of the North America Region of Island Conservation (IC) whose mission is to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. He directs the program by catalyzing public-private-partnerships between governments and both the conservation and local communities. Gregg trained as an ecotoxicologist with an MSc. and a BSc (Ag)(Hons.) from the University of British Columbia. His 20 years of diverse experience and expertise has been directly applied on over 40 islands, and he is utilized for many of IC’s projects worldwide. Gregg has worked in eight countries in North America, the Tropical Pacific, South America, Asia (Japan) and Europe, including leading technical implementation of projects, strategic project/program development/direction and feasibility assessments, to technical support and regulatory compliance. Combining his ecotoxicology expertise with government relations responsibilities has resulted in the successful registration and authorized use of seven conservation rodenticide bait products for removal of rodents from islands in 5 countries. Gregg is currently engaged with national and international environmental policy, including the North America Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management, with a focus on the Conservation and Restoration of the Insular Ecosystems of Mexico, the United States of America and Canada.

Alicia Jackson Alicia Jackson, Deputy Director, Biological Technologies Office (BTO), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Dr. Alicia Jackson is currently the Deputy Director of the Biological Technologies Office (BTO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s principal engine for disruptive innovation. BTO is DARPA’s technology arm focused on leveraging advances in engineering and computer science to drive and reshape biotechnology for technological advantage. BTO is responsible for all neurotechnology, human-machine interface, human performance, infectious disease, and synthetic biology programs, totaling approximately $300 million annually. Previously, Dr. Jackson created and managed DARPA’s synthetic biology portfolio through the Living Foundries Program. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jackson served as Professional Staff for energy technology policy for the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy Committee. She has a long standing involvement and expertise in technology policy, serving as an Energy Scholar at Georgetown, a Fellow at the National Academies of Science, and co-establishing the Science Policy Initiative at MIT. Dr. Jackson received both her undergraduate and Doctorate degrees in materials science and engineering from MIT.

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Karesh_cropDr. William Karesh, Executive Vice President for Health and Policy, EcoHealth Alliance

Dr. William Karesh is the Executive Vice President for Health and Policy for EcoHealth Alliance. He is also the President of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife and chairs the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s Wildlife Health Specialist Group. He serves as the inter-project liaison for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT-2 program. Dr. Karesh has pioneered initiatives focusing attention and resources on solving problems created by the interactions among wildlife, people, and their animals. He coined the term “One Health” to describe the interdependence of healthy ecosystems, animals and people and the term has been adopted by many organizations, including the United Nations, in local and global health efforts. He serves on the World Health Organization’s Roster of Experts, as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., and on the 4-person Steering Committee of OFFLU (OIE-FAO Network of Expertise for Influenzas). He has published over one hundred and sixty scientific papers and numerous book chapters, and written for broader audience publications such as Foreign Affairs and The Huffington Post.

Dr-Wendy-Kiso copyWendy Kiso, Ph.D., Research and Conservation Scientist, Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation

Dr. Wendy Kiso is the Research and Conservation Scientist at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation. Her research focuses on the conservation of both the endangered Asian elephant and tiger. Dr. Kiso’s ground-breaking work in semen biology, semen storage and sperm cryopreservation in elephants is helping the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation lead the way in artificial insemination in elephants by establishing a Genomic Resource Bank for Asian elephants. Dr. Kiso is also involved in various in situ elephant research projects with the Ringling Bros. Center for the Study of the Asian Elephant at Rajarata University and at the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home in Sri Lanka. Dr. Kiso obtained her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. She is a graduate of the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College, after which she received a Master of Natural and Applied Science degree from Missouri State University under the guidance of Dr. Dennis Schmitt. Dr. Kiso received her Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy at George Mason University in partnership with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C.

pic KuzmaJennifer Kuzma, Co-director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center; Goodnight-NCGSK Distinguished Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs and Co-Director of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center

Jennifer Kuzma is the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program senior hire in the interdisciplinary Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) cluster at NCSU. She is also the Goodnight-NCGSK-Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs and co-director of the GES Center. Prior to this, Kuzma was a professor of S&T Policy at the University of Minnesota for 10 years. Her research focuses on governance systems for emerging technologies and their dynamics. She has over 90 academic publications and has held several leadership and advisory positions, including Chair of the Gordon Conference on Science and Technology Policy, Secretary and Council Member of the Society for Risk Analysis, the European Commission Expert Group for Science in Society and the EU’s ‘SYNTH-ETHICS’ project, the FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee, and the UN WHO-FAO Expert Group for Agrifood Nanotechnology. She earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from UC-Boulder in 1995 and holds the first patent on bacterial isoprene production. After a postdoc in plant molecular biology at the Rockefeller University, she worked in Washington DC as an AAAS Risk Policy Fellow at the USDA and then as a study director for several reports on biotechnology and bioterrorism policy at the NAS/NRC.

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David Lang..Photo: Ryan LashDavid Lang, Co-founder of OpenROV

David Lang is the co-founder of OpenROV, developers and manufacturers of low-cost underwater robots, as well as OpenExplorer, a platform for connected exploration. He writes frequently on the topics of digital manufacturing, citizen science and the overlap between the two. He is the author of Zero to Maker. He is a TED Senior Fellow and a member of NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Advisory Board.



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Ling_photoDr. Paul D. Ling, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Ling obtained a B.A. in chemistry from St Olaf College, a Ph.D. in Microbiology from USUHS, and completed his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins. He has spent more than 20 years investigating herpesvirus gene regulation and pathogenesis, particularly with respect to Varicella Zoster virus and Epstein-Barr virus. Dr. Ling is chair of the Microbial Pathogenesis and Cancer (MPC) study section for the American Cancer Society and Associate Editor for the journal PLOS Pathogens. Since 2009, he expanded the scope of his research program in collaboration with the Houston zoo to work on the elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV), which can cause lethal hemorrhagic disease in endangered Asian elephants. EEHV is the leading cause of death in juvenile Asian elephants born in North America and is a major factor impeding efforts to establish robust breeding groups in captivity. The disease is also known to affect Asian elephants in range countries. This “Bench to Barn” project is practically oriented and has three phases: 1) diagnostics, 2) treatments, and 3) vaccines. Progress towards these goals have been made through sequencing the EEHV genome, development of qPCR diagnostic assays, and developing tools to measure elephant immune responses.

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lipkin_lecture_picDr. W. Ian Lipkin, Director, Center for Infection and Immunity, Columbia University

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, MD, the John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and Professor of Neurology and Pathology at Columbia University is internationally recognized for the development of genetic methods for microbial surveillance and discovery. He directs the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University and the NIH Center for Diagnostics and Discovery, is a Member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH and Scientific Director of the Joint Research Laboratory for Pathogen Discovery in the Chinese Centers for Disease Control. His contributions include the first use of genetic methods to identify an infectious agent; implication of West Nile virus as the cause of the encephalitis in North America in 1999; invention of MassTag PCR and the first panmicrobial microarray; first use of deep sequencing in pathogen discovery; and molecular characterization of more than 600 viruses. He has been active in translating science to the public through print and digital media and was chief scientific consultant for the Soderbergh film, Contagion. His honors include: Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, Kinyoun Lecturer National Institutes of Health, Oxford University Simonyi lecturer, the Mendel Medal and Bernard Fields lecturer.

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_SMB2990 D McAloose, WHC pathology_cropDee McAloose, Chief Pathologist, Wildlife Conservation Society

Dr. Denise (“D”) McAloose is the Head of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Pathology Department. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. She completed specialty residency training in anatomic veterinary pathology at both the University of Pennsylvania and University of California, Davis and was the Jane and Marshal Steel Pathology Fellow at the Zoological Society of San Diego prior to joining the WCS staff 2001. Dr. McAloose is the Pathology Advisor to the Association of Zoo’s and Aquarium’s (AZA) Maned Wolf and Snow Leopard Species Survival Programs, is Co-Pathology Advisor to the AZA’s Felid Taxon Advisory Group, and is a member of the National Marine Fisheries Services/National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Working Group for Unusual Marine Mammal Mortality Events. She is a Senior Courtesy Lecturer at Cornell University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Her special interests are in the pathology of known and emerging infectious diseases in wildlife and in applying advanced technologies in the diagnosis of diseases of conservation concern.

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Jack-NewmanJack Newman, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Amyris

Jack Newman co-founded Amyris with four post-docs and their professor at the University of California, Berkeley in 2003. Dr. Newman is an inventor of the original patented technology underpinning the Amyris production platform, work that led to a grant he co-authored and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to produce a cure for malaria using synthetic biology. At Amyris, Dr. Newman has lead a research group of over 100 scientists and engineers and currently focuses on innovation in microbial engineering. He has over two decades of research experience in molecular biology, microbial physiology and genetics. He received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a B.A. in molecular and cellular biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Newman current serves on the board of directors of the Biobricks Foundation, a public benefit company with a mission to “ensure that the engineering of biology is conducted in an open and ethical manner to benefit all people and the planet.” He also chairs the Board of Directors of zagaya, a public benefit company he co-founded “to improve the human condition through the targeted application of science-based technology and education.”

ben_novakBen Novak, Lead Researcher, The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback, Revive & Restore

Ben Novak graduated from Montana State University studying Ecology and Evolution (2005). Novak specialized in paleontology, genetics, ecology and ornithology. Novak was trained in paleogenomics laboratory protocols at the McMaster Ancient DNA Centre under Dr. Hendrik Poinar, exploring DNA extraction and sequencing of Mastodon fossils (2010-2012). It was at this laboratory that Ben began his first studies of passenger pigeon genomics. With this experience he has taken on the challenge of leading The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback which began in 2012. In 2013 he joined the UCSC Paleogenomics Laboratory, under Dr. Beth Shapiro, to initiate genome studies for passenger pigeon de-extinction.

Passenger pigeons and the conservation ecology of de-extinction have been his life-long passion. In conjunction with his work for Revive & Restore, Ben is pursuing a Master’s degree at UCSC. His thesis dissertation will serve as an “ecological risk assessment” for the reintroduction of passenger pigeons to the eastern United States/Canadian forests. Research for this body of work will provide the foundation for our understanding of the genomics of de-extinction, the comprehensive design plan for the breeding and repopulation of de-extinct passenger pigeons, and the regulations and policies pertaining to de-extinction. Ben is leading The Great Passenger Pigeon Comeback with the goal of setting the field standards for de-extinction protocols and considerations. Ben is also involved in public communications & education outreach for Revive & Restore, as well as lending his expertise to related projects.

eleonore_pauwels_CroppedEleonore Pauwels, Public Policy Scholar, Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson Center

Eleonore Pauwels is a Senior Research Associate with the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Her primary focus is a comparative and critical analysis of the EU and US approaches towards the societal governance of synthetic biology. She is also examining the challenges that new forms of biotechnology pose for political and public policy organizations, and the regulatory innovations that emerge alongside developments in cutting edge technologies. Her past research has included risk communication, citizen participation in technical controversies, and knowledge-sharing between epistemic cultures within and outside of the laboratory. Before coming to the Wilson Center, Eleonore was part of the Governance & Ethics Unit of the Directorate-General for Research at the European Commission. She still conducts research for the European Commission, including on open science and synthetic biology. Her research has recently been featured in Slate, The Guardian, Nature and the NYT.

Ryan_PhelanRyan Phelan, Executive director, Cofounder, Revive & Restore

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 enhance biodiversity through the genetic rescue of endangered and extinct species. 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 web pages on 925,000 species. In 1995 she founded Direct Medical Knowledge—a consumer health web site unique for its content depth and innovative search interface that was acquired by WebMD in 1999. DMK’s content became the backbone of WebMD’s consumer health site.

piaggio+smallerAntoinette J. Piaggio, Research Molecular Biologist, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services

Dr. Antoinette J. Piaggio is employed by the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) in Fort Collins, CO. Her research studies focus on developing genetic approaches to inform wildlife damage management efforts. Population-level investigations can determine geographical boundaries of populations, gene flow between populations (population connectivity), and genetic diversity within populations. Phylogenetic studies can test hypotheses of taxonomic definitions and evolutionary relationships. Research data gathered in any of these areas can enhance effectiveness of management efforts. Because wildlife genetics data can elucidate population dynamics in host populations, they also may be useful in the management of wildlife diseases. Through her work, continuing education, and professional contacts, Dr. Piaggio stays current with the latest developments in her field, ensuring that the NWRC wildlife genetics lab will always be a leader in the use of exciting, cutting-edge tools and techniques and the application of robust scientific methods for the investigation of wildlife-human conflicts. Lab results will allow wildlife managers not only to use the best genetic tools available but also to maintain genetic diversity and evolutionary potential of the wildlife species under investigation.

Bill Powell TEDx 2013 #2William Powell, Professor, Director, Council on Biotechnology in Forestry, SUNY-ESF Co-Director of The American Chestnut Research & Restoration Program Roosevelt Wild Life Station Scientist-in-Residence

Dr. William A. Powell received his BS in biology in 1982 at Salisbury 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 (Castanea dentata) tree.  He has also worked with American elm and hybrid poplar. Dr. Powell currently has over 50 peer reviewed publications and one patent. He teaches courses in Principles of Genetics, Plant Biotechnology, and Biotechnology Freshman orientation. His most significant accomplishment is the enhancement of blight resistance in American chestnut by his research team and collaborators.

redford-buffalos_cropKent H. Redford, Principal, Archipelago Consulting. Workshop curation.

Kent H. Redford is the principal at Archipelago Consulting, established in 2011 and based in Portland, Maine. He was most recently Director of the WCS Institute and Vice President, Conservation Strategies at the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York. Archipelago Consulting has worked with a variety of clients including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Global Environment Facility, the US National Park Service and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Kent has led evaluations, been a team member on others, written commissioned papers and helped organize and run meetings.  He has also initiated projects that were funded by others; the largest of which was a collaboration with Equilibrium Research to review the global status of private protected areas and make recommendations for their strengthening.  This work culminated in an IUCN Technical Report Series publication and a set of workshops at the 2014 World Parks Congress.  He is currently working with Revive and Restore on a workshop to assess the possible application of genomic tools to wildlife conservation.

trockeTonie Rocke, Research Epizootiologist, Field & Lab Research, National Wildlife Health Center, USGS

Tonie E. Rocke, Ph.D., received training in Veterinary Science and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has been employed as a research microbiologist at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center since 1985. Dr. Rocke’s current research is focused on the ecology and management of diseases in wild mammals (e.g. plague, monkeypox, rabies and white-nose syndrome) with the overreaching goal of conservation of threatened and endangered species. She and other colleagues have developed an oral recombinant plague vaccine for use in wild rodents. Dr. Rocke is currently leading a large-scale field trial in 8 western states of the U.S. to determine if oral vaccination through consumption of vaccine-laden baits prevents plague in wild prairie dogs, thus reducing the risk of disease for the endangered black-footed ferret, other animals, and possibly humans. Research is ongoing in Dr. Rocke’s laboratory and other collaborators to develop a a similar oral recombinant vaccine for bat rabies and, potentially, white-nose syndrome.

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Ryder_Oliver PhotoOliver Ryder, Director of Genetics, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research

Dr. Oliver Ryder is recognized globally for his substantive and innovative contributions to establishing and developing the fields of conservation genetics and conservation genomics. He is Director of Genetics at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research and 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 early passage cell cultures that includes more than 10,000 individual vertebrates comprising more than 1,000 species. He was recognized 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 received the Duale 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. Dr. Ryder was an undergraduate at the University of California, Riverside and completed his Ph.D. at U.C. San Diego. He published more than 300 scientific and popular articles, some of which are citation classics in their fields.

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schmitt_copyDr. Dennis Schmitt, Chair of Veterinary Services and Director of Research, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Center for Elephant Conservation

Dennis Schmitt is the Ringling Bros. Chair of Veterinary Care and Director of Research. He is Professor Emeritus at Missouri State University where he was the Alumni Chair of Reproductive Biology in the William H. Darr School of Agriculture. He received his D.V.M. degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He is board certified in Theriogenology (veterinary reproduction) and has served as a reproductive advisor for the AZA elephant TAG/ SSP management group since 1987 and as its veterinary advisor for several years. He is on the Board of Directors for the International Elephant Foundation and served as a past president. He is a member of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group of the IUCN and a veterinary advisor for the Global Elephant Management Program.

Much of his work with elephants has been as a consultant for medical management and breeding programs at several zoo and circuses in North America. His work resulted in the first elephant produced from artificial insemination, the first elephant to survive Elephant Endothelial Herpesvirus, and he has published several articles and book chapters on elephant care. In addition Dr. Schmitt has lectured and consulted on elephant care in several Asian range countries.

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otago009384 Phil Seddon, Head of the IUCN’s Task Force on De-extinction and member of the IUCN Reintroduction and Invasive Species Specialist Group’s Task Force on Moving Plants and Animals for Conservation Purposes

Phil Seddon is a Professor in the Department of Zoology and Director of the Postgraduate Wildlife Management Programme at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and Chair of the Bird Section of the SSC’s Reintroduction Specialist Group. He was a member of the SSC Task Force that produced the 2013 IUCN Reintroduction Guidelines. He has worked and advised on species restoration projects in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Iran), Japan, the UK, western Europe (Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain) and Canada.”

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Lee Skerratt PhotoLee Skerratt, IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group, Centre for Biosecurity in Tropical Infectious Diseases, James Cook University, Australia

Lee is a wildlife epidemiologist and leads the One Health Research Group of senior and postdoctoral scientists and PhD students at James Cook University (JCU). He works in the fields of wildlife epidemiology, vector ecology, and public health. He has studied a variety of wildlife health systems in different parts of the world addressing the problems of wildlife diseases impacting human and domestic animal health such as avian influenza, surra, Australian bat lyssavirus and Hendra virus and biodiversity including chytridiomycosis, sarcoptic mange and adenoviruses. Some of his recent work has demonstrated that the spread of the amphibian chytrid fungus has caused the global decline and extinction of frogs (Skerratt et al. 2007) which was recently acknowledged by the World Organisation for Animal Health when they made it a notifiable disease. His expertise lies in best practise for surveillance and determining the causes of wildlife disease. He obtained his PhD in wildlife health in 2001 and veterinary and animal science degrees in 1994 from the University of Melbourne. Prior to joining JCU he was a research fellow at the University of Wisconsin and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin. He provides advice on managing wildlife health to State, National and International governmental organisations.

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threadgill-11 copyDavid Threadgill, Director, Whole Systems Genomics Initiative, Texas A&M University

Dr. David Threadgill earned a B.S. in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Texas A&M University before moving to Case Western Reserve University as an NIH-supported Post-doctoral Research Fellow. Dr. Threadgill is the Founding Director of the Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society and holder of the Tom and Jean McMullin Chair in Genetics at Texas A&M University. He has appoints in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine in the College of Medicine. Dr. Threadgill’s research, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. His research focuses on understanding the role of genetic variation in contributing to human health and disease using mouse models of human disease, and more recently exploiting technologies developed for biomedical research for application in the field of genetic pest management.

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RET photo cropRonald Thresher, Scientist, CSIRO, Wealth from Oceans Research Flagship, Australia

Ron Thresher got his Ph.D. in fish behavior and ecology at the University of Miami, and did post-doctoral work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of Sydney.  He joined the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in 1983, where he has undertaken research on topics ranging from the ecology of larval fish and deep-sea communities to development of proxies in biogenic carbonates and impacts of climate change on marine populations.  From 1994 to 2001, he founded and directed the CSIRO Centre for Research on Introduced Marine Pests, which, among other activities, explored novel options for the management and control of invasive animal species.  This led, in 1997, to Ron leading CSIRO’s “Sterile Ferals” initiative, a multi-institutional project aimed at developing novel recombinant technologies for controlling invasive mice, carp and oysters and, in 2003, the “Daughterless Carp” project.  Ron is currently collaborating with Auburn University to complete trials of recombinant and chromosomal options for producing “daughterless” carp, consulting on the risks involved in using genetic methods for managing disease-vectoring mosquitoes, exploring options for applying genetic techniques to the control of other invasive fish, and writing papers on deep-sea ecology, climate change and the taxonomy of Tasmanian mayflies.

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IMG_5515_2_headshotNeil Tsutsui, Professor of Arthropod Behavior, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley.

Professor Tsutsui specializes in the behavior, chemical ecology, genetics, and genomics of social insects, particularly the invasive Argentine ant and the European honey bee. Dr. Tsutsui’s research topics include the origin and evolution of invasive ant “supercolonies”, the sequencing and analysis of ant genomes, and the discovery of pheromones that regulate insect behaviors. A current focus of the Tsutsui Lab is the development of functional genomic tools for the control of invasive ants, and for the dissection of complex social behaviors.

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Marcela.UlianoSilvaMarcela Uliano da Silva, Ph. D. Student, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (genetic engineering of golden mussels) Marcela Uliano da Silva is a Brazilian biologist and second year PhD student at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Her thesis project is the genome sequencing of the Golden Mussel, Limnoperna fortunei, an Asian bivalve widespread in South America and an efficient ecosystem engineer. The aim of the project is to better characterize and understand the genetics and evolutionary traits of the Golden Mussel and to find future genetic targets for a biotechnological controlling approach. The project includes high coverage genome assembly and RNAseq for gene expression studies of Golden Mussels exposed to environmental challenges find in South American waters. Beyond evolution and biodiversity conservation, her main passions are science philosophy, science popularization and education. She is currently writing a book about history of science, and has partially funded her PhD project through crowdfunding. She is also a TED Fellow and presented a TED Fellow’s talk at TED Global 2014 about the Golden Mussel’s genome project.

  • Biology degree (2010) – Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina – Brazil
  • Master degree (2013) – Biophysics Institute – Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
  • PhD Student (2017) – Biophysics Institute – Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

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linus-upsonLinus Upson,
Vice President, Engineering, Google

Linus Upson joined Google in 2005 and until recently was vice president of engineering overseeing Google’s browser products including Chrome and Chrome OS. Prior to Google, Linus was an engineer NeXT and Netscape and co-founded two companies, AvantGo and Qurb. Linus is on an extended leave from his undergraduate studies in mathematics at Princeton University.


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MVerantMichele Verant, Veterinarian, Postdoctoral Research, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Michelle Verant is veterinarian and postdoctoral researcher supported by an NIH T32 training grant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine. She completed her DVM and MPH at the University of Minnesota and is currently working on a PhD focused on bat white-nose syndrome (WNS) at UW-Madison and the USGS National Wildlife Health Center. Her research focuses on host and environmental factors that influence the distribution and abundance of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungal cause of WNS. This information is useful for understanding factors that contribute to infection and mortality from the disease in hibernating bats. The purpose of her research is to support data-driven surveillance strategies and management options for mitigating impacts of WNS on hibernating bat populations.

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VanceDr. Vance Vredenburg, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, San Francisco State University

Vance Vredenburg is an associate professor in the department of biology at San Francisco State University, research associate and fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and research associate at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley. He grew up in Mexico and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California Santa Barbara (1992) where he gained ecological research experience on projects in California, Alaska, the Caribbean and Antarctica. His Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley (2002) included the first field experiments to successfully reverse the decline of a threatened frog in the wild. His approach has been implemented in montane areas in western North America, Europe and Patagonia. His current research focuses on the impacts of emerging infectious diseases on amphibians (e.g. chytridiomycosis) and the role of the amphibian skin microbiome in health and disease. Vredenburg is co-founder of AmphibiaWeb (, an online conservation resource for amphibians (> 7.6 million successful searches/day since 2002). His research includes >45 peer reviewed publications and has been covered in the media including in the New York Times, National Geographic, Popular Science, NPR and college textbooks. The National Science Foundation currently funds his research.

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Margaret Wild, DVM, PhDMAW_crop Chief Wildlife Veterinarian, National Park Service, Biological Resources Division, Wildlife Health Branch

Margaret Wild is the chief wildlife veterinarian, and leads the Wildlife Health Branch, for the National Park Service. She and her team provide technical assistance and consultation to parks on wildlife health issues, and develop recommendations for national NPS policy on wildlife health and welfare. Additionally, she works closely with the NPS Office of Public Health in the development and promotion of One Health within the NPS. Prior to joining the National Park Service in 2000, she was a researcher with the Colorado Division of Wildlife for 9 years where she focused on disease and physiology research questions, primarily with ungulates and small carnivores. She received her B.S. in wildlife biology (1980), DVM (1990), and PhD in zoology (2002), all from Colorado State University. She maintains an affiliate faculty position in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at CSU.

TMW1_cropThierry Work, Wildlife Disease Specialist, National Wildlife Health Center, USGS

Thierry Work is a wildlife disease specialist and project leader of the Honolulu Field Station. He has a BS degree in entomology from Texas A&M University, a masters of science in entomology from University of California, Davis (UCD) and a doctor of veterinary medicine and a masters of preventive veterinary medicine from UCD. He completed a residency in wildlife medicine at UCD and worked for California Department of Fish and Game as a wildlife veterinarian before coming to Hawaii in 1992.

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zabka_cropTanja Zabka, Veterinary Pathologist, Safety Assessment Group, Genentech

Tanja is a veterinary pathologist, completing her BA in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University, veterinary degree from University of Georgia and residency training from UC Davis and San Diego Zoological Society. Her focus has been in marine wildlife and ecosystem health. She continued her career at The Marine Mammal Center and Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center, involved in research pathology, especially chronic domoic acid toxicity, and diagnostic pathology. Her toxicological pathology career has been with Roche, in which she supported research and safety assessment pathology, managed the necropsy laboratory, and was global lead for safety biomarker development. Currently, she is with Genentech, in which she supports safety assessment pathology, safety biomarker development for skeletal muscle and vascular injury, as well as expert working groups in cardiovascular and neurologic systems. She has experience in small molecule and large molecule development for both oncology and non-oncology indications and has a strong interest in developing alternative in vitro and in vivo methods to assess safety and efficacy outside of the traditional drug development paradigm. Most recently, she spent six months with the Gorilla Doctors on secondment in Uganda and Rwanda to help to establish a wildlife pathology diagnostic network.

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