UCLA to lead new California Conservation Genomics Project

July 29, 2019

UCLA will lead a state-funded $10 million California Conservation Genomics Project that will use cutting-edge science to help California’s plants and animals survive as the climate changes. The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge is a key partner in the project and helped to catalyze this statewide collaborative effort. The project will engage researchers and experts from all 10 University of California campuses and officials from state and federal regulatory agencies, among others. UCLA will host an all-day convening in early September with these experts to prioritize research and investment strategies.

The multi-campus initiative will conduct genetic research on endangered plant and animal species, creating a body of research aimed at protecting California’s biodiversity as the state confronts climate change. The project’s research efforts will focus on identifying which plant and animal species are most vulnerable to climate change based on their genetics. Key applications of the project’s results include supporting ecologically wise decisions after wildfires, and protecting California’s natural habitats through the early detection of invasive species.

The project could also help California’s transition to 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2045 by helping to inform where new renewable energy projects could be built while minimizing the impacts on wildlife.

H. Bradley Shaffer (professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and director of UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science), Victoria Sork (UCLA distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and dean of the Life Sciences Division in the UCLA College of Letters and Science) and Robert Wayne (UCLA distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology) will play key roles in the project.

Learn more at UCLA Newsroom.

Additional coverage:

UCLA professor talks about climate change KCBS-TV, 10 Aug 2019

UCLA Professor Talks About Climate Initiative CBSN Los Angeles, 10 Aug 2019

UCLA Professor Talks About Climate Initiative CBSN Los Angeles, 10 Aug 2019

UCLA Scientists Lead $10 Million California State Environmental Project The Canyon News, 07 Aug 2019

Los Angeles-UCLA to lead $10 million California conservation project Santa Monica Daily Press, 05 Aug 2019

UCLA to lead $10 million California conservation project UCLA IoES, 31 July 2019

UCLA To Lead $10 Million California Conservation Project Patch, 29 July 2019


The initiative will give California officials scientific data they can use to make decisions about conserving the state’s ecosystems. (Photo Credit: Sean Brenner/UCLA)