Archive Tag: Ecosystem Health

With one million species at risk of extinction worldwide in the coming decades, researchers and conservation experts from across California met on September 5, 2019 at UCLA to plot a strategy for rapidly sampling and studying the genetics of 150 species to give them a fighting chance of surviving the impacts of climate change.  

The meeting was the first convening of advisors to the California Conservation Genomics Project, a three-year, state-funded $10 million project led by UCLA announced in July. Participants gave feedback on everything from how the initial 150 species should be selected, to sampling strategies and project administration. 

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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.

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Just like humans, other organisms leave genetic traces pretty much everywhere. A new DNA tool developed by UCLA researchers – the Anacapa Toolkit – can help rapidly detect which species are present in a given area just from analyzing a small amount of soil or water. This tool offers many potential benefits, including:  replacing hundreds of hours of in-person efforts, providing much more efficient and accurate assessments, and alerting researchers of threats of invasive species before they are visible.

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UCLA’s Ted Parson talks biodiversity and the U.N. report on KPCC’s “Take Two”

Ted Parson, faculty co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA, was interviewed on KPCC-FM’s Take Two about the United Nations assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services. The report, which was released in summary form on May 6, 2019, details the effects of human activity on habitats, ecosystems, and species. In the segment, Parson reminded listeners that human impact on biodiversity goes beyond climate change: “A lot of people, when they think of environmental threats happening, think only of climate change. But it’s important to understand that climate change is just one of several big, nasty global problems.”

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