Molecular Genetics and Genomics Training for Conservation
at UM, Malta (from 20 to 22 January 2020)
The University of Malta, through the Conservation Biology Research Group led by Prof Adriana Vella, is convening the 1st Genomic Biodiversity Knowledge for Resilient Ecosystems (G-BIKE) COST Action training school. This unique training school shall allow local and foreign conservation managers, practitioners, policy-makers and young adult researchers to gain insights in useful investigative genomic tools and their outputs for improving the effectiveness of conservation monitoring and management of wild plants and animals, as well as, diverse habitats and ecosystems.
The 2020 year marks an important deadline in numerous biodiversity conservation targets set at international and European levels. Innovative tools to achieve these targets accurately, efficiently and with minimal disturbance to species and habitats also involve molecular genetics and genomics techniques. Thus allowing the DNA of any species, population and specimen to shed light on otherwise inaccessible information about the genetic identity, resilience and adaptation of organisms in a changing natural environment, also affected by anthropogenic activities, is essential.
As a conservation biologist, working on vulnerable species of the Maltese Islands using both field and laboratory work for over 20 years, Prof. Vella has promoted scientific recognition of the conservation needs of local and regional marine and terrestrial biodiversity. This has led her to focus on diverse species such as, dolphins, whales, turtles, bony and cartilaginous fish species, insects, crabs, reptiles, hedgehogs and bats. This conservation work has allowed her to apply diverse research tools and to contribute to projects where science and policy-making could dialogue to promote sustainable development and effective conservation planning and management from national to European levels.
Together with Prof. Vella’s contribution to the G-BIKE training school in Malta, there shall be other ten international experienced experts from Europe and USA that have worked on diverse ecosystems and considered different plant and animal species. Latest developments in the use and applications of molecular genetic techniques will be explored considering the specific backgrounds of the participants and their needs in upgrading their skills as conservation practitioners.
For further information on this short and intensive training school and how to apply for it by not later than 8 December 2019, visit www.um.edu.mt/events/gbike2020.