Avoiding Conservation by Numbers and How Genetics Can Help

February 21, 2017

Did you know the little spotted Kiwi was nearly lost when just 5 individuals remained? A conservation program saw its numbers grow. But a bigger population is not enough. Dr Helen Taylor, research fellow in conservation genetics at the University of Otago, is tackling what happens when a population crashes and inbreeding – a threat to even thriving populations – affects the survival and reproduction of subsequent generations.

Dr Taylor discussed how conservation is often considered to be a numbers game – if we increase the size of a threatened species’ population, we think this a conservation success. Unfortunately, population growth is not always the full story; factors such as genetics have a big part to play in whether or not a species will survive.

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Science for Survival: AMN8’s Nano Trio

February 14, 2017

Three top international women scientists working in advanced materials and nanotechnology conference inspired an overflowing audience, including primary and high school students, by describing their work and experiences on the road to science.

Many common threads bound together the stories of Professor Silvia Giordani, Dr Carla Meledandri, and Professor Natalie Stingelin. We learnt that science is hard and science is unexpected – taking the path of science opened doors they never expected and took them to places they never thought they’d go. Science means learning all the time – it means being driven by curiosity and being stubborn to get results. And all three had inspiring high school science teachers! For more on the panel’s talk and Q&A with the audience, read the article in The Spinoff.

 

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The Science of Soccer

February 14, 2017

Catalyst plucked bioengineer Dr Albert Folch from the 2017 AMN8 conference and took him to Shotover Primary School to talk to students about the science of soccer and the end of the world. You can read more about his talk at The Spinoff.

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