Dr. Janaki R.R. Alavalapati, Dean
School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences
3301 Forestry and Wildlife Building
602 Duncan Drive
Auburn, Alabama 36849-3418
Auburn University’s Weaver Lecture Series will present a talk by Julie Lockwood, professor of ecology and interim director of the Rutgers Climate and Energy Institute at Rutgers University, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 3:30 p.m., immediately followed by a reception at 4:30 p.m. at the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment.
Weaver Lecture Series Seminar
Lockwood’s lecture titled “Is biodiversity conservation in the midst of a technology revolution? How new tech and old-fashioned natural history combine for renewed hope” will provide an overview of technological tools that are transforming how we monitor biodiversity, focusing on environmental DNA as a tool combining natural history, molecular technology, robotics and bioinformatics.
The Weaver Lecture Series was established in 1996 through an endowment provided by Earl H. and Sandra H. Weaver. The series brings individuals with expertise in forestry, wildlife, and the environment to the Auburn University campus to enhance the college’s academic programs through public lectures and interaction with faculty and students.
The lecture is open to the public and will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 3:30 p.m. at the Forestry, Wildlife and Environment Building at Auburn University. Refreshments will be available at 3 p.m., and a reception will be held after the lecture at 4:30 p.m.
Title: Is biodiversity conservation in the midst of a technology revolution? How new tech and old-fashioned natural history combine for renewed hope.
Abstract: The species with whom we share this Earth provide us with cultural, economic, aesthetic, and health benefits. The loss of these species through extinction thus results in harm more broadly. Every global indicator is flashing red with evidence that we are in a global biodiversity crisis. The on-the-ground actions needed to halt this loss are well-known because the drivers of species loss are well-known. The challenge is implementing solutions at a scale that matches the problem and monitoring successes and failures in real time so that we avoid spending time and money on unhelpful actions. If you have ever engaged in field-based efforts to track how a single species is responding to management actions, then you know that the methods we have relied on for decades in biodiversity conservation will not scale to meet these challenges. Lockwood will provide an overview of technological tools transforming how we monitor biodiversity and how these tools interface with good old-fashioned natural history knowledge, focusing on using environmental DNA as a tool combining natural history, molecular technology, robotics, and bioinformatics for biodiversity monitoring.
Speaker Biography: A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Professor Julie Lockwood is interim director of the Rutgers Climate and Energy Institute and professor of ecology at Rutgers University. Her research centers on the prevention and management of invasive species, the socio-ecological dynamics of the wildlife trade, and the impacts of climate change and clean energy production on biodiversity. She is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.