We are extremely pleased to announce that our organization's co-founder, Mrinalini Erkenswick Watsa, is one of the five winners of the 2020 Maxwell/Hanrahan awards. This peer-nominated award aims to advance the work of field biologists by supporting and funding these scientists during important stages of their careers. Dr. Watsa was recognized for her efforts to bring cutting edge genomics to remote parts of the Amazon rainforest, with the goal of studying primate populations and disease ecology while also building local capacity to monitor biodiversity and wildlife health. The award additionally highlights her reputation as an enthusiastic collaborator, not only happily supporting and partnering with her peers, but also demonstrating a passion for training and mentoring the next generation of conservation scientists. [Visit their page to learn more.]
Field Projects International will be a core partner in the new In Situ Lab (ISL) initiative, a collaborative project funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation aimed at establishing a global model for wildlife population surveillance and pathogen screening. Because this project’s primary goal is to build capacity for analyzing samples near to their geographical origin, it has been dubbed the In Situ Lab initiative (ISL), and will develop a biosurveillance model that can be replicated on a global scale. As the first node of ISL, a state-of-the-art conservation technology hub will be installed at the Amazon Conservation Association’s field station in the Peruvian Amazon. This hub will have equipment and infrastructure for field genomics, safe pathogen screening, toxicology, and advanced wildlife tracking. [Read the full press release here.]
FPI's co-founder and post-doctoral research associate at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, Gideon Erkenswick PhD, was recently featured on HEC-TV in St. Louis discussing efforts to expand global wildlife surveillance through building local capacity to collect and analyze data nearer to biodiversity hotspots. He and the co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Jennifer A. Philips, MD, PhD, argue that affordable, cutting-edge technology can now be realistically deployed more widely to monitor pathogens at the human-wildlife interface. You can watch the full story here.
In case you missed it, FPI director Gideon Erkenswick was recently featured on "Show Me the Science," a podcast produced by the Office of Medical Public Affairs at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This episode focuses on monitoring and identifying pathogens that might jump from animals into humans, and also features Jennifer A. Philips, co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
- All press inquiries may be directed to our outreach coordinator, Ben Lybarger: ben[at]fieldprojects.org
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