What is Conservation Genomics?
Conservation genomics is a relatively new field of study that uses biotechnology for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. Within species, the level of genetic diversity is directly proportional to a species’ ability to adapt, survive and thrive.
To date, one of the most detailed conservation genomics studies of any wildlife species focused on American bison. This species experienced a well-documented population decline between the years 1800 and 1900 that reduced its numbers by over 99%! The spectacular recovery to over 700,000 animals present today is a testament to their genetic constitution and is recognized as one of the most significant accomplishments in modern conservation biology.
“We propose, using the bison studies as a model, to expand the use of these genomic technologies for the benefit of African wildlife species.”
–Dr. James Derr, Professor
Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
African Wildlife Conservation is one of two branches of research being done in the Derr Lab. Using principles from years of Bison Genetic research, projects are now being done on species in Africa.
African Wildlife Conservation Projects
- Zambian Lion Conservation (Caitlin Curry)
- A Century of Conservation Genetics of the African Lion (Caitlin Curry)
- Preserving Genetic Information of Wildlife Species (Jared Dabney)
- Genetic Catalog of Huntable Wildlife Species of Africa (Floyd Barnes)
African Wildlife Medicine Study Abroad Course
VTPB 948 & VTPB 485
Wildlife experts guide participants through activities including animal restraint, administering drugs, field surgery, and darting. Other experiential learning could include interaction with crocodiles, buffalo, and rhinos.