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Synthetic biology offers new hope for the eradication of invasive alien species from islands, a pressing need in the face of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.
The talk explores the dynamic intersection between international dialogue on synthetic biology (SynBio) and the pressing need for new tools for the removal of invasive alien species (IAS) from islands. It begins by highlighting the vulnerability and ecological importance of the world’s islands, often threatened by the disruptive presence of IAS. Simultaneously, it develops, from a personal and practical perspective, the path of the dialogue of IAS and the interaction with synthetic biology. It also extends on these two issues at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and how this dialogue shapes the ethical and policy framework for Synbio.
This presentation uncovers the fertile common ground where these two spheres converge, translating high-level policy aspirations into tangible, science-based actions. The talk delves into the challenges posed by IAS in island ecosystems and emphasizes the role that synthetic biology can play for the conservation of species and the prevention of extinctions by providing innovative tools for their control and eradication. Through collaborative solutions, the talk concludes by highlighting the potential of synthetic biology for the eradication of invasive exotic species and the need to continue the search for new technologies to solve the pressing problems of the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity.
Carolina Torres Trueba is an attorney at law, with a minor in litigant, financial and corporate law from Universidad de los Hemisferios. She has over ten years of experience managing environmental cases. In the conservation field, she was the lead attorney for the Galápagos National Park Directorate (GNPD). During her period at the GNPD, she managed environmental issues regarding vessel wrecks on San Cristobal Island as well as environmental cases in the Galápagos. She is a member of the International Trans-disciplinary Academy of Environment (ATINA), and a Kinship Conservation Fellow (2019 cohort). She has been the focal point for international policy matters at the United Nations (UN) and The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) representing IC. She has supported the dialogue on synthetic biology and Gene Drives since 2015.
GES Colloquium is jointly taught by Drs. Jen Baltzegar and Dawn Rodriguez-Ward, who you may contact with any class-specific questions. Colloquium will be held in person in the 1911 Building, room 129, and live-streamed via Zoom.