December was a huge month for the Hoban lab as our fearless leader, Sean Hoban, spent December attending the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties (COP-15) in Montreal to share information on conserving genetic diversity and preventing species extinctions with policy makers, NGOs, and representatives of indigenous groups from around the world. This is described further below, but congrats to Sean on an incredible effort!
Sean Hoban attended the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of the Parties (COP-15) in Montreal to share information on conserving genetic diversity and preventing species extinctions with policy makers, NGOs, and representatives of indigenous groups from around the world. He helped host a series of presentations and discussions in which 115 people attended in person and 100+ people attended online, translated in French, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin. They provided advice on how the wording of CBD commitments can be scientifically accurate and measurable, with simple and affordable indicators developed by Sean and his colleagues as well as other indicators such as the Red List and the Living Planet Index. The indicators are based on population census data and reflect genetic diversity change but do not require DNA analysis- just census data or local consultation. He also helped host an information booth which was present for 14 days of the COP, and hundreds of persons visited to learn about genetic diversity conservation. Sean and his colleagues also directly interfaced with decision makers from Canada, Switzerland, USA, Italy, the EU, Norway, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Botswana, and more. In 2023 and beyond the team will continue to work on deploying simple indicators and metrics for conservation of populations and their adaptive potential, which do not require DNA data, in countries around the world, and supporting the post 2020 global conservation commitments through webinars and training.
Sean Hoban organized, spoke at, and led a set of webinars for delegates who will be attending the Convention on Biological Diversity, 15th Conference of the Parties (COP). The 1.5 hour webinars featured speakers from all over the world who are collaborating with Sean to test “indicators” or metrics for measuring conservation progress. The indicators relate to the resilience and adaptability of populations, and are affordable and simple, and leverage in-country expertise and resources, as explained in a new preprint. The presenters represented Australia, Japan, Colombia, South Africa, Mexico, France and Sweden. You can view the webinars here.
The lab gained a new member in November this year! Laura Aguiniga, a research technician fellow (RTF), will be working on assessing the ex situ genetic diversity representation of the IUCN red list endangered oak Quercus tomentella. Laura is currently in her junior year at Elmhurst University and will be working with the lab for several months. Welcome Laura!