Open Lectures


Balaton Open Science Lecture Series Register Here

Public Lectures on the Conservation of the Endangered Species
Weeknights at 7 pm, June 1-9, 2015
Lake Balaton Limnological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences 

Presented by ConGen2016 and the American Genetic Association
Hosted by Dr. Taras K Oleksyk, University of Puerto Rico
ConGen2016 will be offering an Open Science Lecture series on the Conservation Genetics of the endangered species. These lectures are targeted to the general audience that are genuinely interested in the science of conservation. The open lectures will start at 8 pm daily on weekdays between June 1 – 9, 2016.  We will be updating you on the schedule, so if you are interested in attending one of these lectures, please bookmark this page and come back later.


Currene Schedule


Poster Open Series 2016.v1























Wildlife Conservation Genetics: The Greatest Hits
Stephen J O’Brien
Chief Scientific Officer at the Theodosius Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics, St. Petersburg State University, RUSSIA

Conservation genetics is an interdisciplinary science that aims to apply genetic methods to the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. Researchers involved in conservation genetics come from a variety of fields including population genetics, molecular ecology, biology, evolutionary biology, and systematics. Genetic diversity is one of the three fundamental levels of biodiversity, so it is directly important in conservation of biodiversity, though genetic factors are also important in the conservation of species and ecosystem diversity. This talk is an overview of case studies that shaped this fascinated science in the last decades.

Conservation of whale species
Scott Baker
Associate Director of The Endowed Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University, OREGON

We need a greater understanding of the molecular ecology and systematics of whales, dolphins and porpoises around the world. Our work on large whales is pursuing three inter-related themes: reconstructing the past, assessing the present, and conserving the future. To understand of the impact of hunting on the abundance of whales and the ecological role of whales before human exploitation, we are working to improve population dynamic models by including genetic information on long-term effective population sizes before exploitation and minimum population size during exploitation.

Changing concepts of extinction
Oliver Ryder
Director of Genetics and Kleberg Chair of San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, CALIFORNIA

The notion of de-extinction, using genetic engineering to bring back species that have become extinct, is attracting wide attention. Proposals for de-extinction have sparked conversations in bioethics and conservation science. De-extinction and the accompanying moral and ethical questions. Public attention and excitement brings in funders and participants, but also may generate conflict with other conservation research, practices and goals. Excitement generated by this coverage often overlooks the central question: Which values, research agendas and techniques should guide conservation practices and our collective multi-species futures in an age of extinction?

Conservation Genetics and the struggle to save the rhinoceros – why being horny is still killing the rhino
Cindy Harper
Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria at Onderstepoor, SOUTH AFRICA

Numbers of rhinoceros across Africa and Asia have plummeted from 500 000 at the beginning of the 20th century 29 000 today. Current poaching levels are at their highest with more than 2 animals being slaughtered a day for their horns, in an unstoppable wave of greed, crime and violence. Conservation genetics has provided powerful forensic tools that now play an integral part in fighting the organized criminal onslaught on these animals.

The secret of the bat genome – how bats can help us live longer, see better and be happier?
Emma Teeling
Director of the Centre for Irish Bat Research, UCD, Dublin, IRELAND

One-fifth of all mammals in the world are bats — so why are they so stigmatized in Western culture? These fascinating creatures have a lot to teach us, with their uniquely high metabolic rates, surprisingly long lifespans and specialized fantastic senses. This lecture will tell you about the new discoveries made in studies of mammalian phylogenetic and comparative genomics, focusing mainly on bat biology and the bat’s genetic signatures of survival which enables them live far longer than expected and hear far better than other mammals. You will learn how studying and conserving these amazing animals can improve our health and preserve our environments.


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$5 donation will  ensure that one glass of wine will be waiting for you at the reception following one of the lectures

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