Advances in biotechnology, which have transformed fields such as medicine and agriculture, can also provide fertile ground for breakthroughs when confronting significant environmental challenges. To explore the role sophisticated genetic tools may play in conservation, Promega has pledged $3 million over the next three years to the nonprofit Revive & Restore Catalyst Science Fund.
This is the first corporate pledge to a recently launched fund designed to identify and develop advanced techniques for genetic rescue and bring new tools to conservation work to enhance biodiversity. Our company was drawn to the work of Revive & Restore because the organization’s founders and scientists are systems thinkers who take an extremely long-term view of wildlife conservation.
The Catalyst Science Fund will invest primarily in proof-of-concept projects that offer solutions for conservation challenges. Supported research is intended to produce scientific results with significant conservation benefits that can be broadly applied to innovative solutions for endangered species and threatened ecosystems.
Marine biologist Steve Palumbi was awarded the first Science Fund grant, helping his laboratory at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station to investigate the genomic “stress trigger” that may cause corals to bleach due to warming ocean conditions. This scientific endeavor could be a significant step in understanding the large-scale bleaching of coral reefs and potentially engineering genomic resilience to climate change.
“As of yet, biotechnology and environmental sciences have not worked closely together, but there are now additional tools available for conservation. We have found a very powerful interest in both communities to thoughtfully explore the possibilities together. Thanks to Promega sparking this initiative, we are able to explore solutions to conservation questions through a new lens.”
– Ryan Phelan, Revive & Restore cofounder and Executive Director