Capitol Hill Lunch Seminar - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Gene Drives 101: Perspectives on Potential Invasive Species Management

Topic Abstract

What is a gene drive and how does it work? What are their potential for conservation? If we could safely deploy them for positive conservation gains, should we?


Presenter: Heath Packard, Island Conservation

Heath Packard is conservation policy professional with 20 years of experience working for NGOs and government. He serves as the Director of Government and Public Relations for Island Conservation, the world’s only global NGO whose sole mission is to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. Island Conservation is part of the Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents (GBIRd) program. This international partnership is investigating both the suitability and feasibility of gene drives as a potential tool to safely achieve island invasive eradications, thus overcoming the limitations and challenges with traditional rodenticide-based methods. Heath Packard supports the GBIRd’s partnership’s outreach, communications, and external affairs efforts.