From puppies to pachyderms, the Atkinson Center-Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute partnership is conserving endangered species, finding new ways to restore biodiversity, and supporting new initiatives in One Health research. Our comprehensive collaboration with the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum and research complex, has three parts:
- We respond to urgent needs around the globe in wildlife and natural habitat conservation, engaging governments and the private sector to effectively tackle complex conservation problems on a scale that is truly consequential to sustaining Earth’s biodiversity.
- We seek to produce the next generation of conservation scientists, trained across disciplines and benefiting from the complementary strengths of both institutions.
- We have common missions of both discovering and sharing knowledge with a wide audience, with a particular focus on understanding how biodiversity conservation impacts all our lives.
In 2015, Atkinson-sponsored researchers pioneered a method of in vitro fertilization for dogs that opens the door for conserving many types of endangered species, as well as developing gene-editing technologies to eradicate heritable diseases in dogs and humans.
Additionally, both the Smithsonian and Cornell maintain DNA, serum and tissue repositories, or “BioBanks.” These range from endangered species of wildlife and rare breeds of domestic animals (Smithsonian) to pet cats and dogs and native North American wildlife (Cornell). Our two institutions are in a unique position to develop standards in management, curation, and access of these precious biological resources to maximize scientific discoveries and applications (from biomedical science to conservation).
Your support of this partnership ensures that biodiversity continues to flourish around the globe.