DENVER/June 21, 2022 – Morris Animal Foundation, a global leader in funding studies that benefit animal health, and Revive & Restore, the leading nonprofit promoting the incorporation of biotechnology into conservation practice, are teaming up to address the catastrophic loss of amphibians around the world.
Morris Animal Foundation joins Revive & Restore as a funder and manager of their Wild Genomes grant program. The aim of Wild Genomes is to put the tools of genomics and biobanking into the hands of conservationists and wildlife managers around the world. The current call is for proposals focusing on amphibian species and is one of several joint research projects planned for the partnership. A call requesting proposals on genomics in kelp forest ecosystems will be launched this fall.
Amphibians, including frogs, toads, salamanders and newts, have experienced particularly drastic population declines in the last 30 years. The topic of the first request for proposals undertaken by this partnership will focus on developing new tools based on genomic sequencing and biobanking of amphibians. These resources will enable wildlife managers to make more accurate decisions about how best to help threatened amphibians adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
“The needs of critical wildlife species in the face of habitat degradation and climate change are immense, and animals like amphibians often are ignored even though they are among the most severely affected species,” said Dr. Janet Patterson-Kane, Morris Animal Foundation Chief Scientific Officer. “We need some hope right now in terms of achieving measurable and significant improvement for the health and welfare of some of these species, and we see placing high-tech tools into conservation programs for real-world use as a powerful way of achieving this.”
The Wild Genomes-Amphibians call to researchers is currently open, with the expectation that approved projects will begin in 2023. Interested applicants can learn more at Revive & Restore.
“We’re excited about partnering with Morris Animal Foundation,” said Dr. Bridget Baumgartner, Director of Research and Development at Revive & Restore. “Both our organizations have unique strengths but a shared mission to improve animal health through strong and innovative science.”
Species of special interest for the amphibians call are those with ecological significance, strategic conservation value, and/or evolutionary significance. There is a particular need for projects that address genomic insight into amphibian health as it pertains to emerging or understudied diseases and climate change resilience. Impacts of pollution and habitat loss are other areas that might be explored.
About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Denver, the Foundation has invested more than $142 million to date in nearly 3,000 studies to advance the health and well-being of animals around the world.
About Revive & Restore
Revive & Restore is the leading wildlife conservation organization promoting the incorporation of biotechnologies into standard conservation practice. Revive & Restore was founded in 2012 and is developing the Genetic Rescue Toolkit through a broad portfolio of projects supported through its Catalyst Science Fund.
Dane Madrid (Morris Animal Foundation)
Marmee Manack (Revive & Restore)