Cambodia: crocodiles, elephants and capacity

As part of the RSE investigates… conservation series, Dr Alex Ball will give a lecture on developing the first conservation genetics laboratory in Cambodia.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland WildGenes team have been developing the first conservation genetics laboratory in Cambodia since 2016.

Based at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, the team have been training staff in lab techniques to produce genetic data for conservation priorities in the region. They have developed a genetic test that can identify the critically endangered Siamese crocodile. This is important when selecting individuals for breeding and release programs as they are often purposely hybridised with other species within leather farms. They are also supporting the lab with genetic monitoring of the few remaining Asian elephant populations in the country.

Join this talk given by Dr Alex Ball to hear about the most recent project updates and developments.

RSE… Investigates Conservation series

Efforts to protect and repair our planet’s natural resources span many areas of concern with experts across the globe dedicating themselves to conservation in their research and its application. The RSE investigates… conservation series will explore the vast and varied work being done in the area, including through several innovative and exciting conservation projects in Scotland: from the conservation of wildlife and environment to the conservation of heritage.

Throughout the series, we will be asking important, and at times tricky, questions about ethics and conservation, why conservation matters, how we engage the broader public in conservation efforts and the role of conservation in addressing the climate crisis and increasing biodiversity in Scotland and globally.

Learn more about the series


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Dr Alex Ball


Dr Alex Ball

Conservation Programme Manager (WildGenes), Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Dr Alex Ball is the RZSS WildGenes Programme Manager at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Based at Edinburgh Zoo, he manages the conservation genetics work of the society, focused on a range of national and international projects on threatened species. The project’s aim is to bridge the gap between academic genetic research and applied conservation. Alex has a background in avian evolutionary genetics, but now works on a wide range of taxa including mammals, birds, reptiles and insects, with the focus firmly on reducing extinction risk.

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Monday June 12th, 2023 12:30-13:30