We started spring with a Cafe Scientifique.
Genetic modification and gene editing for invasive wasp control
Phil Lester is a Professor of Ecology and Entomology at Victoria University of Wellington where his research is in population dynamics and ecology of social insects. Invasive ants and social wasps in the Pacific region is a particular focus.
Phil made gene editing accessible to the audience, breaking down what a gene drive is clearly. Phil and the audience discussed the risks of gene editing technology as well as the positives of having these wasps in New Zealand, including the role wasps have in keeping fly populations low, versus the negatives for New Zealand’s biodiversity.
There will be one more Cafe Scientifique in 2019 on October 7. Check out Before they croaked it–a showcase of New Zealand’s extinct frogs.