Application Domain Leader: Owain Edwards
Organisms and ecosystems are failing to adapt quickly enough to the accelerating rate of environmental change. Synthetic biology provides a suite of intervention technologies that can help protect or enhance species and ecosystems to be more resilient to threats.
The Environment and Biocontrol Application Domain supports projects developing technologies that protect the environment. The first focus of this Application Domain is to identify innovative approaches, as well as key biological components, leading to the next generation of detection and remediation technologies.
We are also undertaking projects aiming to engineer resilience in key species threatened by environmental change. This approach requires a thorough understanding of species under threat in order to identify what physiological and genetic interventions could provide the necessary protection. The main targets of this approach are keystone species without which entire ecosystems could collapse.
Our final area of focus is developing novel pest control technologies. This includes innovative engineering approaches and novel targets to achieve effective control of target species, as well as modelling and risk assessment approaches to ensure interventions are achieved with minimal risk to non-target organisms.
Because the technologies developed in the Environment and Biocontrol Application Domain have the potential for real world environmental applications, and therefore releases into the environment, successful project impact will be highly dependent on effective collaboration with the Maximising Impact Application Domain, including effective community and stakeholder engagement in decision-making about the use of these technologies.