By Miguel Fernandez

March 31, 2020

News from: GEO BON projects

Spanish Webinar:

When: Friday, April 3, 2020 / Time: 12:00 – 1:00pm (EDT, GMT-4)

English Webinar:

When: Friday, April 10, 2020 / Time: 12:00 – 1:00pm (EDT, GMT-4)

Title / Presenter:

“An X-Ray of a Pandemic” (“Rayos X de una Pandemia”) / Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio

Short Bio:

Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio is the Associated Vice President for Conservation and Health at EcoHealth Alliance and a Research Associate at the Bolivian National Herbarium. Dr. Zambrana-Torrelio works on the intersection between animal and human health. He is particularly interested in how biological diversity—from viruses to ecosystems—respond to anthropogenic gradients (e.g. from cities to forests).

Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio

He works closely on the links between biodiversity and health with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Dr. Zambrana-Torrelio holds a PhD from Sapienza Università di Roma on Environmental and Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Zambrana-Torrelio’s vision: “I strongly believe that the future of Latin America relies on a deep and transboundary collaboration among countries. the NS LAC is the best example of this vision. I look forward to support this initiative.”


EcoHealth Alliance and NatureServe, in collaboration with the Americas-Biodiversity Observation Network, GEO BON, and the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management and the Task Force on Human Health and Ecosystem Management is pleased to announce a special edition of the Pulse of the Planet Webinar Series.

Once again, we are facing another pandemic event in human history. One of the most serious problems we must face when a previously unknown pathogen emerges is how to combat disinformation, fear, and panic with science-based evidence. The fear that grips societies can be paralyzing, leading to health systems’ and economies collapse.

How to cut through the noise, and connect the public and decision makers to accurate first-hand information that can help prevent, anticipate and respond in a timely manner to disease outbreaks around the world? Scientists at EcoHealth Alliance are working on responding to these questions. Our guest speaker, Dr. Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio, Associated Vice President for Conservation and Health at EcoHealth Alliance and one of the few global experts working on the frontier between human health and ecosystem health, will place the current COVID-19 pandemic into context in relation to the history of human pandemics and the cost-effective solutions that were used in other cases such as the Nipah virus in Bangladesh, Ebola in Africa, and SARS in China.

A critical element in the evolution of a pandemic is information, which ideally should be in real time and harmonized in such a way that it can be comparable and actionable. Dr. Zambrana-Torrelio as part of a multi-disciplinary team that includes veterinarians, mathematicians, ecologists and economists has been working for the last 13 years on how tools from epidemiology, ecology, evolutionary biology and geospatial modeling can be applied to develop a global surveillance program that produces the critical information that breaks the chain of transmission and prevent future outbreaks.

Spanish version:

EcoHealth Alliance y NatureServe, colaboración con la Red de Observaciones de la Biodiversidad de las Americas (Americas-BON), GEO BON, y la Comision de Gestion de Ecosistemas de IUCN, task force de Salud Humana y Manejo Ecosistemico, se complacen en anunciar una edición especial del Pulso del Planeta.

La humanidad está enfrentando una nueva pandemia que nos desafía como individuos y como sociedades. ¿Como enfrentar el miedo y pánico, y como combatir la desinformación con evidencia científica ante la emergencia de un agente patógeno desconocido? Un evento de esta magnitud en algunos casos puede paralizar sociedades, y ocasionar el derrumbe de sistemas de salud y de economías.

Es crítico eliminar el ruido en la información y conectar al público y a tomadores de decisiones con información precisa y de primera mano que pueda ayudar a anticipar, prevenir, y responder a nuevos brotes de enfermedades emergentes. Los científicos en EcoHealth Alliance trabajan con este objetivo en mente. Nuestro invitado, el Dr. Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio, Vicepresidente Asociado de Conservación y Salud en EcoHealth Alliance y uno de los pocos expertos a nivel mundial trabajando en la frontera entre salud humana y salud de los ecosistemas, discutirá la pandemia actual del COVID-19. El pondrá la pandemia actual en el contexto histórico de eventos similares y discutirá las soluciones y respuestas que se usaron en otros casos como el del virus Nipah en Bangladesh, Ebola en África, y SARS en China.

Un elemento fundamental durante la evolución de una pandemia es la información, que idealmente debe ser armonizada y compartida en tiempo real para que sea comparable y accionable. El Dr. Zambrana-Torrelio, como parte de un equipo multidisciplinario que reúne a veterinarios, matemáticos, ecologistas, y economistas, ha trabajado por los últimos 13 años utilizando herramientas de epidemiologia, ecología, evolución, y modelamiento geoespacial para desarrollar un programa de vigilancia mundial que produzca información crítica necesaria para romper la cadena de transmisión y prevenir brotes futuros


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