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War in Ukraine threatens international wildlife research

War in Ukraine threatens international wildlife research

Since 2000 Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina and Anders Moller of the Ecology, Systematics and Evolution Laboratory in Orsay, near Paris, have run the Chornobyl Research Initiative Lab in collaboration with a dozen Ukrainian colleagues. They have looked at how animals and plants in what is now, by default, a wildlife sanctuary, have adjusted to their radioactive surroundings.

All this work has been shut down following the invasion of Ukraine. Among the casualties are a six-year camera-trap experiment recording the distribution and abundance of mammals, a project monitoring the effects of radiation on the microbiomes of feral dogs, a study of the genomics, physiology, reproduction, and ecology of rodents, and a collaboration with NASA, America’s space agency, to understand how plants adapt to chronic exposure to radiation.

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