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Your faculty and staff news since 1965
May 9, 2005
Volume 40, Number 10

Yates brings new dimension to climate discussion


By Karen Wentworth

YatesUNM Vice President for Research and Economic Development Terry Yates participated in an international discussion of climate, health and nutrition at Bio Vision 2005 in Lyons, France last month.

Yates’ invitation to the conference, which brings together nearly 4,000 top representatives of science, society at large and industry, is a first for a UNM researcher.

BioVision is a world life sciences forum that functions as an international platform for reflection, dialogue, debate and proposals regarding the major challenges of life sciences. The conference facilitates broad discussion in health, nutrition and the environment.

This year’s conference attracted 11 Nobel laureates. It attempts to answer questions about what science can do, what society is willing to accept, and what industry can ethically produce, and focuses on broad issues of global importance.

Yates’ keynote address at the climate and health session focused on predicting the spread and risk of infectious disease, using his work with Hantavirus as a case study. He said his current research indicates that climate fluctuation may have triggered ecological changes that increases risk for humans to catch Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.

He also discussed ongoing research that indicates a reduction in biological diversity in the ecosystem favors the species that harbor the disease and also significantly increases human risk for HPS, a condition that is fatal in more than 50 percent of cases.

Yates has published more than 130 papers in refereed outlets, serves on the boards of the Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education, National LambdaRail Inc., La Semilla Institute, the Science & Technology Corporation @ UNM, the New Mexico Technology Research Consortium and is president of the Manzano Conservation Foundation. He is also vice president of the Natural Science Collections Alliance, a member of the board of directors and chair of the Board of Trustees of the American Society of Mammalogists and chair of the Board of Trustees of the Society of Systematic Biology.

Yates has ongoing funded research projects on ecology and evolution of Hantaviruses in natural populations of mammals for the Center for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health Sevilleta Long-Term Ecological Research Project and others.