Braiding biotechnology and Indigenous Knowledge to conserve biodiversity. 

The Wise Ancestors platform interweaves genomic sequencing, biobanking, and Indigenous Knowledge to create, fund and complete Conservation Challenges, accelerating the conservation of Earth's biodiversity for the benefit of all.

A transparent and equitable way to collaborate on biodiversity conservation. 
Photo courtesy: Steve Mandel
Photo courtesy: Steve Mandel

Beth Shapiro

Director, Wise Ancestors

"I'm thrilled to be part of Wise Ancestors' mission to empower future generations to safeguard biodiversity by preserving genomes and species that are alive today."

Join our future platform
to collaborate on our Conservation Challenges

Get involved in our Conservation Challenges. Each Challenge is centered around conserving an endangered species and involves community engagement, project planning, fundraising, collecting, sequencing, bioinformatic analysis and biobanking.

For Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities

Join forces with us to co-create Conservation Challenges aimed at conserving culturally important and endangered species before they are lost forever. Help us understand how the genomic and biobanked resources should be labeled, and to guide the planning for upfront benefit-sharing projects that promote land stewardship by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.

For Scientists

Whether you are a sample provider, sequencing center, bioinformaticist or biobanker, join forces with us to accelerate conservation genomics work in an ethical and decentralized manner, and help save biodiversity.

Apply for and secure funding to participate in our Challenges.

For Philanthropists

Whether you are an individual or a corporation, contribute funds to support our Conservation Challenges and bring them to life. With each contribution you will be supporting the scientific work to create genomic resources for each species (sequence data, analysis, and preserved tissue) as well as a benefit-sharing project that promotes land stewardship by Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.

Multi-sided decision making

Wise Ancestors Conservation Challenges are co-developed with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. 

Participatory project co-design gives Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities agency over decisions related to their species, land and future. Terms and conditions will be mutually agreed upon prior to project initiation, including the rules around sample and data access, resource labeling, resource usage, and benefit-sharing plans. 

Biodiversity conservation initiatives must include Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities
Photo credit: Steve Mandel

Discover the Team

A team of passionate and committed people working towards the same goal: saving our biodiverse planet

Get more info

Discover our work in more detail.
What does IPLC stand for ?

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Why sequencing species DNA is important ?

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How can you create a Conservation Challenge ?

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Why biobanking is important ?

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Why sequencing species DNA is important? 

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Take part in our biodiversity conservation survey for Hawaii

Your insights will help us plan the best conservation projects that are aligned with local Hawaiian values.

The Hawaiian artist Prime and Wise Ancestors collaborated on designing stickers and a survey to raise awareness of biodiversity in Hawaii.  

Photo credit : DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Keoki’s Family stickers: Paying tribute to an extinct tree snail species.

Keoki's Family stickers emerged from a unique partnership between Wise Ancestors and the Native Hawaiian artist, Prime. Drawing inspiration from the poignant history of the Hawaiian tree snails, many of which tragically face extinction or are already extinct, this artistic endeavor aims to pay homage to these creatures and preserve their memory.

Delving into the narrative, the last known member of the species Achatinella apexfulva, named George, became a symbol central to the project. In a tribute to this final representative of the species, artist Prime crafted the character Keoki, adopting the Hawaiian version of the name George, and envisioned an entire family around him. Keoki's Family is not just a creative expression: it's a collaborative effort to ensure that both our current generation and those to come remain cognizant of the vanished tree snail species and the significant risk that other species are currently experiencing.

By exploring the story behind Keoki and his kin, this artwork serves as a powerful reminder of the role that art can play in species conservation. For further insights into the history and significance of the tree snail podcast, see
this blog post from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Ann Pace

Executive Director, Wise Ancestors


Do you want to connect? 

We are always interested in connecting with people who share our passion for conserving the Earth's biodiversity in harmony with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.

Photo courtesy: Steve Mandel