Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School: “The Social, Economic, and Legal Consequences of Uneven Biodiversity Information in the United States”

Event time: 
Wednesday, April 10, 2024 - 12:15pm
Sterling Law Buildings, Room 128 See map
127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06520
Event description: 

The Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School presents

Diego Ellis Soto, Yale University Ecology Ph.D. candidate: 

“The Social, Economic, and Legal Consequences of Uneven Biodiversity Information in the United States.”

Comprehensive biodiversity information across regions is critical for executing ambitious conservation targets and ensuring ecosystem health. Yet access to this information in the United States is shaped by socioeconomic inequality and racial segregation, with the age of digital information exacerbating this disparity. Biased conservation information that neglects certain areas poses a host of threats, including zoonotic disease emergence, spread of invasive species, reduced biodiversity monitoring, and wildlife endangerment, which threaten humans and nonhumans alike: gathering and analyzing biodiversity data in historically neglected and segregated areas is therefore paramount for avoiding these harms. In this talk, moderated by LEAP Postgraduate Fellow Laurie Sellars, Yale University Ph.D. candidate and LEAP Student Fellow Diego Ellis Soto will discuss the legal, social, and political consequences of continuing to neglect the biodiversity of socioeconomically disadvantaged and historically segregated areas. He will present various initiatives aimed at generating this valuable data, including federal programs like Justice40 and 30x30, and local initiatives aimed at generating a more just sampling of biodiversity blending education, racial justice, science, and music.

Diego Ellis Soto is a Uruguayan Ph.D. candidate in Ecology at Yale University and a NASA FINESST Future Investigator. Working at the intersection of ecology, technology, conservation, and environmental justice, he researches how animals move across the world under increasing human threats and a changing climate. In addition, he is increasingly interested in how our access to biodiversity data is shaped by our socioeconomic status and how past and present social inequalities amplify current disparities in environmental sciences. Diego is also a music producer, blending sounds from biological concepts and technologies with music theory by, for example, making eight termites jam together or installing microphones on an urban farm to make farm birds sing a song. Diego’s work has been covered by numerous news outlets, including The New York Times, BBC, ABC News, the Spanish news outlet EFE, Yahoo News, and more. His work on Environmental Justice was awarded the Public Scholar Award of 2023 by the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Science for shaping policy and public discourse. He received a B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Trier, a M.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the University of Konstanz, and a M.Sc. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale.

Open to: 
General Public