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​Translating Science to Policy and Practice

CTR endeavors to ensure its scientific research informs policy decisions. CTR organizes Policy Workshops to present scientific findings to decision-makers, and help them translate the research into policy decisions. We use our mapping and modelling skills to develop tools to help policy-makers and the public understand everything from LA’s biodiversity, to the potential spread of an infectious disease. We conduct research on how market forces and policies in the U.S. and China drive deforestation in Central Africa. We work with local communities to turn our scientific research into sustainable industries. In short, we translate our science into policy and practice.



Alternative Energy and Biodiversity

A U.S. Department of Energy Funded Project to Understand the Demographic Impacts of Solar Energy Sites on Migratory Bird Populations Increased solar energy production is a critical element of efforts to limit anthropogenic climate change, however those same solar facilities may pose a risk to individual birds that migrate past them. While there are known...

pangolin trafficking project

Pangolin Trafficking Project

This project aims to answer key questions about the natural history and conservation requirements of giant pangolins, one of the world’s most trafficked animals.

sustainable ebony project

Sustainable Ebony Project

The goal of the program is to enhance ebony stocks through community engagement while collecting crucial data to refine techniques for production and management.

biodiversity atlas

Biodiversity Atlas

Southern California harbors some of the highest levels of biodiversity on the continent, yet is also home to millions of humans that compete for wildlife space and resources. In order to best balance these often competing components, researchers at the Center for Tropical Research are helping to construct a Los Angeles Biodiversity Atlas.


Safeguarding biodiversity: what is perceived as working according to the conservation community?

Chapman, C. A.; DeLuycker, A.; Reyna-Hurtado, R. A.; Serio-Silva, J. C.; Smith, T. B.; Strier, K. B.; Goldberg, T. L.

Published Work | 2014 | Oryx 50(2), 302-307

Evolution and conservation of Central African biodiversity: priorities for future research and education in the Congo Basin and Gulf of Guinea

Anthony, N. M.; Atteke, C.; Bruford, M. W.; Dallmeier, F.; Freedman, A.; Hardy, O.; Ibrahim, B.; Jeffery, K. J.; Johnson, M.; Lahm, S. A.; Lepengue, N.; Lowenstein, J. H.; Maisels, F.; Mboumba, J.; Mickala, P.; Morgan, K.; Ntie, S.; Smith, T. B.; Sullivan, J. P.; Verheyen, E.; Gonder, M. K.

Published Work | 2014 | Biotropica 47(1), 6–17

Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

Carroll, S. P.; Jørgensen, P. S.; Kinnison, M. T.; Bergstrom, C. T.; Denison, R. F.; Gluckman, P.; Smith, T. B.; Strauss, S. Y.; Tabashnik, B. E.

Published Work | 2014 | Science 346(6207)

Spatial conservation planning framework for assessing conservation opportunities in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

Giorgi, A. P.; Rovzar, C.; Davis, K. S.; Fuller, T.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Smith, T. B.; Silveira, L. F.; Gillespie, S. W.

Published Work | 2014 | Applied Geography 53, 369–376

A preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor for protecting potential Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii Gill, 1865) habitat in Southern Mexico

Mendoza, E.; Fuller, T. L.; Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Ramirez-Mejia, D.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2013 | Integrative Zoology 8(1), 35–47

Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas

Laurance, W. F.; Useche, D. C.; Rendeiro, J.; Kalka, M.; Bradshaw, C. J.; Smith, T. B.; et al.

Published Work | 2012 | Nature 489, 290–294

Mapping evolutionary process: a multi-taxa approach to conservation prioritization

Thomassen, H. A.; Fuller, T.; Buermann, W.; Milá, B.; Kieswetter, C.; Jarrín-V, P.; Cameron, S. E.; Mason, E.; Schweizer, R.; Schlunegger, J.; Chan, J.; Wang, O.; Peralvo, M.; Schneider, C. J.; Graham, C. H.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2011 | Evolutionary Applications 4(2), 397–413

Modeling environmentally associated morphological and genetic variation in a rainforest bird, and its application to conservation prioritization

Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Mila, B.; Graham, C. H.; Cameron, S. E.; Schneider, C. J.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Evolutionary Applications 3(1), 1–16

Equating forest conservation with hornbill conservation

Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Conservation Biology 23(3), 782–783

Putting process on the map: Why ecotones are important for preserving biodiversity

Smith, T. B.; Saatchi, S.; Graham, C.; Slabbekoorn, H.; Spicer, G.

Published Work | 2005 | Phylogeny and Conservation

Conservation in conflict: The tale of two endangered species

Roemer, G. W.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 2003 | Conservation Biology 17(5), 1251–1260.

Remote sensing for biodiversity science and conservation

Turner, W.; Spector, S.; Gardiner, N.; Fladeland, M.; Sterling, E.; Steininger, M.

Published Work | 2003 | Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18(6), 306–314

[Commentary] Biodiversity hotspots and beyond: the need for preserving environmental transitions

Smith, T. B.; Kark, S.; Schneider, C. J.; Wayne, R. K.; Moritz, C.

Published Work | 2001 | Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16(8), 431

A role for ecotones in generating rainforest biodiversity

Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K.; Girman, D.; Bruford, M. W.

Published Work | 1997 | Science 276(5320), 1855–1857

An overview of the issues

Mace, G.; Smith, T. B.; Bruford, M. W.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 1996 | Molecular Genetic Approaches in Conservation 1-21