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Congo Basin Institute and Tom Smith in National Geographic: Cameroon’s embattled ebony trees get a lifeline—from guitar maker

Bob Taylor met Tom Smith, director of UCLA’s Congo Basin Institute, who had worked in Cameroon for decades and knew as much about its forest ecology as Taylor knew about guitars. They found themselves circling a shared quandary: The urgent need to regrow tropical hardwoods in the Congo Basin was hampered because scientists knew more...


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Tom Smith & Congo Basin Institute in Forbes: Sustainable Guitars – Giving Back To The Trees And Communities That Helped Create Music

Tom Smith, professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, has research interests in evolutionary biology and conservation. Smith has worked in Cameroon for more than 30 years seeking win-wins for people and biodiversity, a mission cemented about four years ago by his role as founding co-director of the Congo Basin Institute – “a center...


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Tom Smith on CBS This Morning News: UN Biodiversity report

UCLA’s Tom Smith spoke with CBS about a new United Nations report that says nature is essential for our existence and a good quality of life, but point to a stark warning: humans are transforming the planet’s natural habitat at an unprecedented rate. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.


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Congo Basin Institute in Guitar World: Taylor Guitars Makes History with Largest Recorded Planting of West African Ebony Trees

In 2016, Taylor partnered with the Congo Basin Institute to learn more about ebony ecology. The collaboration took form as The Ebony Project and has since produced groundbreaking research, providing the most accurate estimates of the size and scope of ebony’s native range, as well as capturing the first-ever images of insects that pollinate the...


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Tom Smith in Ecology and Evolution: Remembering Africa’s Congo Basin on Earth Day

Thomas B. Smith, is a professor in Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California at Los Angeles. He is Co- Director of the Congo Basin Institute and is Director of UCLA’s Center for Tropical Research. In this article, Smith writes about the importance of...


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Congo Basin Institute in BBC: How to save the ebony tree

Taylor Guitar and UCLA’s Congo Basin Institute are trying to save the ebony tree in Cameroon. This BBC video talks about the ebony project and how Taylor Guitars is investing in the future of ebony trees. 


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Thomas Smith presentation + Q&A at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

Thomas Smith is the founding director of the Center for Tropical Research and co-executive director of the Congo Basin Institute. He presented on his work and experience in the Congo Basin. 


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Congo Basin Institute in Foreign Service Journal

UCLA operates multiple tropical research facilities in Central Africa through its Congo Basin Institute, a partnership with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.  In this Foreign Service Journal article, the founder of Taylor Guitars describes the partnership between Taylor Guitars and the Congo Basin Institute “to grow ebony seedlings, and developed a mechanism to make...


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Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation awards $20 million in environmental grants

The Congo Basin Institute at UCLA has received a grant from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF). This gift will expand conservation and restoration efforts at Bouamir Research Station in Cameroon, developing technologies that engage indigenous residents and African researchers. Click the link to visit the official LDF article.


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Apply now to be a GloCal Health Fellow at CBI

Fellowship applications are now open for advanced PhD and professional students and post-docs to spend a year conducting research related to health (defined broadly) at CBI’s campus in Cameroon through Fogarty International’s GloCal program.  The application is due November 1.  We’re happy to help prospective applicants who are interested in working at CBI develop research...


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UCLA assistant adjunct professor partners with Congo Basin Institute

Learn more about Kevin Njabo, an assistant adjunct professor who helped establish the Congo Basin Institute at IoES in this Daily Bruin interview.