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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...