Special Event

From Tigers to Trees – CTR Seminar with Matthew Scott Luskin

February 13, 2019


Abstract: Species interactions structure ecosystems and regulate populations, such as herbivores being limited by predation and competition for food. A notable example is the wolves’ importance in maintaining Yellowstone’s food webs. I will first present research on why apex predators are less important to structuring tropical rainforest food webs in Asia. Then, I will describe how high rates of hunting...

Special Event

Yasuni Man Film Screening

Join filmmaker Ryan Patrick Killackey, Amazon Watch, and for a screening of Yasuní Man


Following the movie screening, CTR Director, Thomas Smith will be joining the panel discussion with movement leaders on the impacts of oil drilling on rainforest biodiversity and indigenous peoples, as well as its connection to fossil fuel-polluted communities and climate chaos in California and beyond. Panelists Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch  Ryan Patrick...




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...



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.



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. 



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...



Pangolin Trafficking Project researchers voice concerns about pangolin awareness

Researchers in the UCLA Congo Basin Institute and Center for Tropical Research are using genomic tools to track down the global trafficking routes of pangolins and their scales.



Former CTR graduate published in Ecosphere

Former CTR graduate student, Emily Curd, and co-authors recently received the cover at Ecosphere for their newly published journal on bacterial diversity’s correlation with soil heterogeneity. Noting that plant and animal diversity generally increases with increasing environmental heterogeneity, Curd tested whether this relationship also holds for bacterial communities in soil. Their results suggest that plant invasions associated with soil...



Climate change cuts plantain production, schooling

From Climate change is reducing plantain yields and school attendance rates in Cameroon from 1991 to 2011, says a study. According to researchers, the Central African region, where Cameroon is located, lacks studies on climate change social impacts. Therefore, researchers assessed temperature trends in Cameroon for the period 1950 to 2013. They also linked the impact...



Center for Tropical Research celebrates 20 years of science & conservation

Twenty years ago, the Center for Tropical Research was founded as a small research unit, dedicated to understanding the biotic processes that underlie and maintain the diversity of life in the tropics, and supporting conservation efforts to protect tropical species and habitats.