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...



The truth behind why zebras have stripes

CTR Researcher, Brenda Larison, is mentioned in BBC Future for her study on zebra stripes. 


Kristen Ruegg Featured in The New York Times Magazine

IoES Assistant Adjunct Professor, Kristen Ruegg, is featured in the The New York Magazine on “How to Pluck a Feather.”


Rare polka-dotted zebra foal photographed in Kenya

CTR researcher, Ren Larison, is quoted in this National Geographic article regarding zebras and their stripes.


The promise of Humboldt’s extraordinary scholarship

As a contributor to the journal Ecology and Evolution, Tom Smith reflects on the 250th Humbolt Anniversary.


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.