virginia zaunbrecher

Virginia Zaunbrecher

Associate Director

Center for Tropical Research


Virginia Zaunbrecher is the Associate Director of the Center for Tropical Research at UCLA.  As a lawyer with a science background, she works to translate the Center’s scientific findings into policy and regulation.  She currently focuses on incorporating diverse data streams into decision making on conservation in Central Africa.  This includes incorporation of genetic diversity and socio-economic data and exploring the use of decision support tools.  Her previous work focused on incorporating predictive techniques and decision analysis into chemical regulation.  She also designed and managed aid and development projects in Africa and Asia for nearly five years.

Zaunbrecher also helps oversee the Congo Basin Institute (CBI)—UCLA’s first foreign affiliate located in Cameroon.  She manages partnerships for CBI, and represents the academic and research institutions on the Advisory Council of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP).


University of California, Berkeley, J.D., certificate in law and technology

University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.S. in Molecular Biology and History with Comprehensive Honors and with Distinction



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…

congo basin institute

Congo Basin Institute

As UCLA's first foreign affiliate, the Congo Basin Institute in Cameroon provides a vital space for training and scientific research in Africa.