Drexel Snapshot x2: Conserving Central African Wildlife Diversity

Central Africa’s Congo Basin is a biodiversity hotspot, meaning it’s a region with an incredibly rich array of plants and animals, many of which are found nowhere else—and which face threats to survival that include deforestation, climate change and hunting.

A Drexel professor and her students are part of an international effort to protect this irreplaceable resource while supporting sustainable development in the region. Katy Gonder, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, is one of the leaders of the Central African Biodiversity Alliance (CABA). CABA scientists perform research on plants and animals in the region to inform conservation, train American and African students to become future scientists and engage with government officials to inform and involve them in research and conservation efforts.

Gonder joined Drexel last year and took over leadership of the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program from Gail Hearn, PhD, who retired. In the process, Gonder has expanded CABA’s involvement into the country of Equatorial Guinea and has taken a step toward wider regional impacts of the alliance’s work.

Above, a video produced and released last week by the National Science Foundation gives an overview of some of CABA’s projects, featuring Gonder and several Drexel students. Read more from the NSF about CABA on LiveScience and view more photos.

Below, a video produced by filmmaker Justin Jay recognizes Hearn’s impact on biodiversity conservation.