October 9 2019 – Thomas B. Smith

October 9 2019

12:00 LSB 2320

Thomas B. Smith
Dept of EEB, UCLA

Importance of Preserving Environmental Gradients in a Changing World


Central African rainforests represent one of the most important centers of biological diversity on the planet, harboring one out of every five species. While efforts have been made to prioritize regions for protection, habitat loss is accelerating, severely limiting the ability of species to respond to climate change. Environmental gradients have long been recognized as important regions for adaptive diversity and can offer a bet hedging approach to preserving biodiversity. The talk explores the role of environmental gradients in divergence and speciation in Central Africa and approaches for mapping adaptive diversity with the goal of creating an integrative approach for preserving biodiversity under climate change. The talk also describes The Congo Basin Institute, UCLA’s first Foreign Affiliate, consisting of more than a dozen universities and NGO’s that is using multidisciplinary science and policy to address the most urgent challenges of the region.

Host: Peggy Fong