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Empowering Environmental Research, Education & Outreach in Congo Basin Forests

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

1:30 PM-3:00 PM

Congo Basin Forests are among the most important centers of biological diversity in the world, but the region is undergoing rapid socioeconomic transformation, placing these forests and their wildlife under increasing pressure. Global climate change is exacerbating these threats and is expected to significantly impact Congo Basin ecosystems.

Internationally engaged African experts are urgently needed to develop and implement sustainable solutions, yet many African universities face significant infrastructural and funding challenges. Drexel manages two research programs in three Congo Basin countries – Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and Gabon – countries that are notoriously difficult to work in given limited resources, unplanned development and a history of political instability.

This one-hour symposium will focus on challenges, opportunities and efforts that are underway to train the next generation of internationally engaged African experts. Attendees will learn about Drexel's presence in Central Africa and the different ways students and faculty can get involved.

Light refreshments will follow.



Katy Gonder, PhD Challenges & Regional Solutions to Conserving Congo Basin Forests
Katy Gonder will briefly introduce the symposium by discussing overarching environmental issues across the Congo Basin, challenges faced by African institutions of higher education in addressing environmental research and training issues.

Eric Fokam, PhD Central African Biodiversity Alliance: Creating International Research Networks
Eric Fokam is on the faculty at the University of Buea. He will discuss challenges to research and higher education in the environmental sciences in Cameroon, and how support from the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for International Research and Education program has lead to the formation of the Central African Biodiversity Alliance (, the Congo Basin Institute and other programs to create and support an international research networks for African scholars across the region.

Stephan Ntie, PhD CABAlliance: Training a New Generation of Biodiversity Scientists
Stephen Ntie is a faculty member at the University of Science and Technology of Masuku (USTM). His talk will focus on postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate training challenges and opportunities in the region, with a focus on the training opportunities and partnerships that have emerged from CABAlliance, as well as other long-standing collaboration between USTM, the University of New Orleans and other partnerships.

Maximilliano Fero, PhD International Research & Education Opportunities on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea
Maximilliano Fero is Dean of Research at the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE). His talk will focus on international research and educational opportunities on Bioko Island through the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (, a 20-year collaboration between UNGE and Drexel University, and how these programs are fostering regional research and education across the Congo Basin.

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Curtis Hall, Room 340, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


  • Everyone

Special Features

  • Free Food