CTR - About Us

About Us

Our Mission

The unifying goal of the senior scientists, graduate students, and staff of the Center for Tropical Research (CTR) is to understand the biotic processes that underlie and maintain the diversity of life worldwide, especially in the tropics, and to use this knowledge to address global environmental challenges. In collaboration with a network of prominent scientists from a diversity of disciplines and backgrounds, we are conducting research in many critical areas, including: the processes important in generating diversity in rainforests, the relationship between ecology and disease, connectivity and conservation of migratory birds, and rainforest restoration in human-dominated landscapes. CTR projects employ novel applications and use the latest technologies, ranging from satellite imagery to molecular genetics. CTR provides important training opportunities for young scientists and decision-makers from many countries in the regions of Central America, South America, Austral-Asia and Africa where we are conducting research projects.



The Center for Tropical Research was founded by Dr. Thomas B. Smith in 1997 as a research unit at San Francisco State University (SFSU). In January 2002, CTR moved from SFSU to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to become a formal organizational research unit of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability(formerly Institute of the Environment). This move enabled CTR to expand its multidisciplinary scope and impact. Funding support from the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health, CALFED, the National Geographic Society, USAID, ECOFAC, NSERC, the Rothschild Foundation, the Turner Foundation and other sources has enabled CTR to expand its research programs to more than 15 countries on four continents. CTR's outstanding international cadre of senior scientists, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students now numbers more than 155, with dozens of alumni from countries around the world.

Examples of the innovative approaches that CTR brings to conservation problem solving

CTR Bird

Center for Tropical Research | UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300 | 619 Charles E. Young Dr. East | Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

The Center for Tropical Research, located on the third floor of La Kretz Hall, is part of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. For general inquiries, contact Christa Gomez, CTR Office Manager, at (310) 206-6234, or by email at cgomez@lifesci.ucla.edu. Visitors are always welcome.

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