Tom Smith, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 


May 19, 2022

Tom Smith, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology will be among the first recipients of the UCLA Public Impact Research Award, bestowed by the UCLA Office of Research & Creative Activities. The award recognizes UCLA faculty for their notable work that has provided clear and immediate benefits to local and international communities.

Below is an excerpt from the UCLA Newsroom article describing the work of the 2022 awardees:

Thomas Smith is a distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and founder of the UCLA Congo Basin Institute. As UCLA’s first foreign affiliate branch, the Congo Basin Institute works with organizations and the local government and communities to find solutions to environmental and developmental problems facing Central Africa. Continuing his commitment to conservation efforts in Africa, Smith is the founding president of the Conservation Action Research Network, which has provided more than $500,000 in grants to young African scholars. Smith is also the founding director of UCLA’s Center for Tropical Research, which has conducted research in 45 countries to understand biodiversity in the tropics. He also co-founded the Bird Genoscape Project, which uses genomics to map declining bird populations’ migration patterns and how they can inform where to prioritize conservation efforts.

“With accelerating climate change and loss of biodiversity we are rapidly approaching tipping points for many of the world’s ecosystems,” Smith said. “Our team is making a difference by focusing on science-based solutions to mitigate threats to help save the planet.”

You can read more about the award and all of the inaugural awardees in this UCLA Newsroom article here: