The Africa Center advances innovative and interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary research that cross-cuts conventional disciplines in an attempt to tackle environmental and sustainability issues. Specifically, The Africa Center members address complex issues of biodiversity, ecosystems, wildlife, livestock and human health well-being, and the interactions that occur between these issues across spatio-temporal scales. The Africa Center members are actively involved in research, education, and collaborative engagement between institutions in Africa and the United States to promote sustainable ecosystems and societies


The Africa Center’s mission is to foster environmental, economic, and social sustainability through teaching, research, and engagement 


Leading change for sustainable African ecosystems and societies 

What We Do

Facilitate a forum for issues of African biodiversity, conservation, and sustainability

Build a network of CSU faculty, students, staff, surrounding community members, and African partners for research, education and engagement

Provide a platform for CSU faculty, students, staff, community members, and Africans to engage with one another on African issues

Link diverse types of knowledge to identify and solve environmental, economic, and social problems

Our Team

Executive Committee

Picture of Kathy Galvin

Director of the Africa Center

Dr. Kathleen Galvin is Professor in Anthropology. She has conducted interdisciplinary social-ecological systems research in the savannas of east Africa for over 30 years. Galvin has addressed issues of land use change, conservation, climate variability, diet and nutrition of Africa pastoralists and, resilience and adaptation strategies throughout the world’s drylands. She works with ecologists, modelers, remote sensing, GIS experts and local communities to understand human-ecological problems and interactions. Her current research focuses on understanding the trade-offs of community-based conservation for people and the environment throughout the African continent. She is also working on a NASA funded grant on household decisions, ecosystem change and atmospheric water recycling in Kenya.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Colorado Nature Conservancy and is a member the Leopold Advisory Board, Leopold Leadership Program, Stanford University. She is currently a lead author on the global assessment of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).



Robin Reid is a Professor of the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and the Director of the endowed Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. She is also a faculty member the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology and a Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. Robin spent 20 years in east Africa, working for CSU and then the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya, where she led research, education and outreach on conservation and pastoral development issues in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. She now leads work on how to make science a catalyst for transformative social action. Robin also works with teams to use collaborative action to make progress on complex problems of society and the environment in the western US, Mongolia and east Africa. She has published widely in interdisciplinary science. Her team won the 2012 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America and she also published the book, Savannas of Our Birth, in the same year. 



Dr. Paul Evangelista is a research ecologist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL). His research has extended across a broad array of interests including invasive species, forestry, rare and endangered wildlife, ethnobotany, ecosystem services, biological soils, post-fire succession, and climate change. In 1999, Paul traveled with to the Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia; a trip that would dramatically influence his life’s path. In 2000, he co-founded a non-profit organization called The Murulle Foundation, with the mission to “maintain the balance between cultural and natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa”. Through the foundation, he has helped facilitate reforestation programs, technical training for natural resource managers, the discovery of new wildlife populations, construction of water-supply system, education in primary schools in rural communities, and many other grass-root initiatives. 



Dr. VandeWoude completed her BS at California Institute of Technology and her DVM at Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. After a brief stint in Clinical Veterinary Practice she performed a post-doctoral fellowship in Comparative Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her post-doctoral research involved characterization of the viral agent associated with Borna Disease Agent. She joined Colorado State University in 1990 and has served as Clinical Veterinarian, Associate Director and Director of Laboratory Animal Resources, and as a faculty member in the Department of Micro-, Immuno-, and Pathology.  She is currently Professor of Comparative Medicine in DMIP, and serves as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. VandeWoude’s research interests include biology and pathogenesis of retroviral infections in both domestic and nondomestic felids. Her laboratory studies these viruses in the context of an animal model for HIV/AIDS, and in investigations of Ecology of Infectious Disease and cross-species transmissions in charismatic large felid species such as pumas and bobcats.  Her work also includes searching for new viral agents in domestic and nondomestic felids using targeted genome enrichment and next generation sequencing technology.


Dr. Lynn is a Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and has been working in Africa since 1994.  Dr. Lynn received her first degree in Elementary education from Penn State University which led to several years of teaching in the Baltimore City School District before she joined the Peace Corps as a teacher trainer in the town of Otjiwarongo, Namibia. During her Peace Corps tenure she founded the Earthwise Environmental Club for primary and secondary students, and worked extensively with the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). 

Dr. Lynn received both her MSc (Rangeland Ecosystem Science) and PhD (Ecology) at Colorado State University where she studied the impacts of conservation policy and ecology on Maasai pastoralists, as well as the impacts of cultivation for both Maasai pastoral livelihoods and wildlife movement at multiple scales in northern Tanzania. She has current research projects in Kenya, Tanzania and the US related to local people, wildlife conservation, risk perception, traditional ecological knowledge, fire, environmental governance, participatory mapping, landscape ecology, and the development of tools for mobile devices to collect social and ecological research data. 


Dr. Owiny is a Laboratory Animal Veterinarian with the Department of Laboratory Animal Resources. He is a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. He served as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Makerere University; a Postdoctoral Associate and Research Associate at Cornell Univeristy; Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University; and later Training and Compliance Administrator at Johns Hopkins University.  He is currently an Adhoc Specialist for AAALAC.

His research interests are in reproductive and fetal physiology and Laboratory Animal Medicine. Dr. Owiny is also interested in Business Processes and how to make them more efficient and more effective. He is active in several Laboratory Animal organizations, and serves as a reviewer for a number of Journals in that field. His other interest is in Public Health.



Professor Sue van den Heever received her B.S. in Mathematics and her M.S. in Physical Geography from the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in Johannesburg, South Africa. She worked as a research associate at WITS focusing on topics such as ENSO, southern African drought and tropical-temperature troughs before coming to Colorado State University to obtain her Ph.D. Sue then spent two years as a postdoctoral student and several years as a research scientist at Colorado State University before joining the faculty in the fall of 2008.


Lackson D. Mudenda is a Ph.D. student of Economics and is part of the Poverty Action Center at the Regional Economic Development institute (i.e., a PAC@REDI graduate student). His fields of interest are public, international, and development economics. Specifically, he is interested in research related to inequality, poverty, and development concerning developing countries. He hopes to bring into his research data analytic skills obtained over the years including his wealth of taxation experience obtained after having served at Zambia Revenue Authority as a Tax Inspector. He has recently been enjoying teaching undergraduate econometrics with R at the CSU department of Economics. Lackson has a BA in Economics and Statistics(University of Zambia, Zambia), an MBA (Copperbelt University) and an MSc in Economics (Umeå University, Sweden)



Julia is third year PhD student in Political Science/ Environmental Policy and Politics. Her research looks at community based approaches to climate induced natural hazards in Southern Africa.  She received her received her B.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Zambia. She received her M.A. in Media and Communication Science from the Technical University of Ilmenau in Germany and an M.A. in International Relations and Diplomacy from Seton Hall University in USA


Andie Conlon is a second-year Masters student in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Her research with Dr. Jon Salerno surrounds the cultural transmission of tolerance for carnivores in both Tanzania and Colorado, with particular emphasis on transmission to primary school students. After graduating from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Andie used her post-undergrad career to explore opportunities in environmental education with a focus on wildlife conservation. Through working at an outdoor science school, a zoo’s elephant department, and the National Wildlife Federation, she realized that she wanted to use her background in environmental education to focus specifically on human-carnivore coexistence.

With a Graduate Teaching Assistant fellowship in Dr. Salerno’s lab, she has already created a professional network as a fellow with the Center for Collaborative Conservation as well as an affiliate of the Center for Human-Carnivore Coexistence. Outside of work and academics, her love for animals is fulfilled by spending time with as many dogs as she can (because she sadly doesn’t have one of her own). She also enjoys hiking, camping, playing soccer, and just about anything that can get her outside. That being said, she also regularly spends her evenings rewatching her favorite sitcoms and eating Ben & Jerry’s.

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Elke is an international undergrad student from the Netherlands focusing on transdisciplinary approaches to environmental issues. She received a BA in History from the University of Amsterdam and is currently working on a second bachelor’s degree at CSU. Next year, she hopes to start with a PhD in Ecology, specializing in human-environment interactions. She has spent her undergrad working with several conservation non-profits across North-America, and has published papers on conservation issues, including an article in the Ecopsychology journal. She is currently an active member of the Friends of Thoreau research group within the Benjamin Franklin Institute, researching wild horse management issues across the world.  

In her spare-time Elke enjoys spending time with (wild) horses, going wildlife viewing, being in nature, be creative and meeting new people. She has a wild mare from the Kamloops area in B.C., Canada, with whom she has become good friends.