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. Kading is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology at Colorado State University, and a faculty member in the Center for Vector-borne Infectious Diseases. She obtained her B.S. in Entomology/Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware, M.S. in Entomology from the University of Arkansas, and PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her work at Johns Hopkins focused on malaria transmission dynamics in southern Zambia, including examination of seasonal transmission dynamics by different mosquito species, mosquito blood feeding behavior, and population genetics. Between 2007 and 2014, Dr. Kading conducted post-doctoral research at the CDC Division of Vector-borne Diseases Arbovirus Diseases Branch, she led studies on mosquito blood feeding behavior and West Nile virus ecology in Colorado and Guatemala, and Rift Valley fever virus transmission studies by mosquitoes. She also initiated studies on virus discovery and surveillance of bats in Uganda, which resulted in the isolation of three newly recognized viruses, and insights into the natural exposure of bats to viruses by blood-feeding mosquitoes. Her current research program at CSU continues this work on viral ecology of bats in Uganda and human-bat interactions. Dr. Kading and her husband Brian founded a 501(c)3 charity in 2016 (Musoke International) that has supported the education of 133 orphaned children in Uganda as well a fish farming community development project on Lake Victoria.


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.


Dr. David Riep received a M.A. in art history from the University of Kentucky (2005) and a Ph.D. (2011) in art history from the University of Iowa with a specialization in the arts of Africa. David’s area of research centers on South Sotho art and history in southern Africa. He spent more than five years living in South Africa between 2000 and 2011, working with several NGOs and completing his field research with support from a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Stanley Award for International Research. Most recently, David has been involved in an ongoing multi-disciplinary project entitled Africa Meets Africa, which explores southern African cultural heritage and uses cultural context as a link to understanding the arts, mathematics, language, and history. David is also interested in the multidisciplinary topics of cultural formation and identity, and enjoys engaging with the concept of continuity and change in global art production. These interests have led him to produce several documentary films on the arts and cultures of southern Africa.



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.