Prof. Beth Kaplin

Position: 
Director of the CoEB

Beth Kaplin is Director of the Center of Excellence in Biodiversity & Natural Resource Management at University of Rwanda since 2016, a knowledge management research center aimed at contributing science to policy in support of SDGs.  She has raised funds with Center colleagues to develop a freshwater biodiversity information system for Rwanda and to upgrade and digitize the National Herbarium of Rwanda.  Other projects under her guidance include creating the guidelines for access and benefit sharing of traditional knowledge associated with plant genetic resources in Rwanda, and providing research capacity training for postgraduate students to conduct impact research in landscape restoration and ecosystem-based adaptation. Beth is a Professor of Conservation Science in the Biology Dept, College of Science & Technology at University of Rwanda, and she teaches and mentors BSc, MSc and PhD students. She is also a Research Professor in the School for the Environment and Senior Fellow at the Center of Global Governance and Sustainability, both at University of Massachusetts-Boston.  She received her BSc in wildlife biology from Colorado State University, and MSc and PhD in Zoology from University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA with a focus on ecology and conservation science. From 2006 to 2015, Professor Kaplin raised over 1 million USD from the MacArthur Foundation to develop BSc and MSc programs in biodiversity conservation at National University of Rwanda. She also created the Regional Network for Conservation Educators in the Albertine Rift to support and empower conservation scientists in Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, and Uganda.   She maintains a research program with her students on forest ecology, seed dispersal, primates, protected areas conservation, ecosystem services, and human-wildlife interactions that began in 1990 when she first came to do research in Nyungwe forest, Rwanda.  She has published numerous articles and book chapters on these topics.  Her current projects include buffer zones and biodiversity indicators, primate ecology and conservation, and developing a biodiversity information system for effective policy-making and climate change adaptation.  She has focused her career on building capacity for biodiversity conservation, research and natural resource management in Africa.