An Outpost for Equatorial Guinea
Drexel is expanding a unique conservation, research and visitor outpost it operates on the island of Bioko in partnership with the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial.

Last year, a long-standing environmental research program that Drexel operates in Equatorial Guinea with the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial (UNGE) expanded its mission to further promote conservation and ecotourism on the country’s Bioko Island, home to animals like gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephants and leopards.

The Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP) program was founded by Emeritus Biology Professor Gail Hearn in 1998 and is now directed by Professor of Biology Mary Katherine Gonder, with involvement by Drexel students and volunteers.

In February 2020, a delegation of Drexel leaders met with members of the government of Equatorial Guinea to reaffirm the research partnership. One outcome of the visit was the establishment of the GENTE Consortium, a new Drexel program to advance solutions in higher education, environmental conservation, and public health for the benefit of the people of Equatorial Guinea.

The program will leverage the expertise of a growing network of partner universities and research institutions.

“This isn’t just about collecting knowledge for knowledge’s sake, but to improve the world,” says Executive Vice Provost for Research & Innovation Aleister Saunders, who was among the visiting delegates.