Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments

  Research, Education and Community Outreach

    With a focus on Madagascar



The Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE) was established By Dr. Patricia Wright in 1991 to encourage and promote scientific research, training and conservation in the tropics. ICTE trains scientists at all levels through field-based courses, collaborations, and academic exchanges, organizes and conducts biodiversity research and ecological assessments of tropical ecosystems, and coordinates and catalogs the work of over 800 natural and social scientists with a particular emphasis on research work at Ranomafana National Park (RNP) in Madagascar.

ICTE maintains offices and staff at Stony Brook University in the U.S. as well as  Antananarivo and Ranomafana in Madagascar. These offices provide logistical support to universities and researchers from around the world who are planning and carrying out research at Centre ValBio, ICTE's research campus located adjacent to RNP, and other parts of Madagascar. Explore ICTE's  Research page for a sampling of  work currently underway, or peruse the Research Publications page to see results from previous studies.

Featured Researcher at Centre ValBio

James Herrera, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA

James is interested in primate evolution and biogeography. His aim is to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships among lemur taxa using a diversity of data, including morphology, genetics and vocalizations. He is especially interested in the family Indriidae and their closest relatives, the extinct sloth lemurs (Palaeopropithecidae). Many possible relationships among taxa have been proposed in the literature, and he hopes to resolve the relationships with a diversity of datasets. He is interested in phylogenetic systematics because, in addition to understanding how species are related to one another, phylogenetics provides a means to test hypotheses about biogeography. He wants to find what the ancestor-descendant relationships among species and their geographic occurrences might indicate about the historical patterns of speciation and movement across geographic areas in Madagascar. Finally, he want to understand what about the environment might constrain the distribution and abundance of lemur species, especially indriids. He hopes to create predictive models that can be used to map suitable habitats for lemurs based on the ecological niches of different species.



The Forest of our Ancestors
Photographs by Frederic Larrey
watercolors by Cyril Girard and
text by Dr. Patricia Wright
ON SALE: $50.00