Available courses

    Mpala field course 2022 - online component

    Field courses are one of the Tropical Biology Association's flagship activities that have launched careers worldwide. The 2022 field course, will be based at the Mpala Research Centre in the savanna and grassland ecosystems of Laikipia region, Kenya.  The course will last almost four weeks, and to help prepare you for the course we have included this online element.  Here you will get to know your fellow students and tutors, learn about savannas and get to know some of the fauna and flora you will see while you are on the course.  

    Our online and field element of the course aims to:

    • increase your understanding of the conservation and ecological issues of tropical ecosystems - focusing on savannas.
    • provide you with skills essential to conducting field research in the tropics.
    • enable you to learn from each other and form a dynamic network.
    • inspire and support you in developing your career in ecology and conservation. 



    Project Design and Impact 2022

    The need for robust conservation projects has never been more acute as we confront the global climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.

    That is why TBA has developed this course on designing projects and measuring impacts. The online course is designed to be dynamic, interactive, and provides ample opportunity for sharing ideas and mutual learning. We use examples and case studies and our teaching draws on the inspiration and challenges associated with many years of working in Africa.


    Scientific Writing and Publication

    This course is designed to help conservation scientists communicate the importance and impact of their work. Participants will learn how to write engaging copy and present results. The course will include modules on how to select scientific journals and engage with editors and reviewers. This addresses the issue that conservationists from tropical countries have relatively low publication rates. This course is based on our in situ courses that TBA has run for young African conservation scientists which produced a tangible increase in published papers from the participants. You will learn tools and approaches that you can apply to your own scientific writing, while gaining real life examples of best practice and common pitfalls to avoid.


    Ecosystem services and nature based solutions

    Ecosystem services and natural capital, and the application of nature-based solutions is receiving a growing profile among conservationists and decision makers worldwide. This course will help fill the capacity gap in understanding these concepts (they span both ecology and economics) and in how to measure them so they can be used in conservation management and advocacy. The course will cover the links between nature and human well-being, and stimulate thinking about how conservationists can use this in their projects on the ground. 


    Empowering Women in Conservation in Africa

    Women inclusion in natural resource management remains a barrier in many African countries. Yet, women’s contribution is critical to the long-term, sustainable and successful conservation of natural resources in the continent. 

    This masterclass seeks to tackle the challenges women-leaders working in conservation in the Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot face. It will build the women's capacity in strategic fundraising, and leadership, and on gender and equality in conservation, which are key pillars for sustainable organizations.

    The masterclass will run for four weeks.



    Sustaining civil societies’ conservation actions in the EMI hotspot

    This masterclass targets staff of civil society organizations (CSOs) working in conservation in the East Melanesia Islands Biodiversity Hotspot. It is particularly suitable for senior staff holding core programmes' development duties in their organization. Participants will also have experience working with the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF). 

    The masterclass will run for three weeks, and will build participants' capacity in fundraising and in financial strategic planning, making them more effective in supporting their organization grow their conservation impacts, and achieve sustainability in the long term.

    Communicating conservation impacts in the EMI hotspot

    This masterclass is for staff of civil society organizations (CSOs) working in conservation in the East Melanesia Islands Biodiversity Hotspot. It is particularly suitable for staff holding core communication responsibilities in their organization. Participants will also have experience working with the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).

    Lasting three weeks, the masterclass will strength CSOs’ communication capacity, making them more effective at sharing their conservation successes and demonstrating the importance of their conservation work.


    Institutional Management and Leadership

    This masterclass is particularly suitable for heads of emerging civil society organizations working with communities at the grassroot level.  This includes senior managers, directors and presidents who are responsible for their organization’s strategic missions.

    Lasting about three weeks, the masterclass will strength organizational capacity around strategic planning; leadership and governance; and gender, communities and social diversity.



    Decolonising fieldwork: An introduction for University of Oxford researchers

    This course will shift 'post-colonial' perceptions so that overseas researchers can relate more equitably with their host counterparts, and ultimately carry out more successful research. It will increase the likelihood of future collaborative research between University of Oxford departments and the host countries, identifying promising avenues of novel research and mutually beneficial partnerships.

    Created for University of Oxford by the Tropical Biology Association 

    Funded by the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford and the MPLS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Fund


    Women in Conservation Leadership Programme

    Women in Conservation Leadership Programme for the IUCN SSC Asian Species Action Partnership (ASAP).

    Women in conservation often face challenges additional to those experienced by men. Such barriers can erode an individual’s ability to reach their full potential and to progress into leadership positions. We believe that tackling these challenges and empowering women conservationists in this region is critical for long-term, sustainable and successful conservation of ASAP species.

    Workshop 1: Project design and proposal development (21st – 25th June 2021)

    Workshop 2: Fundraising skills (26th – 30th July 2021)

    Workshop 3: Leadership and communication (8th – 12th November 2021)

    Workshop 4: Leadership in practice