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Workshop Overview

The African Continent supports a rich biodiversity of freshwater fishes, owing to its great climatic and physiographic complexity. Much of this diversity is being threatened by the continent's expanding human population, increasing aridity and demand for fresh water, and introduction of invasive exotic species. Scientists from many parts of the world are engaged in biodiversity research in Africa.  However, there is clear need to involve even more scientists in this endeavor, especially scientists from African countries. An international workshop was held in Grahamstown, South Africa, 17-21 November 2008, to explore ways of enhancing freshwater fish biodiversity research in Africa.

The workshop was the 4th International Workshop organized by the Cypriniformes Tree of Life (CToL) initiative, a collaborative, international research project focused on uncovering the evolutionary relationships, classification, and biodiversity of fishes of Order Cypriniformes ( ). The workshop was hosted by the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity and held on the campus of Rhodes University.  The workshop was funded by a grant from the Office of International Science and Engineering at the U.S. National Science Foundation (OISE 0840613).

Participants in the workshop had the opportunity to hear about biodiversity research presently ongoing in various African countries, meet the scientists who are conducting this research, learn about advances in computer and information technology relevant to biodiversity research, networks that have been established to facilitate research in Africa, build research collections and other key biodiversity research infrastructure, plan research collaborations, and learn about opportunities for funding biodiversity research in Africa.

Workshop Organizers:

Henry L. Bart Jr., Tulane University Museum of Natural History

Paul Skelton, The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity