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Grantees Profile

Grace Jopaul Loubota Panzou

Country (Nationality)

Republic of Congo

Grantee Title

Project: Quantifying impacts of human-induced disturbances on biodiversity–ecosystem
functioning relationships in Central Africa

Grantee Description

Research area:

Tropical forest ecology

Host Organisation & country:

Marien Ngouabi University, Republic of Congo


Tropical forests in Africa contain a high biodiversity, play key roles in global carbon cycle, and deliver crucial ecosystem services for local people and the global community. A better understanding of the functioning of these ecosystems will strengthen the basis for effective management, conservation, and restoration. Dr Loubota Panzou's research will evaluate whether changes in biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services will vary by type of disturbance, and whether these changes alter trajectories of degradation and/or recovery, and resilience to disturbance in Central Africa.

Grantee Description

Associated researcher to laboratory of biodiversity and ecosystem and environment management at the Marien Ngouabi University in the Republic of Congo, Dr Grace Jopaul Loubota Panzou is a forest ecologist interested in understanding the functioning of tropical forests across spatial and temporal scales. He obtained his PhD in forest ecology and management from Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (Liege University) in 2018. His research work focused on tree allometry in tropical forests from Central Africa to pantropical scale.

Dr Loubota Panzou’s long-term studies are to expand new methodologies for the quantitative modelling of land-use change trajectories in tropical forests. He aims to deliver understanding of how human--induced disturbances affect biodiversity-ecosystem service relationships in Central Africa, contributing to conceptual framework developed by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Project: Quantifying impacts of human-induced disturbances on biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships in Central Africa

Central African forests form the second largest continuous block of tropical forests in the world with a substantial biodiversity and a multitude of provisioning, regulating, and cultural ecosystem services to human populations. Despite their important role, they are threatened from a wide range of disturbances (e.g., logging, slash and burn agriculture, …) that induce an irreversible and drastic biodiversity loss with major ecological consequences. The project aims to quantify the impacts of human-induced disturbances on biodiversity–ecosystem functions relationships in three forest allocations (undisturbed forest, selectively logged forests and clear-cut secondary forests) of two research areas contrasted by climate in Central Africa. Using three data fusion approach employing the field ecological, socio-economical, and remote sensing data, this study is framed around three research objectives. First, we will assess perceptions of the supply and the use of ecosystem services by local populations, and its determinants and sustainability. Second, we will examine biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships in response to the underlying environmental determinants. Third, we will estimate the recovery dynamic and time scales of biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services. The integrated assessment of ecosystem services in combining social, ecological, and economic approaches, will offer new important perspectives for forest management to promote the biodiversity conservation in tropical forests.