The A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI), Jos, Nigeria is the only field station dedicated to ornithological research and conservation training in West Africa. The Institute contributes directly to the knowledge infrastructure, especially in West African countries, while also providing a unique base from which to set up long-term ecological research projects.
The Institute was set up in 2002 by the Leventis Conservation Foundation, which remains the Institute’s principle source of funding. The Institute is an autonomous field station of the University of Jos (UNIJOS), run by a management committee consisting of representatives from APLORI staff, the University of Jos, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), the Leventis Conservation Foundation, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and University of St. Andrews. The Institute works closely with the local community of Laminga, as an employer and a facilitator of local sustainable development.
Currently, the Institute is running a Masters program in Conservation Biology and is now in its 17th year, having graduated 14 sets of students in that time. To date, over 100 West African students have reached a European Masters’ standard (as scrutinised by independent external examiners from the Universities of Edinburgh, Lund, Ghent, Groningen, Cape Town, Institute of Avian Research, Wilhelmshaven and Oxford), and this year, the program continues with another 10 West African students. The Institute also acts as host to external PhD projects (e.g. from St. Andrews, Lund, RSPB), various post-doctoral research projects (e.g. University of Edinburgh, Durham, Lund) and various short term pieces of fieldwork by European workers that need a tropical base.