La Kretz Center

Welcome to the La Kretz Center

Our mission is to preserve California’s biodiversity and ecosystems through research, education and public programs. We supply the scientific research needed to inform management actions to protect and restore California’s fragile biodiversity resources. We welcome new partners and collaborators, and invite you to join us in achieving our goals.

The La Kretz Center was made possible by a generous gift from Morton La Kretz.

“Doing Science That Conserves California Biodiversity”

With new funding from the state of California and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, we are developing a radical new genomic toolkit to learn more about how desert tortoises use their habitat and how to avoid conflicts with green energy projects in the Mojave Desert.

Learn more about our desert tortoise research >>

Every year, the UCLA La Kretz Conservation Genomics Workshop and the La Kretz Annual Lecture bring to Los Angeles renowned thinkers, researchers and leaders who can educate and inspire our audience, and ourselves, on conservation science. We are also proud to co-sponsor speakers in the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology seminar series.

Our postdoctoral fellowship program supports scholars who simultaneously conduct innovative research and interface with the conservation and management agencies that direct and lead California conservation.

Meet our new postdoc >>

The La Kretz Center supports field and laboratory-based research projects that address fundamental problems with direct management implications for conservation science in California. Although we do not limit the geographic scope or academic discipline of the work we fund, we are particularly interested in projects that are centered on southern California problems and their solutions.

Learn about the recipients of our graduate student small grant awards >>

New frog species discovered in New York City

New frog species discovered in New York City

La Kretz Director and distinguished professor Brad Shaffer worked with a team of scientists to resolve a nearly 80-year-old mystery surrounding a group of frogs in and around New York City known for their distinctively odd croak.

BOOM - A Journal of California publishes La Kretz Center's Director H. Brad Shaffer "Field of Genes"

BOOM - A Journal of California publishes La Kretz Center's Director H. Brad Shaffer "Field of Genes"

Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology H. Bradley Shaffer writes an essay on the impacts and importance of genomics for understanding the natural world around us in the Fall 2014 issue of BOOM. BOOM is a journal aimed at addressing social, cultural and political topics in California with dynamic conversations from a wide variety of sources. BOOM is edited by La Kretz League Member, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Pritzker Fellow in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Department of History at UCLA, Jon Christensen.

From big cats to delicate butterflies, the La Kretz Center’s newest researchers are surveying California wildlife

From big cats to delicate butterflies, the La Kretz Center’s newest researchers are surveying California wildlife

With a focus on the wild and urban landscapes of the Santa Monica Mountains, two postdoctoral scholars join a community of scientists doing cutting-edge conservation research. The UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science postdoctoral initiative provides funding to support early-career researchers as they engage in efforts over the span of two years to protect California’s biodiversity and ecosystems.

UCLA/La Kretz Annual Workshop in Conservation Genomics

UCLA/La Kretz Annual Workshop in Conservation Genomics

Each year, the La Kretz Center sponsors this hands-on workshop, held jointly at our Field Station and Stunt Ranch. Our goal is to provide training and access to the most current issues and techniques in population genomics, and how these tools can be applied to pressing conservation problems.

La Kretz Annual Lectures

View videos from our four previous annual lectures

​Daniel Simberloff

2014 Lecture Video

Biological invasions: What’s new, and why the controversy

5th Annual La Kretz Public Lecture by Professor Daniel Simberloff, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville presented May 4, 2014 at the UCLA La Kretz Center for for California Conservation Science

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