American Univesity of Beirut



The AUB - Nature Conservation Center (AUB-NCC), is a transdisciplinary academic research center, operating under the Office of the Provost at AUB, and currently under the directorship of Dr. Najat A. Saliba. 

In 2002, AUB faculty from different departments gathered together under the initiative of Dr. Salma N. Talhouk, in order to create a hub for nature c​onservation efforts and awareness on campus. Hence, the Initiative for Biodiversity Studies in Arid Regions (IBSAR) was born. After its tenth anniversary, the Center had expanded its activities so much that it changed its name to the current NCC - the Nature Conservation Center. 

After over a decade of hard work, research, grants, student volunteering, and development with the guidance and support of its Advisory Board and Executive Committee, the Center continues to work as hard as it can to accomplish its mission. It hopes to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and enhance the well-being of people and nature. In order to make all this possible, it strives to provide an open, innovative and collaborative platform based on research, education, community outreach, and knowledge dissemination.

Our society is an area of surprising biological diversity where fertile lands, semi-arid, and arid regions coexist. While almost every university in the West has its own biodiversity center, the AUB- Nature Conservation Center is unique in the region as it is the only academic center that collects, identifies, and catalogues species, creates databases, and cultivates and researches the nutritional, medicinal, and traditional applications of endemic species in the region. AUB-NCC hopes to continue its work and eventually fulfil its vision of establishing the center as a recognized reference center for the study and sustainable use of dry land biodiversity.

Ultimately, the foremost priority for NCC is to raise awareness on different ecological issues relevant to the area, and to provide opportunities for individuals and groups to be exposed to different opportunities to learn about the environment and take an active part in its conservation and development.

​​​​​​​​​​​Advisory Board 

​Staff & Research team

Diane Audi - Operations Manager
Sammy Kayed - Development Manager 
Anwar Al Shami - Lead Environmental Engineer 
Maria Khoury - Editor and Social Media Coordinator
Moustapha Itani - Project Coordinator & Researcher- EduBioMed & CEPF
Ghina Chammas - Project Coordinator & Researcher
Michele Citton - Waste and Water Expert 
Marwan Fakhr - Environmental Engineer 
Anna Hourani - Outreach Coordinator 
Ramzi Malti - Participatory Mapping Expert - Daskara
Camille Mallat - Business Analyst 
Wassim Kays - Community Outreach Coordinator
Connor Kanso - Project Coordinator & Researcher - SAWA 
Elsa Germanos - Marketing & Communication Specialist - Daskara
Hannah Abou Fakhr - Project Officer - MENAQUA


  • We promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and encourage individuals to relate to nature through research, education, community development, and knowledge dissemination.


  • We seek to make people and communities ​the guardians and beneficiaries of nature.​​


  • ​​The Center understands the role citizen science can play in bringing together individuals, groups, communities, and public authorities to develop effective and implementable solutions for air and water pollution, deforestation threats, and climate deterioration challenges.  ​
  • ​​Our objectives are constantly evolving to respond to local challenges while maintaining the focus of our main goal to conserve our natural heritage and create living solutions.​​

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