We are in a man-made biodiversity crisis that is perpetuated by dearth of knowledge. The need for actionable science has not been more critical. Despite supporting an overwhelming number of species on earth, the tropics are disproportionately understudied. At SMACON, we take a rigorous approach to conservation, filing knowledge gaps through field generated data, and relying on conservation evidence. Our work runs the gamut of basic integrative multi-disciplinary biology and ecology, through to socio-ecological research that together tell stories about what, why, and how of the biodiversity crisis as it happens on the ground in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea Islands.