In recent years there has been growing popularity of a group of medicinal plants in the Apocynaceae family locally known in Namibia as 'Dhingila'. The root of these plants is claimed to cure various ailments, including cancer. Concern over unsustainable harvesting practices has prompted the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism to take conservation action. There has been some confusion, however, regarding the botanical name of the plants, with some media articles citing an unrelated species that is also reported to “cure” cancer.
The Palaeo Lab at the Plant Conservation Unit is seeking papers for a Special Issue of Quaternary Journal. This is linked to a symposium that co-organised by Dr Estelle Razanatsoa, A/Prof, Lindsey Gillson and Prof. Rob Marchant at the ATBC 2020 in Cartagena https://atbc2020.org/.
Please see the website for more information: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/quaternary/special_issues/ATBC#info
In late September, Glynis Humphrey (Postdoctoral Research Fellow), Conor Eastment (Masters student) and Adele Julier (Postdoctoral Research Fellow) travelled to Bwabwata National Park in northern Namibia to conduct fieldwork including repeat photography, ground-truthing for remote sensing and modern pollen trap deployment.
UCT PhD graduate Zander Venter (image below) and former Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) research assistant, Samantha Venter, attended the Geo for Good Summit in Sunnyvale California from 16 – 19 September 2019. This year, the summit combined the Earth Engine User Summit and Earth Outreach’s Geo for Good User Summit to "bring together the Earth Engine and Earth Outreach communities to one larger event where scientists, non-profits and change-makers can learn from each other and potentially collaborate on projects for positive impact for our planet and its inhabitants."