On Monday 11 September 2017, Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) Honourary Research Associate Dr Rick Rohde attended SCOLMA’s annual conference at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh. This year’s theme was, ‘Document to Digital: how does digitisation aid African research?' Rick collaborated with Samantha Venter (rePhotoSA project coordinator) and PCU Director, Prof. Timm Hoffman to present on, ‘Repeat landscape photography, historical ecology and the wonder of digital archives’. Overall, Rick found the conference to be thought-provoking and a great success. Read the article to learn more!
In August, Plant Conservation Unit PhD student, Wesley Bell, and Timm Hoffman spent a few days in Namaqualand. Timm is contributing to an initiative by the Wilderness Foundation to develop grazing guidelines for the region and, since Wesley is conducting his PhD on Land Degradation in Namaqualand, he tagged along to learn more about how the vegetation is managed and to meet some of the people working in the region. Read the full article to learn more!
Plant Conservation Unit PhD student, Gina Arena, recently visited the Graaff-Reinet area, also known as the "Jewel of the Karoo" in the Eastern Cape to collect data for her PhD. She is assessing the long-term changes of Nama Karoo and Grasslands vegetation in the context of historical and current land use and rainfall patterns. Gina says that she learnt a lot from the landowners and shares her experience together with a brief history of Graaff-Reinet here.
The latest edition of Past Global Changes (PAGES) Magazine has now been published and is available online. This issue, edited by A/Prof. Lindsey Gillson (Plant Conservation Unit Deputy Director) and others, is titled “Sustaining Earth’s Biodiversity”, and so "highlights how the study of long-term ecosystem change can provide critical insights into the resilience of ecosystems, the restoration of disturbance regimes and the prediction of future responses to changing climate and disturbance". Congrats to Lindsey and colleagues on a successful publication.