The Animal Demography Unit (ADU) is hosting their 22nd Citizen Scientist Day at the Intaka Island Environmental Education Centre, Century City, Cape Town on Saturday 9 July 2016. Presentations will be given on the various citizen science projects associated with the ADU, including rePhotoSA, a joint project between the Plant Conservation Unit and the ADU. Attendance is free. Read the full article for details on the event.
Several students who conducted their research through the Plant Conservation Unit graduated on Wednesday evening (15 June 2016). We would like to congratulate these students on their hard work and dedication to their projects. Our graduates include Hana Petersen (B.Sc. Hons Biological Sciences), Kim Konings (M.Sc. Biological Sciences), Gabriela Fleury (M.Sc. Conservation Biology), Hermenegildo Matimele (M.Sc. Conservation Biology), and Wataru Tokura (M.Sc. Conservation Biology with Distinction). You have all worked so hard and we wish you every success for the future. Many thanks to colleagues and their institutions (especially the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology and the South African National Biodiversity Institute) who helped to co-supervise these projects.
Various studies on Aloidendron dichotomum (previously Aloe dichotoma, common name quiver tree) have contributed to our knowledge of the species but our understanding of the age of populations, how populations are related to one another, and how they have shifted in the landscape in response to long-term climate change, remains poor. Some preliminary genetic work on this has been undertaken by Dr Jacqueline Bishop in the Department of Biological Sciences at UCT. Randall Josephs, an MSc student working with Prof Terry Hedderson, Prof Timm Hoffman and Sam Jack at the Plant Conservation Unit is about to be revisit and expand Dr Bishop's work. In April 2016, Randall and Sam conducted a hectic two and a half week distribution wide sampling trip in which leaf tissue was collected from numerous populations spanning the latitudinal distribution of the species. Read the full article by Sam Jack and Randall Josephs to learn more about their trip and the context of their work.
As part of her Master’s research, Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) MSc student Hana Petersen recently completed the first leg of her field work in the Central Karoo region. Hana’s project forms part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s (SANBI) Karoo BioGaps group of projects aimed at filling information gaps in the Karoo. This study will aid the collection of critical baseline data for the Karoo region prior to the scheduled exploratory fracking. Follow the link to read more about Hana's research and to see some pictures of her recent field trip to the karoo.