Carien Kleinjan and Fiona Impson, recently spent 3 weeks (15 November to 6 December 2016) “down under” surveying Australian Acacia species (wattles) that are declared invaders in South Africa. The purpose of the trip was to i) obtain clarity on the host plant range of a gall-forming wasp, a promising agent for Silver wattle (Acacia dealbata); and ii) collect additional material of a gall-forming fly which has been approved for release on Bailey’s wattle (Acacia baileyana) and Green wattle (Acacia decurrens) in South Africa. Article supplied by Carien Kleinjan.
Simon Todd (Honorary Research Associate at the PCU) together with Timm Hoffman (PCU Director), Joh R. Henschel (SAEON), Anabelle W. Cardoso, Michael Brooks (Animal Demography Unit (ADU)), Les Underhill (ADU Director) and others wrote a chapter on 'the potential impacts of fracking on biodiversity of the Karoo Basin' in the recently published book, 'Hydraulic fracturing in the Karoo: Critical legal and Environmental perspectives'. Read about the book and how to order it on the publisher's website.
Kirsti Nghidinwa and Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) Research Assistant Sam Jack recently undertook a field trip to Namaqualand as part of Kirsti’s PhD quest to determine the population trends and growth rates of the iconic Halfmens (Pachypodium namaquanum) using repeat photography. Read Kirsti's captivating article to learn more about their trip and the decline of this species in Namaqualand.
On Friday 9 December 2016, the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) celebrated the achievements of the past year with an afternoon hike up the mountain and an African-style dinner at Timbuktu Café with PCU staff, students and collaborators. Overall a fun day was had by all and we are grateful to Timm Hoffman and Lindsey Gillson for treating us, and to Sam Jack for organising this fun event. In addition to the end of year celebrations, we also said farewell to several members of our team yesterday, including Honours students Kakale Munamati, Rio Button and Ruan de Wet, as well as Wataru Tokura (research assistant) and Desale Okubamichael (postdoc). Read the full article to learn more.