Thesis topic: Using palaeoecology to inform sustainable land-use management and ecosystem-based adaptation in response to climate and socio-ecological drivers in the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area and surrounding agricultural lowlands, in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa.
Primary supervisor: A/Prof Lindsey Gillson (PCU, Biological Sciences); Co-supervisor: Prof M. Timm Hoffman (PCU, Biological Sciences)
Office: Room 5.02, HW Pearson Building
Cherié is a PhD student at the University of Cape Town (UCT) specialising in Ecosystem-based Adaptation and palaeoecology. Previously she was a Project Manager at SouthSouthNorth working with local communities in Namakwa and Limpopo via the Community Adaptation Small Grants Facility project and as a Research Assistant on the Future Climate for Africa project working on scientific capacity development. Prior to that she was a Research Assistant at Conservation South Africa working for the GreenChoice Alliance, facilitating farmer study groups for the Business and Biodiversity Initiatives (2011).
She began her Natural Science career at UCT by obtaining a BSc in Marine Biology and Ecology (2008), BSc Honours in Botany (2009), and a MSc in Botany/Palaeoecology (distinction 2014). She was an ACCESS Global Change Scholar (2012-2014), participated in the ACCESS Teachers Training (2012), and volunteered in various environmental education programmes such as being a student lecturer at the UWC Habitable Planet Workshop (2012) and Kenya Habitable Planet Workshop (2013) and facilitated the Western Cape’s ACCESS Schools Engagement Programme at Kuils River Technical High School (2014).
Cherié's passion for botany, ecology and biodiversity conservation, coupled with a passion for people and environmental education has driven her towards her goal of successfully obtaining a Doctorate in order to apply the knowledge in the environmental affairs of our country - particularly to increase social and ecological resilience to the negative impacts of current and future climate change by mainstreaming ecosystem services into agriculture. Her goal is to work with people (particularly land-use managers such as conservation and restoration managers, farmers, extension officers, etc.) to increase their ability of sustainable land-use management planning by providing a long-term, palaeo-perspective on natural resources. Cherié is also interested in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), recognising that M&E and learning is essential in implementing successful sustainable development projects in South Africa.
Cobban, L., New, M., Lotz-Sisitka, H., Forbes, C. and Roux, J-P., 2016. Developing climate change scientific capacity in Africa: review of factors enabling and impeding successful outcomes. WIRES CC (In Press).
Hawkins, H. and Forbes, J., 2011. What's for supper?: BotSoc partnerships and projects. Veld & Flora, 97(2), pp.56-57.