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Research Assistant

Hana Petersen

Office: Room 5.07, HW Pearson Building

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MSc Biological Sciences (UCT, 2018); BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (UCT, 2015)



Activities and Research Interests

Hana joined the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) as a Research Assistant in May 2019. Her main focus is on the development and management of rePhotoSA, the citizen science repeat photography project of southern African landscapes. This project is focused on getting the public or 'citizen scientists' to contribute to the extensive repeat photographic database housed within the PCU.

Hana graduated in 2014 with a BSc degree majoring in Applied Biology and Ecology & Evolution at UCT, and continued to complete her Honours degree in Biological Sciences thereafter. During her Honours year, she engaged in both zoology- and botany-oriented projects to satisfy her curiosity. After researching social acoustic behaviour in horseshoe bats during the first half of the year, she then joined the PCU to undertake a repeat photography project in the Tanqua Karoo, supervised by Prof. Timm Hoffman. It was during this time that she developed a keen interest in the diverse shrubland vegetation of the Karoo. She began her MSc degree, titled 'Patterns of plant species richness and diversity across two habitat types in the Upper Karoo, South Africa', in February 2016, supervised once again by Prof. Timm Hoffman, and Simon Todd from SAEON’s Arid Lands node. She completed her MSc in 2018, followed immediately by a DST-NRF internship in Prince Albert with SAEON's Arid Lands Node.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Scott, S. L., Venter, Z. S., Petersen, H., Jack, S. L., Navarro, R. A., Hoffman, M. T., 2021. Documenting changing landscapes with rePhotoSA: A repeat photography and citizen science project in southern Africa. Ecological Informatics. 64, 101390. DOI:

Hoffman, M. T., Cowling, R. M., Petersen, H., Walker, C., 2020. Karoo research update: Progress, gaps and threats. South African Journal of Science. 117, 1-3. DOI:

Petersen, H., Jack, S. L., Hoffman, M. T., Todd, S. W., 2020. Patterns of plant species richness and growth form diversity in critical habitats of the Nama-Karoo biome, South Africa. South African Journal of Botany. 135, 201–211. DOI:

Manzano, S., Julier, A. C., Dirk-Forbes, C. J., Razafimanantsoa, A., Samuels, I., Petersen, H., Gell, P., Hoffman, M. T., Gillson, L., 2020. Using the past to manage the future: the role of long-term data in ecological restoration. Restoration Ecology. 28, 1335-1342. DOI:

Petersen H, Finger N, Bastian A and Jacobs D 2019. The Behaviour and Vocalisations of Captive Geoffroy's Horseshoe Bats, Rhinolophus clivosus (Chiroptera: Rhinolophidae). Acta Chiropterologica 20(2): 439 - 453. DOI: