Welcome Tamryn Hamilton
The Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) would like to give a warm welcome to Tamryn Hamilton who has joined the PCU team for the next three months while she works in the palaeo-lab under the guidance of A/Prof. Lindsey Gillson. Tamryn has just begun her Masters (MSc Ecology, Environment and Conservation) at the University of Witwatersrand under the supervision of Prof. Sally Archibald (Wits University) and Stephan Woodborne (iThemba Laboratories). The team is collaborating with Lindsey Gillson and Glynis Humphrey (PCU PhD Candidate). Tamryn’s research will focus on historical rainfall and fire in the Bwabwata National Park, Namibia.
For her undergraduate degree, Tamryn did a double major in Geography and Zoology (through the Department of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, Wits University). She then went on to complete her BSc(Hons) in Ecology, Environment and Conservation, also at Wits. Here, she used stable isotope analysis of a Baobab tree core and used correlations with MODIS data to interpret and understand the history of rainfall and expected vegetation responses in Caprivi, Namibia. During her studies, Tamryn took a varied approach to understanding the environment, with as wide a scope of subjects as possible (dabbling in algae, modelling populations and entomology), but she became passionate about ecology once she realised that she could integrate her Geography background into long-term ecological studies.
Tamryn’s Masters project fits well with her passion. The aim of her MSc research is to generate long-term data for rainfall and fire in Bwabwata National Park through the use of Carbon stable isotope analysis from two Baobab tree cores. She will also reconstruct fire history by analysing charcoal from sedimentary cores. These data will be used to improve our understanding of the relationship between fire and rainfall in semi-arid landscapes, and to assess the impact that people have had on those responses.
Tamryn says that she is looking forward to her time here at the University of Cape Town and the possibilities it will bring.