Home > News > News


Current news

Sustainable Development Goals Summit at UCT: how biologists can help work towards sustainability
Thu, 16 Sep 2021 - 10:15

From 13th -15th September, UCT hosted an international summit on the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. It was a call to action that brought together some of the world’s leading thinkers on sustainability.

'The fine art of planting yourself in a mirror spot and reading the shadows' - article in Business Day
Wed, 15 Sep 2021 - 09:30

A wonderful article on Prof. Timm Hoffman and repeat photography, written by Assoc. Prof. Hedley Twidle of the UCT English Lit Studies department, appeared in yesterday's Business Day 'Life' section. The article is online here, and can be downloaded from our website.

NEW PAPER ALERT: Synergy between climate and human land-use maintained open vegetation in southwest Madagascar over the last millennium
Mon, 06 Sep 2021 - 09:15

A new article by several PCU researchers, including Dr Estelle Razanatsoa and Prof. Lindsey Gillson, titled ‘Synergy between climate and human land-use maintained open vegetation in southwest Madagascar over the last millennium’ was published on 31 August 2021 in The Holocene. The full article is available here or on request from Dr Razanatsoa.


Trip report: Porcupine herbivory on Aloe claviflora plants in the Wolwekraal Nature Reserve in Prince Albert
Fri, 20 Aug 2021 - 10:00

PhD student, Gina Arena, recently undertook a fieldtrip to Prince Albert between 2 - 5 August 2021, to survey a population of Aloe claviflora plants in the Wolwekraal Nature Reserve. 

NEW PAPER ALERT: Documenting changing landscapes with rePhotoSA: A repeat photography and citizen science project in southern Africa
Mon, 02 Aug 2021 - 10:15

A new article by several PCU researchers titled ‘Documenting changing landscapes with rePhotoSA: A repeat photography and citizen science project in southern Africa’ was published on 31 July 2021 in Ecological Informatics. The full article is available here, and can be accessed here for free until 3 October 2021.

Rethinking the value of historical photograph collections to the LTER network
Wed, 28 Jul 2021 - 14:30

The sudden loss of irreplaceable archives of historical landscape photographs in a natural disaster has highlighted their value and begs a new question: Why are long-term ecological research (LTER) programmes in southern Africa not taking greater advantage of these early baselines of past environments to build upon existing datasets of environmental observation? Read the full article here.

PCU Online Research Symposium
Fri, 02 Jul 2021 - 15:30

The Plant Conservation Unit held an online research symposium on Friday 2 July, to check in with all our students and assistants, and reflect on our progress and achievements so far this year.

Article: 'From the ashes: historical botanic photos destroyed in Cape Town fire resurrected'
Fri, 25 Jun 2021 - 13:00

PCU Director, Prof. Timm Hoffman, was interviewed by The Guardian about the losses incurred by the UCT fire in April. Read the full article here.

Trip report: Repeat photography trip to Tygerberg Nature Reserve
Mon, 31 May 2021 - 12:45

On 18 May 2021, Prof. Timm Hoffman and Hana Petersen joined colleagues from CoCT and CPUT at Tygerberg Nature Reserve to discuss the use of repeat photography in monitoring vegetation recovery.

Mapping the fire on Table Mountain that destroyed the Plant Conservation Unit
Fri, 23 Apr 2021 - 14:15

Research associate Dr Zander Venter, who is currently based in Norway, has developed a sliding tool using Google Earth Engine to visualise the extent of the uncontrolled Table Mountain fire that began on 18 April 2021.

PCU offices on fire
Fire causes loss of the Plant Conservation Unit offices and photographic collections
Mon, 19 Apr 2021 - 10:00

We are heartbroken to report that the uncontrolled fire on Table Mountain on 18 April 2021 has resulted in the complete loss of the Plant Conservation Unit offices, along with irreplaceable collections of photographs.

Trip report: Drilling in Orange Kloof Valley
Sun, 11 Apr 2021 - 11:15

A group of palaeoecologists from the PCU Paleoecology Lab had a very successful trip to the Orange Kloof Valley in February 2021 to collect a very impressive sediment core.