Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) students Elelwani Nenzhelele and Liesl Eichenberger, both supervised by Simon Todd and Prof Timm Hoffman, and PCU research assistant, Yolanda Chirango, were among 800 students to graduate at the formal ceremony held in Jameson Hall on Friday evening (14 July 2017). We would like to congratulate these students on their hard work and dedication to their projects. You have all worked so hard and we wish you every success for the future. Read the article to learn more.
The Plant Conservation Unit is pleased to announce the publication of an exciting new paper by Anneli Ekblom, Lindsey Gillson and Michel Notelid in WIREs Water. The article is titled, "Water flow, ecological dynamics, and management in the lower Limpopo Valley: a long‐term view”. The abstract is provided but the full paper may be downloaded here.
On Friday 30 June 2017, the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) said farewell to research assistant, Sam Jack. Sam has worked with the PCU team for the past 5 years since the completion of his Masters at the end of 2011. His contribution to the PCU has been immense and we will miss his enthusiasm, intellect and passion for science and the outdoors. However, we all wish him well in this new chapter in his life and to the adventures which lie ahead. Read the article to learn more.
Recently, PhD Candidate, Gina Arena, together with her supervisors Prof Timm Hoffman, Prof Tim O’Connor (SAEON) and Dr Helga van der Merwe (SAEON), set out to Middelburg in the Eastern Cape to scout out a few sites for her PhD. Overall it was a successful and interesting trip, which included discussions around Gina’s main research questions on assessing long-term changes in rangeland vegetation in the Eastern Upper Karoo, an area that has been influenced by past and current climate and land use patterns. Read Gina's article to learn more.
The Plant Conservation Unit is pleased to announce the publication of an exciting new paper by Anabelle Cardoso, Jeremy Midgley, Timm Hoffman and Coert Geldenhuys in Southern Forests: A Journal of Forest Science. The article is titled, "Temperate forest dynamics and carbon storage: a 26-year case study from Orange Kloof Forest, Cape Peninsula, South Africa”. The abstract is provided but the full paper may be downloaded here.
Members of the Plant Conservation Unit along with several other arid zone ecologists attended the Arid Zone Ecology Forum's annual conference in May 2017 at Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute near Middelburg in the Eastern Cape. This year's conference focused on change and innovation in the arid zone with talks on Karoo Shale Gas Development, the Karoo BioGaps project, long-term projects and socio-ecological studies. Overall it was a fun and successful event!
Estelle Razanatsoa, PhD Candidate at the Plant Conservation Unit, recently attended the Young Scientists Meeting and the Open Science Meeting held in Spain from 7-14 May 2017. The meetings were organised by Past Global Changes (PAGES) and the Quaternary Terrestrial Environments group (Pyrenean Institute of Ecology-CSIC). The PCU would like to congratulate Estelle for receiving a prize for being one of the best oral presentations during the Young Scientists Meeting! Read Estelle's article to learn more!
Over the weekend, a group of Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) postgraduate students and staff attended the first-ever PCU popular writing retreat, held at Rainbow Glen self-catering cottages in the peaceful town of Montagu in the Western Cape. The aim of the retreat was for each attendee to produce a product (written/ drawn/ recorded etc.) that effectively communicates their research to the public. The importance of communicating our science more generally emerged during the five-year review of the PCU held in November 2016. Our writing retreat was an attempt to address this need. Read the article to learn more!
The University of Cape Town held this year's annual Open Day from 10 AM - 3 PM on Saturday 22 April 2017. The Plant Conservation Unit team got involved in the event and helped out at the Department of Biological Sciences stand in Jameson Hall alongside other Departments that fall under the Faculty of Science. Overall it was a fantastic day and we look forward to getting involved again next year. Read the full article to learn more about the day.
We would like to give a warm welcome to Gina Arena who has recently joined us as a PhD Candidate in rangeland ecology under the co-supervision of Prof. Timm Hoffman (PCU), Helga van der Merwe (SAEON and PCU Honorary Research Associate) and Tim O’Connor (SAEON). Gina's research will focus on the long-term vegetation change on rangelands influenced by historical and current land use practices and climate change in the Eastern Cape’s Nama Karoo-Grasslands biome interface. Read the full article to learn more about her. Welcome Gina!
We would like to give a warm welcome to Wesley Bell who has recently joined us as a PhD Candidate in conservation ecology under the supervision of Prof. M. Timm Hoffman. Wesley's research will focus on the threats and opportunities posed by land degradation in Namaqualand. Read the full article to learn more about him. Welcome Wesley!
The Plant Conservation Unit is pleased to announce the publication of an exciting new paper by Claire Davis, Timm Hoffman and Wesley Roberts in the South African Journal of Botany. The article is titled, "Long-term trends in vegetation phenology and productivity over Namaqualand using the GIMMS AVHRR NDVI3g data from 1982 to 2011”. The abstract is provided but the full paper may be downloaded here.