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PCU members attend conference in Madagascar
Mon, 23 Sep 2019 - 09:00

Last month, Estelle Razanatsoa, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU), along with Glynis Humphrey (Postdoctoral Research Fellow) and Tsilavo Razafimanantsoa (PhD student), spent time in Madagascar to attend the 56th annual meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) and to conduct fieldwork in the Northwest of the island.

Hana Petersen attends BIM-FBIP joint forum and explores the KZN Midlands
Fri, 06 Sep 2019 - 11:15

Plant Conservation Unit research assistant, Hana Petersen, presented the rePhotoSA project, which she coordinates, at the Biodiversity Information Management and Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (BIM-FBIP) joint forum on 19 – 22 August 2019. The forum focused largely on biodiversity open data supporting open science, technology and innovation, following the recent white paper on Science, Technology and Innovation. Several key sessions explored regional biodiversity information efforts in Africa, biodiversity information management priorities in museums and herbaria, and innovative tools and applications to support research and development. The rePhotoSA project fell within the latter session, and was well-received by the audience, resulting in interesting discussion and brainstorming as to how historical photographs can be used in other spheres of research.

NEW PAPER ALERT: climate-controlled historical olive tree occurrence and oil production
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 - 14:30

The Plant Conservation Unit is pleased to announce the publication of an exciting new paper by María J. Ramos-Román, Gonzalo Jiménez-Moreno, R. Scott Anderson, Antonio García-Alix, Jon Camuera, Jose M. Mesa-Fernández and Saúl Manzano in Global and Planetary Change. The article is titled "Climate contolled historic olive tree occurrences and olive oil production in southern Spain" and is part of the November 2019 issue. The article provides evidence of centennial-scale climate variability in the occurrence of Olea (olive trees), suggesting conditioning of olive production by climate historically. The abstract is provided below but the full paper may be downloaded here.

NEW PAPER ALERT: resilience and fire management
Tue, 03 Sep 2019 - 14:00

The Plant Conservation Unit is pleased to announce the publication of an exciting new paper by Lindsey Gillson, Cathy Whitlock and Glynis Humphrey in Ecology and Society. The article is titled "Resilience and fire management in the Anthropocene"  and was published in August 2019. The article provides insights into the role of long-term fire data in linking climate, vegetation, fire regimes and human influences, and how this influences management. The abstract is provided below but the full paper may be downloaded here.

Wed, 31 Jul 2019 - 09:15

The Plant Conservation Unit is pleased to announce the publication of an exciting new paper by Joseph M. Hulbert, Sophia C. Turner, and Samantha L. Scott in the South African Journal of Science. The article is titled, "Challenges and solutions to establishing and sustaining citizen science projects in South Africa” and was published online in July 2019. The abstract is provided below but the full paper may be downloaded here.

Dr Estelle Razanatsoa
Congratulations to Dr Estelle Razanatsoa
Fri, 19 Jul 2019 - 11:15

Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) Ph.D. student Estelle Razanatsoa graduated from the University of Cape Town (UCT) on Friday 12 July 2019. Estelle was supervised by Associate Prof. Lindsey Gillson (PCU), Dr. Stephan Woodborne (iThemba Lab, Johannesburg) and Dr. Malika Virah-Sawmy (Geography Department, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin).

The PCU attends the Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) Congress 2019
Mon, 08 Jul 2019 - 08:30

Prof. Timm Hoffman (PCU Director) and Gina Arena (PhD student) attended and presented some of their research at the GSSA 2019 Congress from 30 June - 4 July. The congress was held in Upington in the Northern Cape during what felt like one of the coldest weeks this winter. Gina presented some of her data from her first thesis chapter on long-term vegetation changes in the eastern Karoo. Timm gave the closing keynote address on the long-term environmental monitoring programme in Riemvasmaak in the Northern Cape.

The PCU gains several new students and staff members
Wed, 15 May 2019 - 09:30

The Plant Conservation Unit is delighted to welcome some new faces to the team.

A new dot on the Global Malaise Project Map
Mon, 29 Apr 2019 - 11:15

Efforts in Namibia have added one more point on the map of the Global Malaise Program, joining South Africa, Madagascar, Kenya, Gabon, Cameroon, and Egypt in driving Africa’s contribution to the initiative.

Congratulations to PCU Graduates December 2018
Wed, 27 Feb 2019 - 14:30

Graduation this year encompassed a range of highlights. Firstly, the official robing of Vice Chancellor  Mamokgethi Phakeng by Chancellor Graça Machel on the 13th December 2018, and secondly, the renaming of the Jameson Memorial Hall to the Sarah Baartman Hall to reflect the history of the people of South Africa. Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) student Glynis Humphrey also graduated on the 14th December 2018 with her doctorate under the supervision of Associate Professor Gillson (PCU Deputy Director). Glynis was among 1885 graduates, 118 doctorates, and 780 Masters students who graduated from the University of Cape Town during six ceremonies this season.

The Plant Conservation Unit End-of-Year Function & Farewell to Samantha Venter & Sally Mashele
Wed, 12 Dec 2018 - 07:15

On Monday, 3 December 2018, members of the Plant Conservation Unit team and associates gathered to have some lunch at the UCT Club at the University of Cape Town to celebrate a fun and successful year and to bid farewell to Samantha Venter and Sally Mashele. The PCU would like to extend its utmost appreciation and gratitude to Samantha Venter and Sally Mashele for playing such a significant role. We wish you all the best! Read the article to learn more.

PCU team at UCT Postgrad Research Day
Mon, 10 Dec 2018 - 11:30

On 30 November 2018, two Plant Conservation Unit PhD students, Wesley Bell and Gina Arena, participated in the Department of Biological Sciences Research Day for postgraduates held at Hlanganani Junction in the main library at the University of Cape Town #UCTBioDay2018. The mini-symposium was well-organised with a programme consisting of 19 oral and 6 poster presentations from the marine, botanical, zoological and ecological sciences. Read the full article to learn more!