In April 2018, PhD student Justin van Blerk together with his supervisor A/Prof Adam West and co-supervisor Prof Timm Hoffman visited his study site to conduct the winter component of the long-term altered rainfall seasonality experiment at Driekuilen Nature Reserve. It was a very chilly but successful trip! Read Justin's article to learn more.
The Plant Conservation Unit is pleased to announce the publication of an exciting new paper by Cherié J.Forbes, A/Prof. Lindsey Gillson and Prof. M. Timm Hoffman in the journal Anthropocene. The article is titled, "Shifting baselines in a changing world: Identifying management targets in endangered heathlands of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa” and was published online in June 2018. The abstract is provided but the full paper may be downloaded here.
On 22 May 2018, PhD candidate Cherié Forbes attended CapeNature's Quarterly Ecological Meeting (QEM) at the Porterville Library in Porterville, Western Cape. The purpose of the QEM was to allow a space to reflect on and discuss past and upcoming CapeNature activities in the region. The meeting was well-attended with interesting feedback and updates on projects undertaken by CapeNature staff and associates. Read the article written by Cherié to learn more.
On 8 May 2018, Sonto Mtolo, a DST-NRF Intern currently assisting the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) with processing historical collections, graduated from the University of Zululand KwaDlangezwa main Campus. Sonto graduated with Merit in Bachelor of Library and Information Science. The PCU team would like to congratulate Sonto on this wonderful achievement. We are fortunate to have her on our team and we know that she will do well in all her future endeavours. Read the article to learn more!
The Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) would like to give a warm welcome to Sally Mashele who has recently joined us as a Research Assistant. Sally will be largely assisting the PCU team with GIS and other mapping software. Welcome Sally!
The South African National Biodiversity Institute and partners (including the Plant Conservation Unit, Cape Citizen Science and others) held a Citizen Science Fair at The Old Mutual Conference and Exhibition Centre at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens over the weekend (14-15 April 2018). Hundreds of citizen scientists attended the Saturday event, which had a fantastic line-up of talks, display stands and interactive workshops on a variety of citizen science projects, including rePhotoSA. The citizen science fair was aligned with international citizen science day organised on the same day. Read the article to learn more about this exciting event!
Plant Conservation Unit BSc Honours students Nina Zizzamia, Tara Nair Van Ryneveld and Sally Mashele were among thousands of students who graduated in April 2018 from the University of Cape Town. Nina, and Tara (in absentia), graduated on 4 April 2018 and Sally graduated on 6 April 2018. 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. Many thanks to colleagues and their institutions who helped to co-supervise these projects. Read the full article to learn more.
The Plant Conservation Unit would like to give a warm welcome to Sonto Mtolo who has recently joined us as an intern under the DST-NRF programme. Sonto will be working with Samantha Venter and Prof. M. Timm Hoffman and will largely assist in processing historical photographic collections and with our citizen science project, rePhotoSA. Welcome Sonto!
On 27 February 2018, Cherié Forbes, a doctoral candidate at the Plant Conservation Unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT), attended the Western Cape Climate Change Response Forum: An initiative under Provincial Strategic Goal 4. The meeting was co-hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning and the African Climate and Development Initiative based at UCT. Read the full article to learn more about the workshop. Article and images supplied by Cherié Forbes.
“Hanging on a Wire: Photographs by Sophia Klaase” was shortlisted for, and subsequently won, the 2018 Humanities and Social Sciences Award for Best Non-Fiction Edited Volume. The awards were held at the John Kani Theatre at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg on 15 March 2018. Congratulations to the editors, Rick Rohde and Siona O’Connell, as well as to the photographer Sophia Klaase (“Vytjie”), who sadly passed away at the beginning of 2017.
Petra Holden, who recently completed her PhD at the Plant Conservation Unit, along with five other PhD students from the global north and south reflects on what it means to do transdisciplinary PhD research in an exciting new blog series called, "Transdisciplinary PhD Journeys". "Reflecting on the challenge of the ‘transdisciplinary triple jump’" is the first post in the series, which will run for the next six months.
The Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) would like to congratulate Tsilavo Razafimanantsoa on the upgrade of his M.Sc. to a Ph.D., which was officially approved in November 2017. Tsilavo joined the PCU in 2016 as an M.Sc. Candidate in Palaeoecology and Ecosystem-based Adaptation under the co-supervision of A/Prof Lindsey Gillson (PCU) and Emeritus Professor William Bond in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town. Read the article to learn more!