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Research Assistant

Samantha Venter (Scott)

MSc (University of the Witwatersrand




MSc Ecology, Environment and Conservation (University of the Witwatersrand), BSc (Hons) Botany (University of the Witwatersrand), BSc Ecology & Zoology (University of the Witwatersrand)

Samantha joined the Plant Conservation Unit (PCU) as a Research Assistant in February 2016 until December 2018. Her main focus was the development and management of rePhotoSA, the citizen science repeat photography project of southern African landscapes. This project is focused on getting the public or 'citizen scientists' to contribute to the extensive repeat photographic database housed within the PCU.

Samantha completed her BSc (Hons.) Ecology, Environment & Conservation (Botany) and her MSc. Ecology, Environment & Conservation (Ornithology) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her research focused on the community dynamics and feeding ecology of birds within an Afromontane Mist Belt Mixed Podocarpus Forest near Nottingham Road in KwaZulu-Natal, which was funded by the National Research Foundation and E. Oppenheimer & Son. On completion of her Masters, Samantha worked as an Environmental Consultant for 2.5 years before seeking out the greener pastures of our country through the WWOOFing (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) network. She WWOOFed for a year before moving to Cape Town and beginning her career with the PCU. Samantha is currently pursuing a job opportunity in Norway.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Scott SL, Rohde RF and Hoffman MT 2018. Repeat Landscape Photography, Historical Ecology and the Wonder of Digital Archives in Southern Africa. African Research and Documentation 131: 35-47.

Venter ZS, Scott SL, Strauss J, Jacobs K and Hawkins HJ 2017. Increasing crop diversity increased soil microbial activity, nitrogen-sourcing and crop nitrogen, but not soil microbial diversity. South African Journal of Plant and Soil 1-8.

Drake DC, Maritz B, Jacobs SM, Crous CJ, Engelbrecht A, Etale A, Fourie MJ, Furniss DG, Scott SL, Parusnath S and Tye DR 2013. The propagation and dispersal of misinformation in ecology: Is there a relationship between citation accuracy and journal impact factor? Hydrobiologia 702(1) 1-4.

Helm CV, Scott SL and Witkowski ETF 2011. Reproductive potential and seed fate of Sclerocarya birrea subsp. caffra (marula) in the low altitude savannas of South Africa. South African Journal of Botany 77: 650-664.

Maritz B and Scott SL 2010. Assessing the threat of avian predation on a small viperid snake. African Zoology 45(2): 309-314.