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Research Assistant

Yolanda Chirango

BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences

Office: HW Pearson Building




MSc Biological Sciences (in progress), BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, BSc Applied Biology, Ecology and Evolution

Yolanda is currently completing her Masters in The Reproductive Biology and Functional Floral Traits of Selected Cape Asclepiads supervised by Dr. Sandy-Lynn Steenhuisen. She joined the PCU team in 2015 and works as a part-time research assistant for Professor Lindsey Gillson. Her work involves digitizing the large PCU pollen collection and creating an open access pollen database. The aim is to make the large pollen collection accessible to as many people as possible and act as a reference collection that will aid in paleoecological studies.

Fieldwork at Blue Hill Escape near Baviaanskloof 

She is originally from Zimbabwe, growing up in Victoria Falls but permanently lives in Cape Town now. She studied Applied Biology and Ecology and Evolution as an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town. During which she volunteered as a research assistant in the Hot Birds Project, Fynbos Endemic Bird Survey and the Sociable Weaver Project, all through the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, with some side work as a behind the scenes volunteer for the Two Oceans Aquarium.

Pipeline hike in Cape Town

Her interests include both marine and terrestrial ecology, particularly evolutionary ecology and conservation. She is also very passionate about science communication and hopes to become a science populariser and communicator in the future. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, cycling and is an avid reader and book blogger.