Students

Current students

PhD

Nasiphi Ntshanga

Nasiphi is doing her PhD with Şerban Procheş and I, based at the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Nasiphi is exploring the interactions between landscape transformation and other drivers of global change and their impacts on ecological processes and biodiversity in the Cape Floristic Region. Nasiphi is Chairperson of SAEON’s Graduate Student Network (GSN) and recently won the talk for best speaker at South Africa’s Third National Conference on Global Change in Durban in 2016. Contact Nasiphi: nasiphidotntshangaatgmaildotcom

Henry Frye

Henry is doing his PhD at the University of Connecticut with Cindi Jones. His PhD is focused on testing the utility of remote sensing products to detect and predict plant species diversity across the CFR.

MSc

Maphale Matlala

Maphale is doing her MSc with Res Altwegg, Andrew Skowno and I. She is comparing South Africa’s Ecosystem Threat Assessment approach with the IUCN’s new Red List of Ecosystems methodology.

Sally Mashele

Sally is doing her MSc at the University of Cape Town with Adam West and I. She is looking identifying the components of the Fynbos flora that drive seasonality in satellite NDVI, using high-resolution UAV NDVI imagery, satellite imagery and vegetation surveys.

Lungile Khuzwayo

Lungile is doing her MSc as part of the RReTool project, focusing on mapping invasive woody plants in the Cape mountain catchments. She’s registered at the University of Cape Town and is working with Glenn Moncrieff, Vernon Visser, Res Altwegg and I.

Keletso Moilwe

Keletso is doing her MSc as part of the RReTool project, focusing on mapping invasive woody plants and degradation in high altitude grasslands. She’s registered at the University of Cape Town and is working with Glenn Moncrieff, Vernon Visser, Res Altwegg and I.


Former students

Postdocs

Glenn Moncrieff 2015-2017

Glenn and I have been been working on various projects relating to Dynamic Vegetation Models, developing biodiversity monitoring tools based on remote-sensing, and scaling up between vegetation community data and broader ecosystem properties. After a small vacation in the field of data science at Ixio Analytics Glenn joined us as a permanent staff member at the SAEON Fynbos Node so that he can continue his domination of global ecology.

Nicola Stevens 2014-2015

Nicola started a postdoc working on developing Fynbos biodiversity monitoring tools based on remote-sensing and scaling up between vegetation community data and broader ecosystem properties, but moved on to a great opportunity working with Prof Guy Midgley which allowed her to persue her core interests in bush encroachment.

Christopher Trisos 2014-2015

Chris is a great and enthusiastic mind and dabbled with many projects, but never really sunk his teeth into anything. There may be a paper on dispersal rates in Proteaceae coming at some stage (Chris?), but I’m not holding my breath… Chris had a great opportunity to take up a joint postdoc between the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Centre (SESYNC) at the University of Maryland and the Jetz Lab at Yale that it would have been silly to turn down.

Genevieve Thompson 2012-2014

Gen’s postdoc focused on building a genus-level phylogeny of the plants of South Africa to explore patterns of phylogenetic diversity and the evolutionary transitions required to cross biome boundaries in South Africa with Felix Forest and Jonathan Colville. Gen now works on genomics at the Agricultural Research Council in Pretoria.

PhD

Nyasha Magadzire

Nyasha did her PhD with Helen De Klerk, Karen Esler and I, based in the Geography Department at Stellenbosch University. Her PhD was focused on testing the utility of remote sensing products as measures of ecological regime in predicting the distribution of vegetation types, communities and species across the CFR.

Martina Treurnicht

Martina did her PhD with Frank Schurr, Jörn Pagel, Karen Esler and I. Her PhD, “Demographic and functional determinants of large-scale population dynamics and ecological niches of 26 serotinous Proteaceae species in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR, South Africa)” was split between the Department of Conservation Ecology, Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and the Department Landscape and Plant Ecology, University of Hohenheim (Germany). Martina won the Harper Prize for best paper by an early career researcher published in the Journal of Ecology in 2016 for her paper Environmental drivers of demographic variation across the global geographical range of 26 plant species. I only joined Martina’s supervision team after the paper had been submitted, but I’ll claim fame by association :)

MSc

Francois Becker

Francois his MSc at the University of Cape Town on “Estimating the global population size of animals that are hard to find: the case of Rose’s mountain toadlet” with Krystal Tolley, Res Altwegg, John Measey and I.

Annabelle Rogers

Annabelle did her MSc with Prof Ed February, Glenn Moncrieff and I. Her thesis Modification of fire catchments drive vegetation change on the Cape Peninsula used fire models to explore how land cover transformation altered the flow of fire across the Cape Peninsula, showing a close corresponence between areas that now experience less risk of fire and the expansion of forest into fynbos. Annabelle recieved her MSc Cum Laude in 2017.

Kobus Kellermann

Kobus did his MSc with Prof Ed February and I on a dissertation titled Hydraulic trait variation in Protea repens with change in climate in space and time. Kobus graduated in 2016.

Christine Moore

Christine did her MSc at the University of Cape Town’s Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology and DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Conservation Biology. Her dissertation, Understanding Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza Outbreaks in the Western Cape Ostrich Industry: Did Network Dynamics Enhance Vulnerability?, was supervised by Prof Graeme Cumming and I.

BSc(Hons)

Hannah Simon,2017, did her BSc(Hons) at the University of Cape Town with Adam West and I, looking at Unpacking a pixel. The role of biodiversity in driving seasonal NDVI values in Fynbos. Her project aimed to use high-resolution UAV NDVI imagery of selected sites in the fynbos coupled with vegetation surveys and satellite imagery to identify the components of the flora that show seasonal responses in NDVI.

Eleanor Weideman, 2017, did her BSc(Hons) at the University of Cape Town with Bernard Coetzee, Robert Thomson and I, following up on a study recently published by Bernard in collaboration with Steven Chown that looked at bird diversity along a land use/land cover gradient in Limpopo province. Eleanor used this dataset to look at changes in bird functional and phylogenetic diversity along the gradient.

Nicola Rule, 2015, University of Cape Town, cosupervised with Prof Ed February on a project titled The effects of climate change on the xylem anatomy of Protea repens

Thomas Morris, 2012, University of Cape Town, cosupervised with Prof Jeremy Midgley on a project titled Monitoring the Knysna forest; species, community and forest responses

Wade Lane, 2011, University of Cape Town, cosupervised with Prof Terry Hedderson and Dr Claudine Ah-Peng on a project titled What processes govern the ground bryophyte community assemblage along an altitudinal gradient on the island of La Réunion?

Stuart Hall, 2010, University of Cape Town, cosupervised with Prof Jeremy Midgley on a project titled Vegetation change and vegetation type stability in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve 1966–2010

Jasper Slingsby Written by:

An ecologist working on global change in terrestrial ecosystems.

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