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Professor and Director of the Plant Conservation Unit, University of Cape Town

I am interested in how land use practices, particularly over the last 100 years, have impacted on the biodiversity and landscapes of the Succulent Karoo, Nama-Karoo and Fynbos biomes in South Africa. I use a number of approaches (e.g. repeat fixed-point photography, ecological surveys, experimentation) to develop an accurate account of landscape and biodiversity change. This information informs conservation and management policy and also has relevance for the current focus on the long-term effects of climate change on the biota of the winter rainfall region. I have also established a long-term, interdisciplinary research programme in Paulshoek, a communal area in Namaqualand. The impact of natural resource use on Namaqualand's landscapes is understood in terms of the changing social and economic environments of the region.


  • –present
    Professor, University of Cape Town


  • 1989 
    University of Cape Town, PhD