Liezl Maritz, who is graduating with a Master's degree in Biological Sciences, worked in isolation on the coast of the southern Namib desert and had black-backed jackals as her companions observing her doing her research. She was doing the first investigation ever into the ecological viability of wetland marine ponds created by diamond-mining activities.
Dr Charlene Janion-Scheepers, from the Department of Biological Sciences, looks at how soils are vital for agriculture, biodiversity and clean water and describes how this below-ground world is often overlooked. She examines how the loss of life below the ground due to intensification of agriculture, climate change, erosion and compaction, among other things, is one of the biggest global threats to soils.
Newly published research by an all-women team from the University of Cape Town shows how one of the most ancient groups of birds (from the time of the dinosaurs) was able to detect minute mechanical vibrations in the soil using their beaks. PhD student Carla du Toit from the Department of Biological Sciences is the lead author, Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan is co-author and leading dinosaur palaeontologist and Dr. Susan Cunningham is senior author and avian sensory ecology specialist.
Dr Margaret Blackie, from Stellenbosch University, presented the Department of Chemistry Transformation Committee lecture, with a talk entitled, "The opportunity presented by the call for decolonization ".
Home to approximately 2 600 students, of which some 36% are postgraduate research students registered in the 12 academic departments – Archaeology, Astronomy, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental & Geographical Science, Geological Sciences, Mathematics & Applied Mathematics, Molecular & Cell Biology, Oceanography, Physics and Statistical Sciences.
Undergraduate teaching is a cornerstone of our activities and the Faculty offers 21 different majors, with possibilities to co-major in subjects located in other Faculties. Our majors are loosely organised into three clusters – those in the biology, earth and environmental sciences, those in the chemical and molecular sciences, and those in the numerical and physical sciences. Our Bachelor of Science degree leads naturally on to a number of different Honours degrees that relate to the undergraduate major(s) offered by the various departments.
The Faculty of Science prides itself on the high regard in which it is held by the international academic community, reflected in part by international world university and subject rankings. According to the latest QS rankings, the Science Faculty at UCT places in the band 51-100 top universities in the Earth and Marine Sciences and in the band 101-150 in the Biological and Environmental Sciences.
The Faculty prides itself on its strong teaching programmes, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and on the strength of its research enterprise. With well developed international links with researchers across the world, the Faculty is a major contributor to cutting-edge, globally relevant research. Maano Ramutsindela Dean: Faculty of Science