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Sensing good vibrations: a remarkable sensory organ in the beaks of ancient fossil birds
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 - 17:45

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.  

The opportunity presented by the call for decolonization
Thu, 03 Dec 2020 - 17:30

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 ".

What meteorites can tell us about Mars
Wed, 25 Nov 2020 - 09:30

Hundreds of millions of years ago something crashed into the planet Mars with enough force to eject pieces of Martian rock into space. Some of these pieces of rock made their way to Earth where they entered our atmosphere as meteors. A precious few landed on the surface of our planet as meteorites. Thanks to scientists like Geoffrey Howarth, a geologist based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), these Martian meteorites are now being studied to better understand the structure and geological history of the red planet.

School of IT Showcase displays students’ ingenuity
Thu, 19 Nov 2020 - 10:45

Developed by senior University of Cape Town (UCT) students, tech projects and innovations that aim to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems were on display at the 2020 School of IT Showcase this week.

Groundbreaking new book: Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 - 09:30

According to Professor Maano Ramutsindela, University of Cape Town (UCT) Dean of Science and co-editor of Africa and the Sustainable Development Goals, a groundbreaking new book, the book brings together over 80 researchers from a variety of disciplines on five continents to demonstrate an approach to an equitable global partnership in the production of knowledge relevant for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

UCT’s Prof Ed February bows out gracefully
Thu, 12 Nov 2020 - 09:15

A professor in UCT’s Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science, and an international leader in the field of plant ecology, Associate Professor Edmund February’s two-decade journey with UCT will come to a close at the end of 2020.

UCT’s Prof Daya Reddy calls it a day
Wed, 04 Nov 2020 - 11:45

After more than four decades of illustrious service to the University of Cape Town (UCT) community, acclaimed scholar Professor Daya Reddy will bid the institution a fond farewell at the end of the year.

Jellyfish Mating Day: an in-joke that became a tradition
Wed, 04 Nov 2020 - 09:30

On World Jellyfish Day, 3 November, Emeritus Professor Jenny Day writes about an in-joke at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) zoology department that became a tradition 50 years ago: national Jellyfish Mating Day (JMD).

UCT participates in global Mission Atlantic project
Thu, 22 Oct 2020 - 12:30

Global ocean experts, including an academic from the University of Cape Town (UCT), have teamed up to map and assess the current and imminent environmental risks posed by climate change, natural disasters and human activities – and their effects on the Atlantic Ocean ecosystems.

The project, called Mission Atlantic, will also explore sustainable development of the Atlantic Ocean and is the first initiative of its kind to develop and systematically apply Integrated Ecosystem Assessments (IEAs) at the Atlantic basin scale.

A fishy backyard lockdown tale
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 - 11:00

For those who enjoy the fishy things in life – rods and reels, hooks, sinkers, floats and lures – lockdown has been a time of patient resignation (read frustration) for fisherpeople. But the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Dr Rob Little found a way to keep his fly-fishing wrists flexed. All it needed was a stretch of the imagination.

We need to realign computer science with societal needs
Fri, 09 Oct 2020 - 08:45

Computer science involves numerous fast-evolving fields, such as algorithm and software design, making it difficult for computer scientists to keep up with developments. But computer science is faced with another more pressing reality: it is overwhelmingly motivated by profit and does not focus nearly enough on human and values-driven innovation.  For the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Professor Hussein Suleman, the response should be a return to the roots of the discipline and realigning computer science with societal needs. By removing the profit motive, he argued, computer scientists can provide increased value for society.  Professor Suleman shared these views during his inaugural lecture on 30 September 2020.

Human hand behind SA’s land-degrading dust storms
Wed, 07 Oct 2020 - 09:15

It was while setting up sampling and measuring equipment on a bare peanut field near Bultfontein in the Free State in August 2018 that Associate Professor Frank Eckardt got caught in a rolling dust storm. It turned the world around him orange and opaque. It was just what he’d been hoping for.