Atmospheric chemist Dr Katye Altieri, Department of Oceanography, will use her Claude Leon Merit Award, one of five awarded to UCT researchers in 2017, to teach oceanography and atmospheric science undergraduates the rudiments of conducting air quality analyses.
Despite a wealth of research on False Bay, little is known about the chemical make-up of its water, how this varies seasonally and how its vigorous circulation prevents stagnation. But a new study by Dr Sarah Fawcett, Department of Oceanography,on nitrogen pollution in the country’s biggest natural bay, hopes to change that.
If Europe is going to reap the benefits of conservation measures at home, its experts need an understanding of where “their” birds migrate to when they head off to Africa. Each year, birds migrate en masse from Europe in search of warmer climes for breeding. Many travel as far as Africa. But while their habits are carefully mapped at home, their breeding seasons don’t get as much attention. Professor Les Underhill from the Department of Biological Sciences at UC, explains why this leaves researchers and conservationists on the back foot, and how bird atlases can fill the gaps.
A recent paper published by UCT researchers Associate Professor Adam West and Professor William Bond, draws attention to the global phenomenon of invasive native plant species – and suggests ways of managing affected ecosystems in the future.
PhD candidate Megan Lukas from the Department of Environmental & Geographical Science, was one of 25 young scientists honoured with a Green Talents award at the International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development, which took place in Germany during October.
Over the past few months, UCT News has been reporting on the ongoing water crisis in Cape Town in its efforts to raise awareness of the drought and its very real consequences. UCT researchers have developed and tested a new logger system to keep a closer eye on the water levels in the dam on upper campus and other water systems.
UCT scientists are part of an international team that has revealed how canny baboons in Cape Town use a sit-and-wait tactic before raiding people’s homes for food. This has been shown by data gathered from bespoke baboon-tracking collars. Professor Justin O'Riain, Director of the Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa, is a co-author of the study published by Scientific Reports.
Dr Tshifhiwa Gift Mandiwana-Neudani, an ornithologist who first made her mark in the field at UCT’s FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, has debunked a centuries old belief about the evolution of a common gamebird, the francolin.
Cape Town has an innovative and progressive programme aimed at reducing negative interactions between white sharks and recreational water users - the Shark Spotter programme. Research by PhD student Tamlyn Engelbrecht, from the Department of Biological Sciences at UCT has just been published a paper in PLoS ONE which addresses the question of how this programme works effectively. The paper is also authored by Professor Justin O' Riain, Director of the Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa (iCWild), which is housed in the Department of Biological Sciences.
During the Early Jurassic, around 200 million years ago, small and agile two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs called theropods roamed the ancient landscapes. In southern Africa, we know of their existence from their rare body fossils but also, importantly, from their fossil footprints. Now a team from the Department of Geological Sciences at UCT led by Dr Lara Sciscio, has made a new discovery, which reveals unexpectedly that very large carnivorous dinosaurs with an estimated body length of between 8 to 9 meters (the size of a two story building) – lived in southern Africa too.
Four of the eleven new Fellows inducted into UCT's prestigious College of Fellows are from the Faculty of Science. They are: Professor Bruce Hewitson, Department of Environmental and Geographical Science; Professor Chris Reason, Department of Oceanography; Professor Peter Dunsby, Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics and Professor Peter Ryan, Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology.
Furthermore, two of the six recipients of the Young Researcher Award are also from the Science Faculty. They are: Dr Alvaro de la Cruz-Dombriz and Dr Juana Sanchez-Ortega, both from the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics
For those who are truly lucky, there will be that one teacher that makes a life-long impact. ThinkDead Poets Society – an enigma in whose class you never fall asleep, where an hour passes in the blink of an eye and whose pearls of wisdom remain ensconced in memory for all times. Such a teacher opens your eyes to unimagined possibilities, pushing you to explore boundaries and tap into an intellectual reserve of curiosity. Professor George Branch from the Department of Biological Science, is one such rare soul.