Michelle van der Bank

Michelle van der Bank

Michelle van der BankProfessor in Botany and Director of the African Centre for DNA Barcoding (ACDB) Email: mvdbank@uj.ac.za Michelle van der Bank received her PhD in Botany from the Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg, South Africa) in 1996. She is a Professor in Botany at the University of Johannesburg and Director of the African Centre for DNA Barcoding (ACDB). ACDB’s mission is to fill the knowledge gap and strengthen research frameworks for international, regional and inter-institutional co-operation in Africa in the field of DNA technology for biodiversity science. Her research group uses molecular phylogenetics, comparative analyses and intensive fieldwork to address questions relevant to biodiversity conservation in Africa.…

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Lerato Nakedi Hoveka

Lerato Nakedi Hoveka

Lerato Nakedi Hoveka PhD Candidate Email: leratohoveka@gmail.com | leratohoveka@yahoo.com Understanding how climate change will affect species distributions, especially for range restricted taxa, is paramount to conserving biodiversity. Lerato Nakedi Hoveka’s research aims to develop climate change integrated strategies for conserving South Africa’s endemic flora. Her research assesses how climate change will impact on the country’s endemic flora and aims to determine whether or not current protected areas will be sufficient for protecting the plant diversity in the future. She also intends to identify protected area networks that will optimise habitat representation for a large group of endemic plants. Curriculum Vitae Key Achievements 22-26 September 2013 – Pirenopolis, Brazil International Conference on the Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions (EMAPi) Presentation: Climate change and the five strongest invaders of South Africa’s freshwater systems Specialisation0%Biodiversity Management0%DNA Barcoding – Aquatic invasive species0%Conservation0%Climate...

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Jonathan Davies

Jonathan Davies

Jonathan Davies Associate Professor Email: j.davies@mcgill.ca Jonathan Davies’ research addresses questions related to the ecological and evolutionary processes shaping the present-day distribution of biodiversity, the challenges posed to its conservation through anthropogenic environmental change, and the consequences of biodiversity loss on ecosystems and the services they provide for us. The integration of phylogenetic approaches in ecology has been transformative, and has given rise to new sub-disciplines in biodiversity science, invasion biology, climate change biology, emerging infectious disease research and community ecology. In his research, Jonathan aims to extend phylogenetic ecology to allow simultaneous modeling of evolutionary and spatial data, and a more explicit consideration of evolutionary processes within community ecology.…

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James Boatwright

James Boatwright

James Stephen BoatwrightAssociate Email: jboatwright@uwc.ac.za James Stephen Boatwright graduated from the University of Johannesburg with a Ph.D (Botany) in 2009 and accepted a Post-Doctoral Fellowship working on South African Asphodeloideae (Asphodelaceae) at the Compton Herbarium and University of Cape Town from February 2009 – September 2010. He worked as a Principal Scientist within the Early Detection and Rapid Response Unit for Alien Plants, based at the Compton Herbarium from October 2010 until June 2012. Since July 2012, he has been a lecturer in the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the University of the Western Cape. As of 1 January 2015, he was appointed as Senior Lecturer at the same institution.…

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Stoffel Petrus Bester

Stoffel Petrus Bester

Stoffel Petrus Bester SANBI Control Scientist Email: S.Bester@sanbi.org.za Stoffel Petrus Bester’s research focuses on taxonomic and revisionary work related to the indigenous taxa in the Apocynaceae, Ericaceae and Scrophulariaceae families. It emphasises the sub-tribe Asclepiadeae, which includes the genera Aspidoglossum, Aspidonepsis, Cordylogyne, Fanninia, Periglossum, Schizoglossum and Stenostelma. Stoffel combines field and laboratory work with strong analytical skills in order to contribute to regional floras, scientific and popular publications, rendering identification services and providing foundational biodiversity data on these groups. He is involved in teaching, student supervision, internal mentoring and managing of junior staff. Curriculum Vitae Key Achievements Research Committee member (2012–current) Appointment as extraordinary Senior Lector at the University of North-West (October 2011–December...

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Janice Williamson

Janice Williamson

Janice WilliamsonPhD Student Email: jwilliamson@uj.ac.za Janice Williamson (Sargent) received her M.Sc in Zoology (Genetics) from the Rand Afrikaans University (Now University of Johannesburg, South Africa) in 2000 and is currently doing her PhD in Botany (Molecular Biology and Systematics specializing in Cycads, Enchephalartos species). She is a Lecturer in the Department of Botany and Plant biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg, lecturing Biology for B.Sc. students and Life Sciences FET for education students and she is one of the members of the African Centre for DNA Barcoding (ACDB). The ACDB mission is to fill the knowledge gap and strengthen research frameworks for international, regional and inter-institutional co-operation in Africa in the field of DNA technology for biodiversity science.…

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Simeon Bezeng

Simeon Bezeng

Simeon BezengPost-Doctoral Research Fellow Email: sbezeng@uj.ac.za Simeon Bezeng’s global interest is conservation biology. His primary objective is to understand the drivers of biodiversity loss. He seeks to understand the forces that shape global biodiversity and whether we can predict the future of biodiversity in a changing world. Specifically, he focuses on key ecological questions related to species invasion, climate change, and the evolution of African savannas using phylogenetics techniques, comparative analyses, population genomics, and intensive fieldwork. These are amongst the central questions upon which his research programme focuses. Curriculum Vitae Key Achievements 2017 – 2018 Royal Society Newton mobility grant between the University of Johannesburg, South Africa and Imperial College, London 2016 – 2017 National Research Foundation: Knowledge Interchange and Collaboration Travel Grant 2016 – 2017 Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) 2015 Travel grant to attend the 6th International Barcoding Conference in Guelp...

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Zinhle Manda

Zinhle Manda

Zinhle Chalo MandaHonours Student Email: mandachalo@gmail.com Zinhle Manda is currently completing her Honours in Botany and Biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg. She is based at the African Centre for DNA Barcoding. Some of the skills she has acquired include DNA extraction, PCR, cycle sequencing and biotechnological skills such as Southern blot and RNA extraction. She has chosen to study plants because they give life and nourishment to man. It is this that sparked her interest in botany. Not only are plants beautiful, but they are also a mystery waiting to be solved. The wonder that is held by all these different plants peaks her curiosity.…

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Tshililo Makhado

Tshililo Makhado

Tshililo MakhadoHonours Student Email: makhadotshililo40@gmail.com Tshililo Makhado is an up-and-coming scientist. He currently holds a BSc degree in Life and Environmental Science, with a specialisation in Botany and Biochemistry that he obtained at the University of Johannesburg in 2016. He is studying an Honours Degree in Botany and Biotechnology at the University of Johannesburg. Curriculum Vitae Specialisation0%Plant Molecular...

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Lesetja Michael Pilusa

Lesetja Michael Pilusa

Lesetja Micheal PilusaDNA Barcoding Technician Email: michaelpilusa86@gmail.com Michael Pilusa was born and raised in Polokwane, Limpopo and his goal is to gain adequate skills and knowledge in the Environmental and Biodiversity field. He holds a Bsc Degree that he obtained from the University of Limpopo. He is currently an intern at the African Centre for DNA Barcoding (ACDB), University of Johannesburg. He works as a DNA Barcoding Lab Technician on forensic plant tissue samples, and also assists with Masters and PhD projects. Curriculum Vitae Specialisation0%DNA Barcoding – Invasive species0%Wildlife...

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Phefumlela Mbeki

Phefumlela Mbeki

Phefumlela MbekiDNA Barcoding Technician Email: lelambeki@gmail.com Phefumlela Mbeki is an independent, assertive and organized person with over 2 years’ experience in the scientific field. She is committed to the biodiversity sector and is willing to develop, contribute and learn more about protecting our environment. Lela studied her BSc Degree in Biological Sciences at Walter Sisulu University of Technology and Science (NMD Campus, Mthatha in the Eastern Cape). She currently works for the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in partnership with the University of Johannesburg’s African Center for DNA Barcoding (ACDB). Since 2013, she has worked as an assistant to the Centre’s sequencing specialist.…

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Zandisile Shongwe

Zandisile Shongwe

Zandisile Eugene ShongweDNA Barcoding Technician Email: zandisile.shongwe@gmail.com Zandisile Shongwe is a qualified DNA Barcoding Technician and a member of the Barcode of Wildlife Project. It focuses on environmental crimes against endangered species and is based at the African Centre for DNA Barcoding (University of Johannesburg). He has completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Venda. Zandisile wishes to excel in his career through hard work, research, skills development and perseverance. He has a clear, logical mind, a practical approach to problem solving, and the drive to see things through to completion. Zandisile is eager to learn, enjoys overcoming challenges, and specialises in the latest DNA barcoding technology for biodiversity science.…

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