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You are here: Home eNewsletter Archives 2008 February 2008 SAEON's Graduate Student Network welcomes two new committee members

SAEON's Graduate Student Network welcomes two new committee members


Lukhanyiso Vumazonke, newly elected member of SAEON’s Graduate Student Network, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Network.


Angela Mead with her three children in Bali. Angela’s research for her PhD focuses on detecting changes in the rocky shore intertidal communities of South Africa from 1940 to 2008.

- By GSN committee

Towards the end of last year, SAEON’s Graduate Student Network (GSN) elected two additional committee members to assist the GSN committee - which consists of Dirk Snyman, Diane Southey, Nikki Stevens and Musa Mlambo. This was done to facilitate a smooth transition when the current committee’s term of office expires. 

The GSN committee was very pleased with the high quality of the candidates and the enthusiasm shown by all of them. The committee is happy to announce its two newly elected committee members - Lukhanyiso Vumazonke and Angela Mead. We wish them a successful two-year term at the GSN.

Angela completed her BSc Hons (Marine Biology) in the UK, along with a teaching qualification in Biology and Science. She then taught 11 - 19 year olds for eight years, both in the UK and at an international school in Hong Kong.  She holds a Masters (with distinction) in Environmental Management from Hong Kong University and is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Cape Town.

Her PhD research focuses on detecting changes in the rocky shore intertidal communities of South Africa from 1940 to 2008. She is also conducting a spatio-temporal assessment of four forcing factors which cause such changes in the communities (climate change, alien invasive species, outfall pollution and exploitation).

“I am taking my capacity building role very seriously here in South Africa, utilising my teaching and research skills,” Angela says. She believes that, as the present generation of scientists in Africa, the GSN is an invaluable network which can only serve to facilitate future collaborations and research.

Angela’s hobbies are travel, diving and Muay Thai kickboxing. 

Lukhanyiso is currently studying towards a PhD in Marine Biology with Rhodes University in Grahamstown. His research focuses on spatio-temporal patterns and biological processes of principal estuarine hyperbenthic fauna in selected Eastern Cape estuaries.

Lukhanyiso completed his undergraduate studies and Honours degree at the University of Fort Hare in Alice. He went on to complete an MSc at Rhodes University on the biology of the sub-Antarctic shrimp found in Marion Island in the Southern Ocean. He later joined the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) in Grahamstown, a research facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF). 

This dynamic young scientist was also a member of the organising committee of the first Biosystematics Course run by SAIAB. “My interest in becoming a GSN committee member reflects my long association with postgraduate students,” he says, “and as a young researcher this will expose me to people outside my discipline who are future leaders in their respective fields/disciplines.” 

He also feels that the interaction with other graduate students will assist in discussing and tackling issues such as sustainability and seeking solutions to scientific crises from within the GSN network.

The commitee will soon start organising the GSN Winter symposium which is scheduled for July. This year’s symposium will take on a different format compared to the previous ones and will incorporate interesting lectures, trips and courses.

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