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New recruits at SAEON’s Grasslands-Forests-Wetlands Node

In February this year,
Basanda Nondlazi has worked in various capacities including that of  facilitator and senior research technician before joining SAEON.
Danne Joubert is interested in furthering her studies in forest ecosystems across South Africa.
Basanda Nondlazi and Danne Joubert joined SAEON’s new node in Pietermaritzburg as Field Technicians. They are excited to be participating in the establishment of the node.

Basanda Xhantilomzi Nondlazi completed a Diploma in Agriculture at Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry in the Eastern Cape, followed by a BTech (Nature Conservation) degree at Tshwane University of Technology. He received a BSc Honours from the University of Zululand.

His work has taken him to privately owned farms in the Free State, the Department of Agriculture, Buhle Bakhe Training and Development Centre and the Agricultural Research Council. He has worked in various capacities including that of facilitator, technician and senior research technician before joining SAEON.

Basanda’s research interests lie mainly in ecology -- he is interested in understanding the response of specific leaf area and other functional traits of plants to constraints/ filters (natural and anthropogenic variables) in their growing environments and how these variables influence plant growth, species’ coexistence and biodiversity in our changing climate.

Danne Joubert completed the two theoretical years of the Nature Conservation diploma at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, then moved to the Eastern Cape for the experiential training year. In 2005 she relocated to Bela-Bela in the Limpopo Province to work on a game farm while studying at Tshwane University of Technology for her B-tech Nature Conservation degree.

As part of her studies she conducted a two-year research project on the diet selection of Black-backed jackal on the game farm and two neighbouring farms in the region.

Danne worked at Tsitsikamma National Park in 2004, where she was involved in law enforcement and marine research projects. She has also worked as an Assistant Environmental Educator at the Pretoria Botanical Garden and assisted the Outreach Greening team during frequent visits to rural communities around Pretoria. She has been involved with different tourism-based organisations, Dyer Island cruises, Dassen Island research as well as tourism and game ranging.

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