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What else is new at SAEON?

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NRF ratings

SAEON is proud to announce that we now have four staff members with first-time NRF ratings:

  • Dr Tommy Bornman, manager of SAEON's Elwandle Coastal Node – C3
  • Dr Dave Thompson, biodiversity scientist, SAEON Ndlovu Node – C3
  • Dr Jasper Slingsby, vegetation scientist, SAEON Fynbos Node – Y1
  • Dr Gareth Hempson, terrestrial ecologist at SAEON's Ndlovu Node - P

The ratings that were awarded fall within the following categories:

  • C - Established researchers
  • Y - Promising young researchers
  • P - Prestigious awards

A C3 rating is when “most of the reviewers concur that the applicant is an established researcher (as described)”. A Y1 rating denotes a “a young researcher (within five years from PhD) who is recognised by all reviewers as having the potential (demonstrated by research products) to establish him/herself as a researcher with some of them indicating that he/she has the potential to become a future leader in his/her field; OR A young researcher (within five years from PhD) who is recognised by all or the overwhelming majority of reviewers as having the potential to establish him/herself as a researcher of considerable international standing on the basis of the quality and impact of his/her recent research outputs.

A P rating is assigned to researchers (normally under 35 years of age) who have held a doctorate or equivalent qualification for less than five years at the time of application. These researchers are considered likely to become future international leaders in their respective fields, on the basis of exceptional potential demonstrated in research performance and output during doctoral and/or early postdoctoral careers.

New scientific articles

Lloyd L. Nackley, Adam G. West, Andrew L. Skowno, and William J. Bond. 2017. The Nebulous Ecology of Native Invasions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, November 2017, Vol. 32, No. 11

Meyer, B., Freier, U., Grimm, V., Groeneveld, J., Hunt, B.P.V., Kerwath, S., King, R., Klaas, C., Pakhomov, E., Meiners, K.M., Melbourne-Thomas, J., Murphy, E.J., Thorpe, S.E., Stammerjohn, S., Wolf-Gladrow, D., Auerswald, L., Götz, A., Halbach, L., Jarman, S., Kawaguchi, S., Krumpen, T., Nehrke, G., Ricker, R., Sumner, M., Teschke, M., Trebilco, R. & Yilmaz, N.I. 2017. The winter pack-ice zone provides a sheltered but food-poor habitat for larval Antarctic krill. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1:1853-861.


WaterNet Conference

Manish Ramjeawon and Aobakwe Lenkwe, DST-NRF interns at the SAEON Grasslands-Forests-Wetlands Node, attended the 18th WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP-SA Symposium, which was held in Swakopmund, Namibia in October 2017.

The conference theme, ‘Integrated Water Resource Development and Management’, focused on innovative technological advances for water security in eastern and southern Africa.

“I was privileged to showcase my MSc work titled ‘Developing a methodology to estimate total evaporation using remote sensing’, which drew interest from a number of local and international scientist both within my field and from other fields of study,” says Manish. “It was a great opportunity to network with other scientist and learn about the work taking place in other African countries. Given the scarcity of water in Africa, this conference provided me the opportunity to gain a better understanding of water resource management in different regions in Africa.”

Aobakwe Lenkwe gave an oral presentation titled ‘Exploring a cheaper method for the long-term monitoring of dissolved organic carbon’. Says Aobakwe, “I learnt about the water situation in other SADC countries and came to the realisation that there is an urgent need for African scientists to solve African issues.”

She found the professors, lecturers, students and other water professionals easy to approach to ask for career advice, future PhD project advice and how to engage in initiatives that empower female scientists.

According to Manish and Aobakwe the conference was both fun and educational. Not only did they learn more about how they want to approach their science careers, but they also got an idea of the water situation on the continent and where they need to be heading as young scientists.


Manish Ramjeawon (left) and Aobakwe Lenkwe (centre) from SAEON’s Grasslands-Forests-Wetlands Node at the WaterNet Conference with Mlungisi Shabalala, an MSc student from the University of KwaZulu-Natal

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