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The GSN presents an exclusive opportunity for interns to attend the Indibano

By Tamanna Patel, External Liaison, SAEON Graduate Student Network
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The annual Indibano is aimed at MSc and PhD members of SAEON’s Graduate Student Network (GSN), who are encouraged to submit abstracts to present their research promoting long-term monitoring in environmental science in South Africa.

This year however, thanks to additional funding from the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), SAEON interns were also invited to attend. Due to limited space, only one intern per Node was selected.

SANBI’s role

SAEON, in partnership with the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP), will be hosting a basic introduction to R as an analytical tool, R in taxonomy, statistical analysis, plotting data, data visualisation, geospatial analysis using QGIS and R through the use of biodiversity data sets during this year’s Indibano. The FBIP is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the National Research Foundation (NRF) and SANBI.

Intern selection process

SAEON interns were invited to submit an application to stand a chance of being selected to attend. The interns were asked why they think they should be selected and how the necessary skills that they would gain from the Indibano would assist them in their internship. The six participants were selected based on their responses.


Congratulations to the following interns that were chosen to attend the 2019 Indibano! We hope this opportunity assists them with building skills which they can use throughout their career.

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Arno Botha

Wynand Calitz

Arno Botha earned his BSc undergraduate degrees in Marine Biology and Applied Biology at the University of Cape Town in 2015. In 2016 he completed a BSc Honours and recently finished an MSc, focusing on invertebrate taxonomy. In April 2019 he joined SAEON’s Egagasini Node in Cape Town, continuing the work on marine invertebrates.

Wynand Calitz is a research intern at the Arid Lands Node. During his postgraduate studies he developed a passion for ecology and loves working in the field and analysing fascinating data. His thesis was on plant flammability and he is working on his second manuscript from this study. Since joining the SAEON team, he has been tasked with assisting in various research projects, as well as leading the analysis and subsequent manuscript writing of the Compassberg Altitudinal Gradient project.

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Jennifa Mohale

Sachin Doarsamy

Jennifa Mohale is a marine field technician intern at SAEON’s Elwandle Node. She has a BTech in Oceanography from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Her interest is in marine biology, zoology, science engagement and scientific research.

Sachin Doarsamy is the botanical intern for the Grasslands-Forests-Wetlands Node based in Pietermaritzburg. He is passionate about botany and plant community interactions. He looks forward to his year with SAEON and his development as a scientist.

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Tsumbedzo Leonard Ramalevha

Tamryn Hamilton

Tsumbedzo Leonard Ramalevha is a junior biodiversity intern at the Ndlovu Node. Previously, Tsumbedzo served as the secretary of the student school council at the University of Venda (2014–2015), started the botany postgraduate presentations in 2016 and volunteered at SANBI under the Invasive Species Programme. He graduated with an Honours degree from the University of Venda, majoring in plant ecophysiology.

Tamryn Hamilton is an intern for the Expanded Freshwater and Terrestrial Environmental Observation Network (EFTEON) Research Infrastructure based at the SAEON National Office in Pretoria. She studied a broad spectrum of environmental topics at the University of the Witwatersrand, but specialised in Landscape Ecology, Geography and Stable Isotopes. She is passionate about large-scale dynamics such as landscape and ecosystem responses to climate change. Her MSc thesis focuses on the long-term climate interactions in the Zambezi region of Namibia, where she created a 600-year record of rainfall and fire.

The Committee would like to encourage GSN members to keep visiting our website and social media pages for more incredible opportunities like this one.

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