Next Gen Herpetologist

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On 14 August, I delivered a snake talk to Grade 9 learners at Victoria Girls High school. The aim was to expose the girls to the amazing world of reptiles, and more specifically snakes. The talk ran for 30 minutes and consisted of general information about Grahamstown reptile diversity, followed by a short breakdown of snake biology and the common snakes of the area. The talk was followed by a 15 minute… Read More

Last year I was interviewed by Anima McBrown in connection with my snake-related work in and around Grahamstown. The result was this awesomely written article in this years edition of the Rhodos Magazine. The publication is dedicated to the communication and advancement of Rhodes University, and I am very proud to feature in it. You can find the article in the attached PDF Document. https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/digitalpublications/RHODOS_WEB_FINAL_72ppi_high.pdf

On the 5th of June, I presented a snake awareness talk and demonstration for school students at Thomas Baines Nature Reserve, in honour of World Environmental Day. The talk was attended by various-aged primary school students from multiple different Grahamstown Schools. There are few thing in this world as wonderful as watching a child handle a snake for the first time. It is the amalgamation of fear and awe, it is joy… Read More

On friday the 10th of May, I set up a stand at the Science Open Day, hosted in the Rhodes University Life Sciences Building. I represented the field of Herpetology alongside several other members of the Zoology and Entomology Department, whom showcased their respective fields (Ornithology, Mammalogy, Biocontrol etc) on the day. The event was also attended by members from all the other departments in the Science Faculty. The event was geared… Read More

On the 5th of May I hosted the second ‘Critter Walk’ of 2019, for a record breaking crowd. Unlike previous ‘Critter walks’, everyone who attended had to pay a small fee, which was donated to two Rhodes athletes in a effort to raise funds for their Taekwondo World Championships, in Brazil, later this year. Everyone met in front of the Life Sciences building and they were treated to a 45 minute snakes… Read More

On the 11th of February 2019, I did a snake presentation for members of the Grahamstown Rotary Club at the Graemian Centre, Graeme College. The talk was well received with over 30 people attending on the day. I spoke about the common and endemic species of snake found in the Albany area, and what to do if one encounters a snake in their daily lives. In addition to detailing the snakes of… Read More

On the 27th of March 2019, I did a chameleon presentation for members of the Men’s League in Grahamstown. It was the second time I had addressed the group as I had spoken to the group a year before on the ‘Snakes of Grahamstown’. This time around I spoke about chameleons, their biology, and the different species found throughout South Africa. I capped the talk off with a short discussion of the… Read More

From the 5th to the 8th of February I took part in the Albany Museum, ‘Reptile Week’, in which I presented snake demonstrations to over 550 students in just four days. Although tiring, the experience was incredibly rewarding with many kids taking the opportunity to touch and interact with a snake for the first time in their lives. Most of the students were younger than nine years old and thus I opted… Read More

On Friday, the 28th of September myself and Dr Shelley Edwards delivered a snake talk to the entire Kingswood College High School in their school chapel. The talk dealt with snake biology and identification and  was followed by a short section on snakebite treatment. The talk was well received and at the end, a large portion of the students stayed behind to see the snakes on display. Although some of the students… Read More

On Wednesday, the 26th of September I delivered a snake talk and demonstration to Grade 9 learners at Victoria Girls High School. Although some of the girls were scared of the snakes, many of the girls took the opportunity to handle and interact with the snakes on display. Some of the girls handled a snake for the first time in their lives. The talk was delivered to the entire ninth grade and… Read More

Two thousand and eighteen was an eventful year for me because not only have I made huge strides in my professional career, but I have also managed to make a sizable impact on the larger Grahamstown community through my ever expanding snake awareness program. In recognition of my contribution to the city, I was nominated for two prestigious awards by Rhodes University; namely the Rhodes Community Engagement Award and the Rhodes Environmental Award. Although… Read More

On August the 24th I attended at the ECPTA (Eastern Cape Parks Tourism Association) Field Rangers Day at Thomas Baines Nature Reserve, to showcase some of the reptiles found in the Albany area. I represented ZEML (Zoology and Entomology Molecular Lab) along with my supervisor; Dr Shelley Edwards and my lab colleague Anthony Evlambiou. We were also joined by members of CBC (Centre for Biological Control), who showcased some of the invasive… Read More

In March of this year, I played my final game of the season for Manley Flats Cricket Club. The teams consisted of a mix-match of both first team and second team players and was great fun for all involved. Although I spend much of my time buried in the world of herpetology, I do take breaks every now and then to do the other things that give me joy. One of those… Read More

In march of this year I was asked to do a snake demonstration for students of Graeme  the demonstration took place in the hostel, after hours, and the audience consisted of both primary and high-school kids. While some of the guys had seen and handled snakes in the past, many had not, making it a very special occasion for some of the guys. All in all, it was great evening filled with… Read More

On the 23rd of April, Dr Shelley Edwards and I delivered a snake talk for primary and high school learners of P.J. Olivier school in Grahamstown. The talk, which was delivered during their morning assembly, to a crowd of approximately 365 learners, was my biggest snake talk to date. the assembly was attended by students from grade 1 all the way to Grade 12 and was challenging and exhilarating at the same… Read More

On Sunday the 18th of march I hosted a private snake ‘walk and talk’ for the nature club of Graham High School. Although it was intended as a two part event, only the talk took place because of the bad weather conditions. Due to the cold weather, and the intermittent thunderstorms, we were unable to go out and explore the wilder parts of Grahamstown, in search of reptiles and frogs. Nevertheless, the… Read More

On sunday the 19th of November, myself and Luke Kemp hosted a snake awareness ‘walk and talk’ on mountain drive. The aim of the event was to expose the local Grahamstownian’s to the enormous herpetological diversity that the area has to offer. The day started off with a bit of ‘show and tell’ in the Rhodes Zoology and Entomology department parking with Grahamstown’s most venomous snake, the cape cobra (Naja nivea). Following… Read More

Recently myself, along with Luke Kemp, presented a reptile awareness talk at Diocesan School for girls (DSG). It was a great talk and the Grade five students that we presented too were very enthusiastic and keen to learn about, and interact with the reptiles and frogs that we brought along on the day. Photo credit Diocesan School for Girls.

Two weeks ago, Luke Kemp and I hosted a reptile awareness ‘talk and walk’ just outside of Grahamstown and we are happy to announce that it was very well received by the larger Grahamstown community, with just over 30 people attending the event.  The event was hosted with the intention of exposing the residents of Grahamstown to the amazing reptile diversity that our area has to offer and while we did not… Read More

A few weeks back I performed two back-to-back snake talks at Victoria Girls High School with Luke Kemp. The aim of the talks were to expose  the Grade 11 students of the all-girl high school to the wonders of the reptile world. The talk, that ran for 30 minutes, consisted of general information about Grahamstown reptile diversity, followed by information pertaining to snake biology, taxonomy and snakebite awareness. The presentation was capped-off… Read More