Next Gen Herpetologist

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from the 13th to the 16th of August I attended the Joint SANBI Biodiversity Information Management & Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) Forum in Cape St Francis. I attended the conference with my supervisor Dr Shelley Edwards (Lecturer Rhodes University) and we were joined by my co-supervisor; Werner Conradie (PE Museum Head Herpetological Curator) and friend; Theo Busschau (Masters Student Stellenbosch University). The conference was well-attended with over a hundred delegates from… Read More

On the 19th of April, I was the keynote speaker for the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA) Grahamstown AGM, that took place in Eden Grove lecture theatre, at Rhodes University. In the first part of my talk, I discussed the reptiles that could be found in and around Grahamstown, and how to identify them. I also talked about snakebite treatment, snake myths, and what to do if you encounter… Read More

On Thursday the 1st of March I presented my masters research to the department in the form of a spoken presentation in the Zoology Department tea room. Although I still have a fare way to go before I complete my thesis, the talk was an awesome opportunity for me to show-off what I have done thus far. The abstract for the talk is printed below. Why ‘splitters’ are winners: a snakes tale… Read More

I am roughly six months into my Master’s and this is my second post on the subject. Although I am not overly proud of my Msc coverage on the website, I am rather ‘chuffed’ with my research progress to date. My genetic samples are ‘amplifying’ and better yet, they are translating into clean, usable sequences, that I can move forward with. To put the previous sentence bluntly, my genetics are working and… Read More

So as I am sure you have you gathered, I could not let the little ‘sheep stabbers’ go. Instead of just finishing my honours and leaving the skaapstekers in my rear view mirror, like I did with the painted reed frogs, I decided to continue on studying the snake with the addition of everyone else in the genus. Unlike with my honours, my masters will investigate the entire genus which is ‘currently’ six… Read More

I am doing a genetics project, and whilst I have come to understand the ‘fundamental’ processes which underlie molecular biology, there are many people out there that don’t. This post thus serves the purpose of teaching those of you who interested, just a little bit about what I do and how I do it. I don’t claim to be an expert nor do I claim to be good at it, but bear… Read More

I have loved snakes for as long I can remember. They fascinate and inspire me to read more and more. They very well may be the thing I choose to base my life’s work on one day, and it’s this love that has steered me towards my latest Zoological endeavour: the study of spotted skaapstekers and their distribution In South Africa Unlike my first project which saw me growing buckets upon buckets of… Read More