Next Gen Herpetologist

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Last year, Dr Shelley Edwards and I were interviewed for an article entitled ‘Reptile Detectives’, for the prestigious Rhodes Research Report. The Report that comes out annually highlights all the research that took place over the year, with anecdotes about key researchers strewn throughout the book. In the 2018 edition, that came out late last year, the editors sought out young researchers who were conducting cutting edge and/or novel research. Given mine… 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

Field report from Myself and Luke Kemp’s West Coast trip Luke and I are aspiring herpetologists, currently under the supervision of Dr Shelley Edwards in the Zoology and Entomology Molecular Lab (ZEML). Our work, which, focusses on the herpetofauna of Southern Africa spans many orders and many more families, and while we love the hustle and bustle of the raucous molecular lab, that I myself have called home this year, we are… 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

Recently I was contacted by a Rhodes journalism student who was in the process of completing an article about snakes for the Grocotts Mail. Although strange to admit, given my current path as a MSc zoology student focusing on snake genetics, I was once in her shoes, completing my hours at the Midrand Reporter in pursuit of my second year Rhodes Journalism and Media Studies credit. Although I am very much a ‘science kid’ now, I… 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

Thanks goes to Canon’s Click Magazine and to Amber Leigh Davies for making me ‘Student under the Spotlight’ for the March 2017 edition of Click magazine. To see an electronic version of the magazine click on the link below. http://www.clickmagazine.co.za/flipbook/Click72/index.html#27

Recently I visited Durban, and more specifically Westville to see my cousins after a long year of work. While I was excited to see my cousins, and catch up, I was also excited to see some new ‘herps’ in Kwazulu Natal, one of the provinces with the highest diversity of reptiles and amphibians in South Africa. What I didn’t expect was just how much I would see. Westville Whilst there I spent… Read More

Listed below are the skinks that you are most likely to see or find in and around Grahamstown.  Family: Scincidae The Scincidae family is considered the most species-rich lizard family in the world. In South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland combined, there are 59 recognized species and several subspecies. Skinks are characterized by shiny overlapping scales and a cylindrical, robust  body. Most skinks also feed on invertebrates and irrespective of whether they have limbs or not,… Read More