Next Gen Herpetologist

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On the 16th of August, I delivered a snake demonstration for students of Shaw Park Primary School. Although young, the students were incredibly attentive and took every opportunity to ask questions about the snakes on display. At the end of the demontration, almost all the kids took the opportunity to handle some of the non-venomous snakes, some of them for the first time. All in all it was a great experience, and… Read More

On the 16th of August I traveled to Sibuya Private Game Reserve, about 10km from Kenton-on-Sea, and presented a snake talk for the rangers working there. The talk focused on the ‘Snakes of Albany’ and discussed snake biology, snake identification and snakebite treatment. The talk was well received and was followed by a short snake handling tutorial, in which I showcased the correct management strategy for problem snakes. Following this, all the rangers… Read More

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 27th of July 2019, I did a snake presentation for members of the Grahamstown Garden Club in Grahamstown. The talk was well received with people eagerly asking questions throughout the talk. 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 the area, I also… Read More

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

During mid-June I ventured coast wards to do a frog talk for the Probus Club, at the Port Alfred Ski Boat Club. The talk was incredibly well received with over 80 people attending on the day. In addition to the members of the club, the talk was also attended by Talk of the Town (Local Port Alfred newspaper). In the talk I discussed basic frog biology, behavior and the threats that face… 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

Authors: William Branch, Ninda Baptista, Chad Keates, Shelley Edwards Abstract: Two rare and endemic psammophines (Serpentes: Psammophiinae) occur in Angola. The taxonomic status of Psammophylax rhombeatus ocellatus Bocage, 1873and Psammophis ansorgii Boulenger, 1905 have long remained problematic, with both having varied past and present taxonomic assignments, and whose distributions may therefore present zoogeographic anomalies. Little was known of their biology, habitat associations, or phylogenetic relationships. New material was collected during biodiversity surveys of the Humpata Plateau,… Read More

Another great blog entry by Jessica Evans, that lists, explains and debunks some of the most popular myths pertaining to snakes. https://www.bite-sizedsci.com/single-post/2019/04/25/6-snake-myths—busted

Check out this awesome blog post by Sean McCabe, that details the reptiles of Grahamstown, and what makes them special. https://conservatemakhanda.home.blog/2019/04/25/reptiles-of-makhanda/

At the beginning of 2018, myself and Luke joined the Rhodes ZEML (Zoology and Entomology Molecular Lab) herpetological cross-country field trip. The trip saw us adventuring throughout South Africa, in search of frogs and reptiles alike. The second video focuses on our time in Ndumo Game Reserve, in Northern Kwazulu Natal.

On the 8th of march 2019, I attended the WESSA/ Grocott’s Mail #CelebrateNaturalHeritage Bio-Bash and Photo Walk at the Makana Botanical Gardens (part of Scifest 2019). The day was designed to teach the youth of Grahamstown about the amazing wildlife that surrounds them. It also aimed to ignite some creative flair through encouraging artistic expression through photography. My colleagues and I helped out by guiding the students through the gardens and helping… 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

I am proud to announce that I have won best photo for the Terrestrial Vertebrate Category (Juvenile Boomslang) of the 2019 Zoology and Entomology Photo Competition. My prize was to have my photo hung up in the foyer of the Life Sciences Building. Thanks to all that voted. Winning Photo

On 16 December 2018, I ventured to Morgans bay, Eastern Cape with Megan Reid, for one night in search of as many as ‘herps’ as I could find. Whilst I was keen to see anything, I was particularly keen to see the regionally endemic Kentani Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion kentanicum), that calls Morgans Bay home. I stayed at the beautiful Yellowwood Forest Campsite, http://www.yellowwoodforest.co.za/, and managed to find many species of reptile and… Read More

Another great blog entry by Jessica Evans, that explains what to do if you get bitten by a snake, and the effects of the different types of snake venoms found in South Africa. https://www.bite-sizedsci.com/single-post/2019/04/15/What-do-I-do-if-I-get-bitten-by-a-snake-how-venom-works

From the 20th to the 23rd of September, last year, myself and nine other researchers, set off for the Sneeuberg, in search of South Africa’s most elusive adder, the plain mountain adder (Bitis inornata). The trip was organised by the Bionerds (Keir and Alouise Lynch) and was attended by myself, Luke Kemp, Jo Buggs Balmer, Justin Rhys Nicolau, Gary Kyle Nicolau, Adriaan Jordaan, Christiaan Klippies Steenkamp and Faansie Peacock. Plain Mountain Adder… Read More

Check out this awesome blog post by Kylie Jamison that details my life as a young herpetologist, and explains how I got to where I am today. https://kyliejamisonmms.wixsite.com/mysite/feature

Last year I was featured in an article by Oppidan Press, written by Kate Matooane. the article focuses on my ‘critter walks’ and the impact that they have on the people who attend.