Next Gen Herpetologist

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At a celebratory function on Tuesday 25 September 2019, I received the Environmental Award (Individual Category) for my contribution to the Grahamstown environmental community through my snake awareness talks, critter walks and school demonstrations. In addition to my certificate I received a very unique and beautiful floating trophy that currently sits atop my shelf in my departmental office. The award was presented to me by Prof Hugo Nel and Associate Prof. Michelle Cocks… Read More

On Tuesday the 11th of February I did a snake talk at Fort Brown Primary School. The school which can be found 40km from Grahamstown, on the Fort Beaufort Road road, is quaint but lovely. The students were attentive and the setting was nothing short of scenic. The talk was attended by approximately 40 students, ranging from 10 to 13 years of age. Although scared at first, many took the opportunity in… Read More

On the 30th of September I attended the Highlander restaurant and bar to deliver a snake awareness talk to members of the the Grahamstown Probus Club. The talk was incredibly well received with only a handful of pensioners falling asleep on the day. The talk was followed by a vigorous array of questions and then a lovely lunch. All in all, it was a lovely day which both I, and hopefully my… Read More

On August the 23rd 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

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 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

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

On the 12th of February 2019, I did a snake presentation for members of the Port Alfred Garden Club at the Port Alfred Gold Club. The talk was well received with over 50 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… Read More

On the third of September I did a snake demonstration for students of the Graeme College Junior School. The demonstration started with a short overview of the snakes of Grahamstown and was followed by a bit of information about snakebite and what to do if one encounters a wild snake. The kids were very excited and eagerly asked questions about all the snakes on display. After the initial introduction, I showed them… Read More

On Monday, the 1st of October I delivered a snake talk to COSATU Project Management Delegates from Rhodes Business School, at the the National English Literary Museum (NELM). The talk dealt with snake identification and myths and was followed by a short section on snakebite treatment. The talk was well received and at the end, a large portion of the delegates took the opportunity to handle and interact with the snakes that… 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

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

At midday on the 1st of August I travelled to Pumba Private Game Reserve, about 20km from Grahamstown, and presented a talk on the ‘Frogs and Lizards of Albany’ for Rangers working at the reserve. The talk started with a short summary of both reptiles and frogs, and was followed by tips on how to identify the frogs, lizards and tortoises found in the area. The talk was well received and at… Read More

On the 31st of July I travelled to Sibuya Game Reserve, about 10km from Kenton-on-Sea, and presented two herpetological talks for rangers working at the reserve. The first talk focussed on the ‘Snakes of Albany’ and the second talk focussed on the ‘Frogs and Lizards of Albany’. Both talks were well received with almost all the rangers taking the opportunity to handle the non-venomous snakes on display.  Thanks goes to Sibuya Private… Read More

On Tuesday the 12th of June, myself and Dr Shelley Edwards presented a snake demonstration for members of the Kingswood College Environmental Club. The demonstration was well received and after a short introduction, most students took the opportunity to handle the snakes on display. It was a great time spent with some enthusiastic students, and I look forward to my next talk at the school.

On Saturday the 2nd of June I did a snake awareness talk for the Friends of Waters Meeting Nature Reserve at Ploughman Pub in Bathurst. The talk was well attended and furthermore, was exceptionally well received by the citizens of Bathurst. With an audience ranging in age from pre-schoolers to pensioners, it was challenging but incredibly enjoyable. I spoke about different scorpions, the snakes of Albany, snake myths and lastly, snakebite and… Read More