Next Gen Herpetologist

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From the 2nd to the 6th of October 2018 I joined Werner Conradie (Head Curator of Herpetology at Port Elizabeth Museum) for a herping expedition to western Kwazulu Natal. We joined a crew of scientists from all over the country in an effort to find as many animals as we could, as part of large scale forest-focussed project, headed by Stellenbosch University. Whilst other scientific groups were tasked with finding snails, birds,… Read More

Towards the end of last year I hosted a Birthday Critter Walk for a young Grahamstown boy and all his friends. Whilst some kids like like to go to the cinema, or to the Go Kart track for their birthdays, that doesn’t seem to hold for the youth of Grahamstown, whom have an insatiable appetite for nature. The day was a great success and whilst we weren’t able to find any cape… Read More

On Wednesday the 10th of October I attended the Prize giving for the WESSA Heritage Day Photo Competition at NELM (National English Literary Museum). The photo competition was open to the public and had three categories, namely: scholar, amateur and professional. I was fortunate enough to win the amateur category with my photo of the juvenile boomslang perched in a tree (Photo below). Thanks goes to all the organisers of the event… 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

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 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.

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

On Saturday the 5th of May I hosted the second critter walk. The event was well received, with quite a few people coming on the day. The day started out with a short snake demonstration, in which I showcased some of the snakes I had captured the week before on callouts, and was followed by a two hour ‘critter walk’ on a nearby farm. We managed to find several interesting species of… Read More

On the 17th of April, I presented an afternoon snake talk for high school learners of Nombulelo Highschool, at their school, on the outskirts of Grahamstown. The talk, which comprised of both a PowerPoint presentation and a live snake demonstration, was a great opportunity to engage with the students about reptiles, and dispel some of the myths that surround snakes in the area. The PowerPoint presentation was challenging because of the language… Read More

On Wednesday the 14th of February I delivered two back-to-back snake awareness talks at Victoria Girls High School (VGHS) in Grahamstown. The talks, which touched on snake anatomy, behaviour and ecology, were very well received by both classes. Although many of the girls were frightened by the sight of a live snake, most of them took the opportunity to interact with the live snakes on display. Thanks goes to VGHS, and more… Read More

On Saturday the 17th of March I hosted my third critter walk. The event was well received with approximately 35 people attending on the day. The day started out with a short snake demonstration, in which I showcased some of the snakes I had captured the week before on callouts, and was followed by a two hour ‘critter walk’ on a nearby farm. Whilst the weather was not great to start with,… Read More

Late last year I was contacted by a journalist from the Daily Dispatch Newspaper in Port Elizabeth, seeking information on snakes. To make a long story short, I made it into the newspaper…again, and I couldn’t be more stoked. It is crazy to think how far I have come since when I started. The fact that people view me as a reputable source of information is a great honour and I feel… Read More

On friday the 17th of November, myself and Luke Kemp hosted a ‘Herpetofauna of Grahamstown talk in the Rhodes Zoology and Entomology tea room for members of the department. The talk discussed all the reptiles and frogs that can be found in Grahamstown and gave tips on how to distinguish morphologically-similar species. The talk also discussed basic snakebite treatment and was capped off with a short demonstration with live specimens. All in… Read More

On Monday the 27th of November I was asked by Prof Adrian Craig to do a snake demonstration for students from Hoerskool P.J. Olivier who were visiting the Rhodes Zoology and Entomology Department for the day. The short talk, that was also attended by Dr Shelley Edwards of the Zoology and Entomology molecular lab was a massive hit, with most kids excitedly jumping at the opportunity to handle live snakes. All in… Read More

On the 30th of August I attended a BioBlitz with EWT (Endangered Wildlife trust) near Hogsback, Eastern Cape. The aim of the trip was to find as may reptiles and frogs as we possibly could, with the main aim of finding the critically endangered Amatola Toad (Vandijkophrynus amatolicus). I am excited to say that we did in fact find the rarest frog in South Africa. We also managed to find several other… Read More