MSc. candidate in Savannah Ecology, University of Cape Town / BSc. (Hons) Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town / BSc. Genetics & Ecology and Evolution, University of Cape Town.
I am extremely passionate about the savannahs of southern Africa because of the early influence of my father, a well-renowned South African wildlife artist.
I spent many months with in the Greater Kruger National Park as a young boy, watching him sketch, paint and sculpt the wildlife of this breath-taking region. However, unlike my father, sketching and sculpting to preserve the image of these wild places is not enough for me – instead, because of the influence my late grandfather, Prof. Paul J. Smit, who was well-respected and much published scientist in South Africa, I wish to understand the savannah system through science. This is so I may one day, hopefully, aid in the preservation of this grand land and then maybe, we won’t only need rely on the works of past artists and photographers to see the spectacular southern Africa savannahs for ourselves in the future.
My research focuses on the ecology of African acacias in southern African savannahs and specifically tackles the long held belief that ‘Acacia’ species are ecologically equivalent in these savannahs.
Disclosure: I am funded by the National Research Foundation of South Africa and by the University of Cape Town’s Department of Biological Sciences.