Today marks the start of International Polar Week and in order to celebrate South African Polar Week, staff and students of the Department of Plant and Soil Science, the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology and the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering (all from the University of Pretoria) spoke about A Marion mash-up: How ecologists, invasion biologists and engineers collaborate to understand the dynamics of an island.

PhD candidate Morgan Raath gave a great introduction to Marion Island. This was followed by Dr Peter le Roux, who spoke about the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of research on Marion Island. Kyle Goddard presented on modelling wind dynamics for the Island, after which Dr Natalie Haussmann spoke about the biogeomorphic effect on seals on exotic species distribution. Mthokozisi Twala then presented on the impacts of plant invasion in terms of the invational meltdown after which Morgan presented on her PhD work, which looks at plant-plant interactions on Marion Island.

Presentations formed part of two NRF/SANAP funded research programmes. These are Modelling wind patterns and their ecological impacts (PI: Dr Peter le Roux, UP) and Invasions in the changing sub-Antarctic (PI: Dr Michelle Greve, UP).

Thanks to everyone who gave their time to present. We would also like to thank the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology for making the venue available. We look forward to the next event tomorrow, again from 12:30-13:20 in room 1-2 of the Geography building (Hatfield campus).

APECSSA Polar Week 2018: Tuesday Program

Order of Talks

  1. The sub-Antarctic Marion Island: An introduction and the research experience; Morgan Raath (Department of Plant and Soil Sciences)
  2. Collaborative and inter-disciplinary research on Marion Island: an example of genetics informing ecology, Dr Peter le Roux, (Department of Plant and Soil Sciences)
  3. Engineering and ecology on Marion Island: A wind situation; Kyle Goddard (Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering)
  4. Biogeomorphology on Marion Island; Dr Natalie Haussman (Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology)
  5. Impacts of plant invasions on  sub-Antarctic Marion Island; Mthokozisi Twala (Department of Plant and Soil Sciences)
  6. Consequences of plant-plant interactions on Marion Island: Do plants benefit by growing together?; Morgan Raath (Department of Plant and Soil Sciences)

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