Current members

Jongo Gcina

Post-fire ecology in the dune thicket-fynbos mosaic of the Eastern Cape


Supervised by Alastair Potts* and Adriaan Grobler

Riyadh Casoojee

A look into the XYZ's of EIAs: Assessing the effectiveness of rehabilitation plans in the Eastern Cape

MSc (part-time)

Supervised by Alastair Potts* and Paul-Pierre Steyn

Dr Robbert Duker

Thicket ecology and restoration

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Abdul-Lateef Ismail

Seeing the Thicket for the Forest: Understanding the boundaries in closed-canopy vegetation


Supervised by Alastair Potts* & Coert Geldenhuys

Past members

Nicholas Galuszynski

Applied phylogeography: mapping the genetic resource of Honeybush across the Cape Floristic Region

PhD (2020)

Supervised by: Alastair Potts*

Dr Susan Botha

A gatherer’s paradise? Early humans and plant foraging on the Cape south coast, South Africa

PhD (2019)

Supervised by: Alastair Potts*, Richard Cowling and Karen Esler

Rob Duker

Dr Robbert Duker

The effects of frost on Albany Subtropical Thicket and Nama-Karoo shrubland in South Africa

PhD (2018)

Supervised by: Alastair Potts*, Richard Cowling and Derek du Preez

Timothy Macqueen

Finding Frankenflora: Investigating hybridisation between local and introduced Protea species at the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve.

MSc (2019)

Supervised by: Alastair Potts*

Wynand Calitz

Elucidating the heterogeneity of flammability in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

MSc (2018)

Supervised by: Alastair Potts* and Richard Cowling

Dr Dimitri Veldkornet

Estuarine species and habitats: distribution and connectivity.

PhD (2018)

Supervised by: Janine Adams* and Alastair Potts

Sam Msweli

Flammability of indigenous and invasive alien woody plants in coastal fynbos and thicket

MSc (2020)

Supervised by: Tineke Kraaij* & Alastair Potts

Daniel Buttner

Exploring the ecological dynamics of Albany Subtropical Thicket: Portulacaria afra and community- and landscape-scale facilitation


Supervised by Alastair Potts*, Robbert Duker & Robert Skelton


  • Andrea Beyers (2016) Ecological principles for Honeybush (Cyclopia spp.) conservation and cultivation.

    • Primary supervisor: Dr Alastair Potts; co-supervisor: Prof. Richard Cowling

  • Debbie du Preez (2017) Phylogeny and phylogeography of dominant surf zone diatoms.

    • Primary supervisor: Prof. Eileen Campbell; co-supervisors: Dr Derek du Preez and Dr Alastair Potts


  • Daniel Buttner (2019) From pest to profit: An ethnopharmacological management solution for the invasive Acacia cyclops in southern Cape, South Africa.

  • Lara Wattam (2019) Elephants as potential primary dispersers of Spekboom (Portulacaria afra): the role of elephant foraging and movement in dispersal and regeneration.

  • Odwa Ntsikwe (2019) Self-thinning of the resprouter Olea exasperata

  • Lauren Bailey (2016) Do Fynbos plants with “wand” traits differ in flexibility? Implications for climbing rodent herbivores.

  • Megan Smith (2016) Biome transitions: Investigating a shifting life history strategy in Cyclopia spp (Vent.).

  • Nicholas Galuszynski (2015) A short history of biome boundaries in a biodiversity hotspot.