Current members

Jongo Gcina

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


Supervised by Alastair Potts and Adriaan Grobler

William Gummow

Researcher/Technician/Administrator extraordinaire

NRF Intern

Dr Robbert Duker

Thicket ecology and restoration

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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


  • 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.