Student researcher alumni @ Gobabeb

Ester Amanyaga

Student Intern, Gobabeb

Ester Amanyaga

Researcher, Gobabeb

Ester is studying her Honors Degree in Wildlife Management and Tourism Studies at University of Namibia. She is an ecologist interested in plants and insects. She’s currently working on the chemical ecology of Welwitschia mirabilis), to determine the insect species which are attracted by the aroma of the plant for pollination.

Mentor: Natanael Ndelinga

Supervisors: Eugene Marais (Gobabeb NRI), Ekkerhard Klingelhoeffer, (UNAM)

Elbe Brunette

Senior Researcher

Elbe Brunette

Senior Researcher

Elbe is investigating human-induced water stress in the riparian trees of the central Namib Desert.

Through her project, Elbe aims to provide the scientific basis for future decision–making around the allocation of water to societies and ecosystems.

Elbe is a PhD candidate at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

Supervisors: Theo Wassenaar (NUST); Lixin Wang (Indiana University-Purdue, USA)

Marc Hoffmann

Student Associate

Marc Hoffmann

Intern

Marc is doing a Master's in Biodiversity Sciences in Halle, Germany. He is studying Diptera (fly) species communities in the three different habitat types around Gobabeb (gravel plains, sand dunes and the Kuiseb riverine woodland). He is interested in their spatial ecology, natural history and taxonomy.

 His research will lead to a better understanding of the habitat requirements, diurnal rythms and spatial diversity of flies adapted to extreme desert climate.

 Supervisors: Eugene Marais (Gobabeb), Robert Paxton (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)

Jonas Lipopila

Student Associate (Jan 2019-Dec 2020)

Jonas Lipopila

Student Associate (Jan 2019-Dec 2020)

Jonas is using geospatial data and modelling to explore species-environmental relationships and ecological niches for the endemic, Husab sand lizard (Pedioplanis husabensis) in the central Namib Desert. He hopes his findings will lead to use of advanced technologies in addressing biodiversity conservation issues. Jonas is studying for the MSc degree in Natural Resources Management at NUST.

Supervisors: Theo Wassenaar (NUST); Vera de Cauwer (NUST).

lipopila@gmail.com

Antonia Müller-Harboe

Student Intern

Antonia Müller-Harboe

Student Intern

Antonia is studying Oceanography at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and is broadly interested in climate change.

She will be designing and executing a project for her bachelor thesis, addressing her main interest in connecting the upwelling system along the Namibian coast with the climate in the Namib Desert.

Supervisors: Prof. Dr Johanna Baehr (University of Hamburg); Dr Peter Landschützer (University of Hamburg); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Jessica Roberts

MSc student, Hot Birds Project

Jessica Roberts

MSc student, Hot Birds Project

Jess is exploring how behaviour (such as panting, wing drooping and shade seeking) of free-ranging dune larks help them adapt to the harsh thermal environment of their dune habitat.

Her observations, in addition an analysis of microhabitats and thermal refuges, will be used to create a mathematical model of dune lark biophysical ecology.

Jess is studying for the MSc in zoology at the University of Pretoria (UP).

Supervisors: Andrew McKechnie (UP); Susan Cunningham (University of Cape Town)

Ndapandula (Kapandu) Shihepo

Gobabeb Namib Research Institute

Ndpandula (Kapandu) Shihepo

Researcher, Gobabeb

Kapandu studies environmental policy and social ecology, in particular the effectiveness of policies to reduce plastic bag use and pollution at central coastal towns in Namibia.

She also organizes and oversees Gobabeb’s training programs for students at all educational levels (primary, secondary and tertiary).

Kapandu is studying for the Master in Natural Resource Management at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

Supervisors: Clarence Ntisa (NUST), Gillian Maggs-Kölling and Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Adam Washinime

Intern, Gobabeb

Adam Washinime

Researcher, Gobabeb

Adam is studying the ecology of Salsola (an amaranth shrub) in the Namib desert. He will be studying whether the size of the hummock that builds up around the plant contributes to its growth.

Adam is studying for the Bachelor of Natural Resources Management degree at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

Supervisor: Jonathan Kamwi (NUST), Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Ulrich Bezuidenhout

Student Associate, Gobabeb

Ulrich Bezuidenhout

Ulrich is using drone technology/remote sensing to investigate the key aspects of Welwitschia mirabilis demography in the central Namib Desert. His research will aid the developing and testing of species-specific demographic models to understand and predict conservation and management of Welwitschia populations.

Ulrich is studying for a Masters degree in Natural Resources Management at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

Supervisors: Jonathan Kamwi and Ben Strohbach (NUST); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Student Associate, Gobabeb

Michael M Disho

Student Intern

Michael M Disho

Student Intern

Michael is doing his Work-Integrated Learning opportunity at Gobabeb. He will be learning relevant scientific technologies for rural development, mapping selected settlements within the Namib-Naukluft National Park, helping with environmental monitoring, data management, and technical support for various in-house and international research projects.

He is studying Regional and Rural Development at NUST.

Mentor: Ulrich E Bezuidenhoudt (Gobabeb). Supervisors: Jane Gold (NUST); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Ndelimona Iipinge

Student Associate

Ndelimona Iipinge

Student Associate

Ndelimona studied the foraging behaviour of one of the Namib’s most elusive creatures: Namib Golden Moles (Eremitalpa granti namibensis).

These small, blind, nocturnal insectivores range widely on and below the surface of the Namib sand dunes at night in search of prey.

Ndelimona is writing his thesis for the MSc degree at University of Cape Town.

Supervisors: Gary Bronner (UCT); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Brendan Luyanda

MSc Candidate

Brendan Luyanda

MSc Candidate, UNAM Katima Mulilo

Brendan is investigating demographic parameters, habitat suitability and population dynamics between barking geckos (Ptenopus garrulus, P. kochi and P. maculutus) in the central Namib Desert.

The aim is to provide essential scientific information for monitoring and conservation management of these geckos.

Brendan is studying for the MSc at UNAM (Wildlife Management & Ecotourism).

Supervisors: Ezequiel Fabiano (UNAM); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Ailly Nanguloshi Nambwandja

Student Associate

Ailly Nanguloshi Nambwandja

Student Associate

Ailly is using drone / remote sensing to monitor photosynthesis in Namibia’s distinct lichen communities. Her research will provide a low impact method for monitoring of lichen flora, and lead to better conservation strategies, identifying in particular where surface traffic (on foot or in vehicles) should be avoided.

Ailly irecently completed her MSc degree in Natural Resources Management at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

Supervisors: Ben Strohbach (NUST); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

Halle Shaanika

Student Associate (June 2018-June 2020)

Halle Shaanika

North-West University

Halle is investigating whether burrowing by gerbil species significantly improve soil conditions on the Husab gravel plains. If they do, it means gerbils are ecological engineers that may support the presence of large mammals and other grazers.

Halle is studying for the MSc degree in Natural Resources Management at NUST.

Supervisors: Theo Wassenaar (NUST), Seth Eiseb (University of Namibia).

halleshaanika@gmail.com

Saima Shikesho

Researcher (2017-August 2021)

Saima Shikesho

Researcher, Gobabeb

Saima is studying seed dispersal of endemic Namib plant, the !nara (Acanthosicyos horridus) by black-backed jackals and gerbils.

She hopes better to understand how the !nara’s disjunct distribution along the riparian corridor of the Kuiseb River comes to be.

Saima is now studying for the PhD at Dartmouth University in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Supervisors: Jeremy Midgley (UCT); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb).

Leandri Wessels

Student Associate

Leandri Wessels

Student Associate

Leandri is exploring how topography, frequency and incidence of fog events affect the composition of biological soil crust communities, in particular gypsum soils of the coastal plains along a gradient of fog incidence with distance from the ocean.

Her project makes extensive use of Gobabeb’s FogNet weather station array.

Leandri is studying for the MSc at North-West University (NWU) Potchefstroom campus.

Supervisors: Roelof Burger (NWU); Stuart Piketh (NWU); Stefan Siebert (NWU).

Madeleine Bolton

Intern, University of Manchester

Madeleine Bolton

Intern, University of Manchester

Madeleine (‘Maddy’) Bolton worked as an intern at Gobabeb, assisting with environmental monitoring activities and providing technical support to research projects. While at Gobabeb, she also undertook a small project mapping the distribution of flightless dung beetles in the Namib and studying their behaviour.

Maddy has recently completed her second year studying for the BSc in Biology at the University of Manchester.

Belinda George

Student Intern

Belinda George

Student Intern

Belinda graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of the West of England (UWE).

 She completed a three-month internship at Gobabeb, assisting with all routine station tasks and looking at the associations of mycorrhizal fungi in grasses and herbaceous plants endemic to the Namib desert.

In addition to her scientific endeavors, Belinda also contributed to Gobabeb's marketing efforts, namely writing press releases and producing photographs, videos and other social media content.

Noita Josob

GTRIP Intern (January-June 2020)

Noita Josob

GTRIP Intern (January-June 2020)

Noita studied how local Topnaar communities use the riparian forest vegetation along the Kuiseb River. Using community interviews, Noita identified key forest species and community conservation measures to better map forest resources.

Noita is studying for the Bachelor of Natural Resources Management student at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).

Supervisors: Jonathan Kamwi (NUST); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb)

njosob@gmail.com

Julian Menge

Intern, Ruprecht-Karls University

Julian Menge

Intern. Ruprecht-Karls University

While ar Gobabeb, Julian worked to establish marketing activities for Gobabeb, specialising in Social Media marketing.

Within his project, he developed an end-to-end Social Media strategy with a focus on sustainability, and launching its roll-out.

In this project, Julian worked to increase the visibility of Gobabeb world-wide.

Julian is a Bachelor student of Molecular Biotechnology at the Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg, Germany. He is also a student consultant at GalileiConsult e.V.

Eric Norton

Student Intern (June-October 2020

Eric Norton

Student Intern (June-October 2020)

Eric is interested in understanding the human-wildlife conflict between local Topnaar livestock farmers and black-backed jackals along the Kuiseb river.


By better understanding the conflict, how it arises, and particularly the ecology of the jackals, I hope that the information that I collect will contribute to improved strategies for reconciling the interests of traditional livestock farmers and wildlife.


Eric hopes to study for the MSc degree at University of Cape Town (UCT).


ericnortonn@gmail.com

Jacob M Sitemo

Student Intern

Jacob M Sitemo

Student Intern

Jacob is a fourth year BSc (Honours) student Mechanical Engineering at UNAM.

At Gobabeb, Jacob assisted with environmental monitoring and weather station equipment maintenance. He also explores customised equipment for the rehabilitation of tracks across the gravel plains. Perhaps even removing corrugations in the gravel roads around Gobabeb.

Mentor: Martin Handjaba (Gobabeb). Supervisors: Erastus Shaanika (UNAM); Eugene Marais (Gobabeb).

Monique Tredoux

Intern, NUST

Monique Tredoux

Intern, NUST

Monique is assessing the inselberg and gravel plains species composition and diversity, to identify how this might change along the climatic gradient of the central Namib Desert.

Monique is a third-year student studying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management focusing on nature conservation, and is doing her Work-Integrated Learning period at Gobabeb.

Mentor: Jessica Roberts (Gobabeb). Supervisor: Dr Jonathan Kamwi (NUST).