Ph.D. Palaeobotany; University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; RSA.
Ph.D. Plant Pathology; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg; RSA.
B.Sc. Honours (cum laude) - Plant Pathology; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg; RSA.
B.Sc. - Botany and Plant Pathology; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg; RSA.
As a palaeobotanist working primarily in the Karoo Basin of South Africa, my research focuses on the Permian plant fossils of Gondwana, particularly the taxonomy of the glossopterids and their fertile organs, and also their biostratigraphic, biogeographical and temporal distributions. Active research topics include: taxonomic approaches to the classification of Glossopteris leaves and fructifications; floral turnover at the Permian-Triassic transition; the use of Permian floral elements as a biostratigraphic tool within the Karoo and peripheral basins; insect-plant interactions during the Permian, as evidenced by damage to plants in the fossil record; reconstruction of Permian ecosystems and food webs; the taphonomy of plant fossils and their physical interpretation, Cretaceous floras and palaeoenvironments of the Eastern Cape, the role of fire in the geological and palaeontological record. I do my own scientific illustrations and utilise digital techniques to reconstruct fossils and past environments.
I am interested in effective science teaching methods, development of materials that support the local school curriculum, the impact of multilingual museum engagement and displays. Heritage conservation forms an important part of my work, and I engage regularly with the heritage resources authorities SAHRA and ECPHRA (ECPHRA council member 2017-2019). I am a Fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa, serve on the Executive CommitteeBiostratigraphyTask Group of the South African Commission for Stratigraphy (SACS), and have served on the Executive Committee of the Palaeontological Society of South Africa as President and editor of the newsletter.
Currently I am a research associate in the Department of Botany, at Rhodes University, serve on the Board of the Faculty of Science, and supervise/ co-supervise graduate students interested in palaeobotany and palaeoentomology.